The ink of his pen has gone dry at a time when his fans were anxious to read more of his detailed literary work full of captivating moments
BY PORCUPINE WANJEKECHE
I wish to join the world of literature locally and globally to mourn a legend of our time after his sudden and controversial demise.
Ken Walibora, a celebrated literature guru and journalist has left the stage of literature at a very critical time in history -when serious authors like him were sharpening their tools of work ahead of the biggest assignment of penning down moments and scenes brought by Covid -19 scourge.
The ink of his pen has gone dry at a time when his fans were anxious to read more of his detailed literary work full of captivating moments .
He has bid us bye at time when the world just faced a pandemic of ruinous magnitude and proportion, a pandemic that will forever leave unforgettable lessons and memories to humanity.
After this pandemic, I am certain Ken could have penned down something significant worth a read locally and globally.
May be the effects of the pandemic to the global economy and possible threat of tilting the world order and because he was a good student of “details” Walibora could not fail to critique the status of health facilities that have been put to test during this pandemic.
And as a social defender , the xenophobic attack meted on Africans in China’s main cities of Wuhan and Beijing could not have missed in his literary work since he was a devoted defender of the oppressed and downtrodden in the society.
Since literature is a yardstick in the society ,the Kenyan consulate in Beijing that has looked helpless and novice in handling diplomatic mishaps would have formed a serius debate in his work .
In my interaction with my friend Jeff Mandila recently , who doubles as Walibora’s comrade, the author of “Sikitiko la Sambaya ” ;reminded me that Ken had already started assembling his tools ahead of current pandemic.”Mapenzi ya Korona ” was the temporal title of his work that he had started penning down before fate had a final say to his life.
In his work he wrote;”shaking hands was no more, kissing, social gatherings barred, no going to church and so much restrictions of the way of life of humankind that had an impact and new way of looking at love. …”.
I know he could not have missed highlighting the brutality of the police during the curfew that created national outrage and debate not forgetting the arrest of an ordinary worker at JKIA who filmed and shared the dangerous Chinese plane that touched JKIA at the time of worst fear of the Viral attack. Many Kenyans have associated the plane with the invasion of the deadly virus in the our soil.
The treatment and victimisation of the innocent officer who was dubbed a statesman before the public eye was handled worst than a terrorist and arraigned in court. This happened as government top officials responsible for the goof were left unpunished and baying the blood of the young man for exposing the dirty underbelly of the state .
Walibora the son of Mwalimu could not have missed to capture the suffering and endurance of the poor during the pandemic and the loss of jobs by many employees.
Walibora could have mentioned the abrupt status equilibrium created by the pandemic globally where the rich and the poor became one before the eye of the epidemic.
That even the effluent and rich who have money cannot leave their country for overseas specialized treatment and were at the mercy of the local medics whose plight have been long ignored both in parliament and offices of policies and decisions.
That everyone is compelled to stay in his or her country until the fate of the pandemic is concluded.
And to borrow the words of his book “Ndoto Ya America” Ken could have mentioned why for once Africans could not allow foreigners from developed nations to its borders and vice versa.And in addressing the racial treatment that he himself met in America, Ken could have mocked the desperation of the West who are now calling for professionals from Africa to address the labor-force deficit caused by the pandemic yet no one wants. For the first time we are told US embassies are open with no ques for job applicants wishing to join the former world of opportunities.
Not forgetting to mention the desperation pictured in Italy where people withdraw money from their bank accounts and throw in the idle and empty streets of Rome to imply that money is nothing in such pandemic.
That empty Saint Peter’s Square would for once be addressed by his eminent the Pope of Catholic for the first time in history.
As a son of Bungoma county where his ancestors come from in Kabuchai , Waliaula Atanasi as he is fondly referred to , could not have failed to address wanton corruption associated with the pandemic in county governments.
In a bid to do justice to his home of origin in Bukusu land -Ken could have condemned the popular Jerrycan scandal that marred governor Wycliffe Wangamati’s administration.
He could not have missed to castigate the desperation of politicians to capitalize on this pandemic by donating substandard necessities branded their names and images to make political capital out of it.
Politicians who refused to stay at home and embarked on a 2022 succession plot could have not evaded the reprimand of his bold pen .
Walibora could have given his work at least a unit on the global politics associated with the pandemic as Asian Tiger China is being accused by America for allegedly manufacturing the virus and unleashing it to the world with sinister motive.
In borrowing the words of Prof Egara Kabaji, “A man of honor has died, I wish a day when death will die” Kenda bulai professor (go yee well professor) and convey our greetings to your humble mother who bore us a son that we shared through your talent.
A mother that you passionately remembered even in your literary work-don’t forget to convey to her a souvenir’ Nasikia Sauti YaMama’. May be if she reads that autobiography she will know that she bore a great man(Lirambo) yet with a humble character.A woman who shaped your destiny.
Nobody chooses when to die, but you died at the wrong time when it is difficult for loved ones to mourn their departed ones more so a man of honor like you.
Porcupine Wanjekeche is an Independent Journalist.(firstname.lastname@example.org)