Childhood ambitions are the rocket fuel for the rest of our lives when they come from our curiosity and drive. They are the seeds of a passion that creates a life well-lived. Sadly, at times we end up not living up to our expectations.
Kibowen left Nginyang village in Baringo to study Bachelor of Commerce at a University in the capital city. Being an ambitious, well-mannered and hardworking young man with great aspirations, his entire village was indeed joyful as they could see light at the end of the tunnel once Kibowen graduates and secures a job with the government or the blue-chip companies.
After thorough questioning, their responses could not reveal clarity on what they do to earn a living, their relatives’ information and even where they came from before coming to live in Gachie.
Knowing very well the hardships surrounding his background, Kibowen gave his best in his studies as the only hope for his poor family. He actively participated in the school’s extra-curricular activities and served as a choir member in the institution’s Christian Union.
Kibowen had different friends one of them Musa with whom they always spent their free time together. They met regularly to the extent that Kibowen no longer had time to take part in the schools extra-curricular activities and within no time his class performance started going down due to Musa’s influence who frequently asked him to join him so they can start looking for money instead of wasting time in school activities. Since Kibowen held a deep urge to save his family from poverty, he felt that Musa was the best person to hang around with because of his aggressiveness in looking for ways to make money.
Musa usually went out every weekend and came back with goodies which he never hesitated to share with his friend. Kibowen was curious and wanted to know the source of Musa’s money with which he always bought flashy clads and took expensive meals from restaurants, something that was not affordable for most students. Musa offered to introduce Kibowen to his friends and from then henceforth they became friends and could always meet. Kibowen’ enjoyed being in the company of Musa’s friends too.
One day Kibowen was informed of a fishing job opportunity in Marereni Magarini by Musa and his friends with a somehow good salary for a student like Kibowen who had never earned any money before. Knowing the poor state of his background he decided to put his studies aside and join his friends for the opportunity which he believed would change his life for good. Upon reaching Marereni, they met Mr. Mohamed Ali who was to be their fishing job employer and he quickly organized for them to be transported by boat to Bula Haji in Somalia where they were to work.
At Bula Haji, their phones were taken, and they were required to work for a few months with a three thousand shillings salary. They could attend a training session each day in which they recited verses which they were to adhere to as guided by their instructor. Sometimes Kibowen was tempted to confirm with his friends how these verse recitations would be relevant in the fishing job they had been promised, but all he could get back was, ‘don’t worry as long as we get paid.’ With the 3k salary, Kibowen was quite happy and was ready to do whatever it takes to become successful in the job and earn more money.
It’s sad how Kibowen and his friends gradually lost their sense of humanity that when they were sent on their first assignment to bomb a hotel on the Coast they went without question. Gladly the mission failed as the police were able to detect the bomb set on time before it blew the scene.
For Kibowen and friends, this was just never meant to be. While on their second mission to attack a busy supermarket in Nairobi, the vigilant neighbors at a place they went to hide in Gachie led to their arrest. During a Nyumba Kumi meeting, members of the community sought to know the new young faces that had just joined their neighborhood. After thorough questioning, their responses could not reveal clarity on what they do to earn a living, their relatives’ information and even where they came from before coming to live in Gachie. This indeed raised suspicion and the chief secretly organized for the police to investigate the house Kibowen and friends stayed. The house was searched and 2 guns and grenades were found.
Together with Musa and three others, Kibowen’ was arrested. His village could not believe how their genius had turned into a terrorist. He knew he didn’t belong to that lifestyle, but his decisions months ago hang over him like the sword of Damocles.