Saturday, May 15, 2004

For Mzee Tamaa

A Poem for Mzee Tamaa:

Why are you all leaving us?

Whispers whispered his last just the other day
Fadhili Williams will never give a live rendition
Of his classic Malaika from his resting ground among his Dawida people
Daudi is still our Kabaka but for ever silenced
Except through bootlegged compact discs burned slyly inside assorted cyber cafes

Before you were Mzee Tamaa I remembered you as the Peter Lukoye of Born Free
And I did see you in bit parts playing serious high drama roles

But it is as the witty buffoon of Vitimbi that the Nation remembers you
Last year, imprisoned by your mountain of bills at Mater hospital
An international outcry was sounded
Wondering how our government would let a national treasure rot to oblivion
When it could easily pick up the tab

Eulogies and obituaries can be pat, choreographed and humdrum
But I will bet a thousand jirongos and a couple hundred ngiris on top of that
When I assert that
From Malindi to Malaba
From Loitokok to Lokichoggio
From Migori to Moyale
Kenyans will be mourning and wailing your demise

But we still smile behind our welling eyes
As we remember the laughs you stored away in our collective memories

Onyango Oloo
First Draft Spontaneously Written 1:54 pm- 2:03 pm
Wednesday, February 04, 2004