IDLER’S CORNER: The Untold Story


I am happy to address people whose main business tonight is encouraging one another to chew more books.

It has been said now and again that the book chewing culture in Kinya is wanting. Indeed, my kinsmen in Nyagenke are doing badly in this.

However, the fact that a few Nyagenkeans like yours truly can find their way into a meeting of book planters and chewers tells you that book planting and chewing is not a bad thing.

The Nyagenkeans are following the son of their soil as he addresses book chewers from various walks of life in this difficult hotel which is found in the city in traffic. 

Before I stood here, I felt like my stomach was about to sing water because this forum has the highest concentration of great minds tonight. 

Although I am not an authority in history, you cannot delink me from history because we all have a history.

Even as we interact with Prof John Akama’s story which he calls The Untold Story, I want to partly appreciate those who have previously chronicled the story of our people.

I need not to tell you that Nyagenke has the highest concentration of honest people. 

But the ancestors of the Nyagenke nation will not be amused if they learn that a Nyagenkean has turned this forum into a cheering spree for those who deliberately or otherwise distorted our history.

If my brain has not grown cobwebs, then I vividly remember that when I read William Ochieng’s book about Omogusii, I took every word in it as gospel truth.

And perhaps many people have sat pretty and assumed that the story has already been told.

This is why research is key and I remove my hat for you, Probesa Choni Akama.

I think the worst tellers of our story are perhaps those who see Africa as a dark continent. 

You see, these people with long noses came here and discovered us, as if we could not discover ourselves. 

They must have thrown the bible to us before they flushed out their guns, just as one throws some grains for the hen to swallow without chewing, then he arrests it and converts it into a delicacy before the grains become meaningful in its body.

I want to salute our forefathers. Were it not for their resilience, we could have been wiped out completely. 

Until I read Prof Akama’s book, I never understood and appreciated the role the people of Gusii played in forcing the person with the long nose to either ship out or sit down and put his mouth in the cold.

It is sad that some of ancestors paid the ultimate price for us to have the freedom we enjoy.

We all have a story and as a person who puts bread on the table after writing about other people in the meat wrappers, I believe that the best stories are never written.

What you do today will be interesting stories for the generations which will be here while we will be dancing the angels.

Jesus told his disciples to go and preach the gospel to the world, and I challenge you tonight, go ye write or do something worth writing. 


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Mr. Araka is the pioneer reporter and editor at The Scholar. His satirical segment, The Idler's Corner is very popular with our readers. He is also a published novelist and biographer.


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