Posts

Deaths of Right - Part II

Image
Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash Take care of my children. His voice never left me. There were nights that I dreamed in such vivid detail that when I woke, I was confused, forgetting, for a fraction of a second, that I was in my bed. For the minutes that followed, the grief washed over me for the loss of a friend who had had my back, the uselessness of my life fighting for the imperialism of a country that didn’t care for me. Part of me wondered if the dreams would change, if one day they would be the same monochrome shadows of before Somalia. Wesonga’s widow moved like a clockwork soldier, especially when she made the umpteenth trip to the Unit. She said it was for her children; no one else would follow up on her husband’s benefits if she gave up. Being taken round in circles by the Welfare Office didn’t stop her. I once asked her what they tell her, and her face fell into an expression I had never associated with her features before. Under that resilient personality was a woman more

Deaths of Right - Part 1

Image
Growing up regaled with chronicles of humans who willingly compromise their comfort and stand guard, put their lives on the line, to protect the country, I was not insane to admire the military. I have been a certified military brat ever since I opened my eyes, and I’ve never entertained the silly thought. My father knew all the faraway lands more than his family as his father did. Once it hit me, I asked them “why”, to which they smiled and replied, “so you could live a better life”, which I did. The army biscuits, corned beef, the CamelBaks, military rucksacks, Swiss Army knives I stole to show off to kids at school, and the military T-Shirts were the evidence of a better life. Not to mention the truckloads of food Father came home with. Soon, Mother opened a kiosk. And that was my epiphany, which made me realise the pain behind the good life. *** The soldier’s face was impassive in the hot afternoon sun, waiting for the light to turn green. When he moved, he was as agile a

Imara Angani

Image
The crew room at Laikipia Air Base was a flurry of activity and a cacophony of telephones ringing off the hook. Fighter pilot Major Ahmednasir Ramah sweated copiously inside his flight suit as he waited anxiously beside the telephone, glancing every few seconds at the crew-room clock. Deep in his bones, he felt that either this mission would pass as a blip in his military career or it would be his last. Ramah held the telephone handset tight, raised it to his ear, and listened. “Interdiction mission,” the voice on the other end said. The Air Force Commander never issued mission orders to pilots, only through the Chief of Operations and Ops Room. But this was not a regular mission. “Yes, sir,” he said. Of all the times he had been on ‘Red’ standby, nothing had ever happened for him to respond. He held the receiver with both hands, but still, it shook. At the cockpit of the F5, he felt trapped, restless, and angry, and it seemed hours between each pre-flight check. When he lower

Kutupwa na System

Image
Major Stanley Ekuton sat ramrod straight on the senior passenger’s seat in the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) manoeuvring along the winding motorable track eight kilometres beyond the Kenya-Somalia border, his throat dry with agitation. His Commanding Officer’s last words were still fresh on his mind: OC, do not cross that border! (Source: intelligencebriefs.com) Ahead, through the dust, the enemy was escaping. “We should not be sitting ducks in the camp when al-Shabaab come to attack us,” he had replied. “We, too, should take the battle to them.” And with that, Officer Commanding Bravo Company, 80 Airborne Battalion of the Kenya Defence Forces, imposed radio silence on his battalion tactical command headquarters. “We are pursuing the enemy to the depths of hell if we have to,” he had told his platoon commander. “Order the platoon to cross the border—” “But, Afande, we are not supposed to cross the border. The rules of engagement—” “Officer, adui ni yule unamwangalia akito