HOME IS A CASTLE OF STORIES. WHEN WORDS SEEMED NEVER TO LEAVE OUR LIPS.

JESUS OF NAZARETH

After an exhausting journey upon a mischievous road, I finally reached camp. The camp was conspicuous, beautiful. It's walls, like petals of a rose, savage but welcoming in the  same light. The General wasn't around, so privates ushered me. After I was shown to my bunker, my brother and uncle who'd accompanied me, left.

I was alone.

The sickness of being in a foreign place should have kicked in, but guess what?

It rained! It rained!

I have this affinity to rain. My friends think it's pure madness. How can I put it so that you understand? For me, rain is sign of good luck. Rain has been there for me when nobody gave a rat's ass. It has comforted me, taken me into it's warm arms and cuddled me. Told me it's gonna be alright when nobody else gave a  damn! It has showed up in my darkest moments. When all  was lost, and infernos of sadness were razing me down. It's always there, hurtling down. If you ask me,I think clouds do sit down for a meeting and say.

"We like that boy Osoch. Let's mourn with him, let's comfort  him."

God's of the skies would then flung open the floodgates. And my peace  would come raging from above. Joined by thunder and lightning, offsetting a glorious harmony of love and calmness.

Thus when it rained that day, walls of my young memory were ripped open. A nostalgia of years past, came live. I travelled back in time to the burial of my grandmother, 11 years ago. I was in class two then. But vividness of the event is still with me. The wounds have tried to heal but the pain hangs in there. It follows me around in lecture rooms. It sits with me during lunch. I can't tell it leave me alone, that melancholy is part of my soul . It charms me,  a constant reminder of her. A great matriarch by all standards. She loved me, she spoilt me and even though I was I toddler, I can never forget.

We never forget what our grandmas do for us.

Maybe if she was alive I could show her my writing. I think she would be proud, she would pray for me and ask God to open my ways. I can talk of her for lengths you can't imagine. So let us shelve her story for another day. But then remember  this. It rained on my first day in camp, it also rained on my grandmother's funeral. If you ask me, it's a symbol from the God's. I'm yet to figure it out though. Maybe she's watching out from the other side. Who knows???

Where were we?

Oh, so I reported to campus. To be honest, I had not planned  that I'll be in such a university. Actually, I had no plans of the university I'll join. I'm the kind of  guy who never makes plans. I just let stuff unfold. When people were talking of KU, UON, Strathmore and the works, I was never interested. I went on with my life on an even keel while homeboys and homegirls were sweating in their asses about the universities they were going to join. Fellas wanted universities in the capital and it's environs. Jaramogi was a no go zone, Kabianga, who the hell wants to pick tea??  Nobody wanted Masinde Muliro, iko kwa waluhya.

But then, KUCCPS is the emperor. The true hero, when KUCCPS coughs, we stand attention and bow. KUCCPS doesn't give a damn whether you're a blogger or not. So what??  Those bad boys at KUCCPS sent me into the badlands. They cut me off from civilization. Anyway, I'm taking this too far. They put me in a camp somewhere in Kajiado county.

A few things about my university.

It's a narrative of dreams and aspirations for a brighter future.

I ran into Jonas from Congo and we instantly hit it off. He is from Kivu, do you know where Kivu is?? I don't. We all know Congo as a snakepit of wars,where humans slaughter each other in the race for minerals. A place of never ending clashes. Sadly, that was my perception. But guess what? He says that Congo is peaceful, it's sweet. He misses home, its smells, its sounds. Jonas is in Kenya to study environmental science. They have universities back home, but Kenya offers the best he says. Furthermore, it's only in Kenya where he can learn good English, the Queen's tongue. He tells me that when he graduates and heads back home, it's not his degree that will work wonders, it's the mastery of the Queen's tongue. He will get a huge position immediately. With monumental benefits, a car and mansion.

Jonas is a cool guy. All wacongole in Kenya are cool people. We talk a lot about stuff, about life from our young perspective. He tells me of how a certain slay queen is giving him sleepless nights. I tell him to guard his heart. Not to forget his wallet too.

One thing about Jonas, he sends funny texts.

"Brother, do you drink beer?"

No I don't.

"What do you mean you don't ?? In Congo they will call you pastor.
Wait, are you a pastor?? "

*laughing emojis* No Jonas, I'm not a pastor. Alcohol is just not my cuppa.

"So you're saying that if I buy you Johnnie Walker, double Black you will  decline?"

Of course I will. But you can buy me wine.

"Brother!! Wine is for women."

That's Jonas for you. In a place where people look at you from the shadows. He doesn't hide behind a mask, he remains true to himself. To his cause. To his story. God bless you Jonas.

I have met lotsa funny characters.

There is this guy called Salaton, he is a Maasai. I like Salaton, just as a friend of course. We happen to be in the same class and his antics will tear you apart with laughter. He happens to be a wannabe Alpha male. Always in the thick of things. He regales naive girls with tales of how he comes from a long line of warriors. How his father killed over 50 lions and his grandpa killed even more.   

"Salaton, why haven't you killed a lion yet?" I asked him once.

"Brother, government officials came to our house and begged us to stop hunting them. Telling us shit about heritage. The KWS guy even knelt, he knows I am a deadly hunter."

Aiii. Salaton!

Salaton doesn't stop there. He is a poet! A friggin poet!!! To make matters worse, he reads his poetry to women. Like seriously, who reads poetry to ladies?? He does it. What irks me is that the girls like it. Always swarming around him. Fanning his ego.

"Oh gosh! This is so romantic Salaton. You're the Shakespeare of our time."

This is the part our hero grins like a motherfucker. Then starts touching his suit, the way all law guys do. Then smiles even more. How Moran like!!

Oh please! Salaton, you're too much!

Alliances are changing.

I'm the kind of guy who observes people. And on the first day, some fellas were together with their hommies and high school friends. But somehow, this callow unions have withered to ashes. People have made new friends, cool friends, cool kids. If you ask me, I think it's disgusting. You've known someone for almost half your life then you swap them for "cool kids". It's soo fucking silly. Like who the hell are cool people?? Is the air they breathe imported from Europe?? Do cool kids fart Arabian fragrances ?? But then humans can only be human. Most of us are chasing colour, grace and a pompous clique. It's their idea of life, you can't blame them.

One beautiful thing about this campus.

It has, chapels. I know you won't believe me, but I do pray. This is places I trudge into when I'm exhausted. When I'm down, when a story is not picking and I mumble a few things to the holy father. Sometimes I do cry, but that's just silly personal therapy. 

Chapel is serious in this uni. I am not a fan of sermons, the only reason I attend is the girls. Like, what else?? The choir is full of beauty Queens and their voices??? Oh God forgive me! They soothe you, serenade you. It's like all your sins are forgiven. That choir is choir.

One small fact about the choir.

There's is no male. It's all cool anyway, like, who wants to listen to a ninja sing?? Not me. Furthermore, I never really understand men who sing in church choirs?? Most of them are pretenders and lousy liars.

Girls here are extremely open minded. I have this buddy who a girl asked for his number. Now, girls do ask for negroes numbers, not  like a wonder of the world. Maybe she wants to partner with him in a business, you can never tell. But the way she asked for that number, Jesus forgive us! But you know what? The dude was hesitant to swap contacts with her. I think he is crazy. Seriously a hot girl asks for your contacts and you make her jump through hoops. I mean, why don't such good things happen to me? Why don't  hot girls stop me and be like.

"Hi Osoch, your number please."

It will be in her phone before she even finishes the sentence.

This is a campus with people from all walks of life. There are guys in love with the Balenciaga brand. I think those people who dorn Balenciaga are mad. Coz they strut around like they own the place. Like it's their fathers who built the place. Ti hi hi!  White men built this place. Anyway, what's the deal with Balenciaga, do those shoes make you smarter. Do they fling your GPA from 1.5 to 3.8, we'll never know for sure. Anyway, I'll love to interview a Balenciaga guy.  Enough said, I'm not mentioning that name again.

One  weird culture.

Boys here wear crocs! Seriously, it's not being sexist but I think that crocs are footwear for the girl child. Men who wear crocs plus socks are a pure disgrace. They're half men. Their libidos levels should be investigated.

International students are good people. They mind their own business. Of course they walk in groups, but then, safety can only be found in numbers. Not like they'll be mugged on campus grounds. Only that, togetherness makes home feel closer, yet so far. They will be with Moses in the afterlife.

But there are also Kenyans from Ikolomani who try  act like international students. The type will burn in hell. They twang, in their desperate attempts to impress us on how much they've mastered the Queen's tongue. If they only knew, we don't give a damn! Why would we care??

One little problem.

We are not allowed in female hostels and vice versa. Honestly, it's so bad. Like can't we say hi to each other?? You know ladies need help with stuff, maybe their taps need fixing, or iron boxes. Anyway it's alright. The administration is always like.

"Huh! You came here to study. This is a Christian institution!! No immorality! No fornication! Sex before marriage is a grievous sin. You will burn in hell!"

Well, who wants to burn in hell?? Not me. I have thus taken a vow of celibacy in my time here. A daughter of the soil might try to confuse me but do count on me to remain stoic. I'm just not in the business of siring wild oats.

As such, I think you can call me Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. 

By Osoch Ogun