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MY GRANDFATHER - MJEMA
There is one interesting thing I remember about my maternal grandfather. That is, he went to church only one day in a year - Christmas Day. His life of faith was clouded in mystery. His Christian life was puzzling to decode. All in all, he feared and revered God. Even though his walk with God was not intimate.
He is now 80 years old. He is bald-headed; with some few traces of grey hair - that symbolize nothing but wit and wisdom. His back is now bent due to old age. He has forlorn furrows and weird wrinkles on his face. The powers of his strength are dwindling. But his eye sight is still razor-sharp. The banks of his memory are still massive and retentive. He absorbs everything you tell him like a sponge.
The last time I was with him was mid June. Now his official name is James Ojera. Though many call him Mjema. His home is in Anyiko Village - just adjacent to a murram road that snakes like a huge python from Yala. The home is 300 metres from Anyiko Primary School. This is slightly above Got Ko'jera. The father of my grandfather was a famous man - called Ojera Atanda - a polygamous man whose name and fame travelled far and wide like wild fire - past Gem to Ugenya, Alego, Sakwa, Yimbo, Asembo, Seme. And across Nam Lolwe. That lake without an end - that is a habitat of all species of fish in the world. Ojera had so many wives - sixteen to be exact - with uncountable number of sons and daughters. I am told that only his family was a village all together. My grandfather was born to his wife called Adundo Nyar Omware. mermaid bridal dresses with long sleeves
Like father like son. My grandfather was also polygamous. Though on a light note. He only married two women of substance - Julia Nyar Gem Muhanda and Elizabeth Waudi; daughter of Bernardo Godia and Anastasia Ogot. In 1990, death came. And silenced the destiny of Julia Nyar Gem Muhanda. You know death is a calamity that rings no bell and sings no warning. But grass will always grow. Occurrence of death does not mark the bad bend and end. Life has to continue. Death is just a phase of life; just like birth and marriage.
I don't want to digress. Woe is unto me if I veer off the road. I just want to stick like a tick in the story of this old man - Mjema - my grandfather - my father. I call him my father because since I was born hitherto I have never met the real man who sired me. I only hear stories about him. That he loved to do long hair like me. So, Mjema is the man who affirmed my manhood. He is the man whose one well done was better than a thousand kisses from my mother - Ngesa also called Mnyolo; who passed on when I was 7. Too bad. Too sad. No wonder I hate the cruel and callous claws of death. The hatred is deep like an abyss. For death dealt me a devastating blow. Death hurt my heart. It hit me like sledge hammer. For it robbed the apple of my eye - the mother of my brother.
Mjema is man who brought me up. Together with my granny - Lisa - Nyar Got Regea. Mjema is the man who taught me how to be responsible. Not incorrigible. He is the one who removed jiggers from my feeble and frail feet, and gave me golden tips on how to stop wetting the bed - because I used to rain on myself at night when the light went off. I would dream that that I was irrigating the green grass using my thing, but when I woke up from the deathlike slumber of a zombie, I found myself drenched in my own stinking urine.
My grandfather encouraged me to school, and sternly warned me not to walk down the path ruin and destruction.