The other day, a friend was making fun of my hometown. He kept saying Bungoma couldn’t bear to stay out of the headlines and I kept denying it. Well I was wrong. Something always happens to bring it back to the spotlight, where it belongs I guess. I wouldn’t want to put too much emphasis on the fact that my home town is also the home to impeccable drama, but unfortunately I have to.
It was not long ago when our very own ‘James Bond Wanjala’ scaled the heights of reality television, literally. I’m glad the he finally got a free countrywide chopper ride, courtesy of a renowned politician, which was rather safer than hanging from a chopper ferrying the late Jacob Juma’s body at Bungoma airstrip. That was the biggest event that spurred to international news including CNN and Al Jazeera. What most people don’t know, especially those not from Western Kenya is that if we did a drama ranking, Bungoma can only be second to Nairobi if not top for that matter.
Several years ago, Sarika hit the headlines, a hindu lady marrying her Bukusu darling, daring the wrath of her very bitter parents who were opposed to the marriage. Nevertheless, I was personally impressed by Wanjala Timothy for wooing a hindu spinster. He was a hero to most of us Bungoma men. I think the marriage became sort of a tourist attraction. With paparazzi locals, only most didn’t have cameras and their stories would be told not just on national tv but also in busaa dens at mama pima. Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t work and the couple fell out a few months later. They however made the love story of the year. That was nice but strange love by a Bungoma man.
At least you can understand Bungoma men and their love affairs. I couldn’t say so with their neighbors though. Their counterparts in Busia were selling wives. Yeah, that’s right. Word was, you would go buy yourself a wife in Busia. That was sometime ago. The other neighbors with stained demeanor are the two Kakamega men who swapped their wives on Christmas Eve. The two even had agreements with the local authority until one of the wives wanted her man back. You can’t imagine.
Nonetheless, my hometown has diverse drama, not just love and love gone sour. We had the famous ‘Jehovah Wanyonyi.’ A man who proclaimed himself to be the almighty and even threatened to pass harsh judgement on none believers. This was before he seemingly ascended to heaven according to his followers, although a KTN reporter’s investigative report indicated otherwise. Most recently, there’s wind of another Jesus in Tongaren, which is part of the larger Bungoma. I wouldn’t tell much about him because his story has only begun. Maybe he’ll join the long list of controversial prophets to have inhabited my homeland. I still remember the one who told us the world was ending so he dung a hole but eventually came out when it didn’t.
Am most proud of Wafula, who rode his black mamba for about 400km from his home village in Misanga to Lodwar to go watch his favorite team play in highschool competitions.
Drama. Drama. Drama. If I were to write about leadership drama, I would exhaust you right now. Didn’t you hear about Bungoma Senator’s fight with his wife that left him bruised although they both went to the same police station to report each other? Or the guerilla tactics of my member of parliament that involves bees at an opponent’s rally? I know I had to mention Lusaka’s casinogenic wheelbarrows that cost ksh. 100 000 but I’ll have to publish that in my book coming soon. Otherwise, I’m hungry. I would be lying if I didn’t say all I want right now is Ugali with ingokho(chicken), because I hail from the great Bungoma 😉. If you’ve not been to Bungoma, you don’t know what you’re missing.