How We Mourned at a Funeral Because of Unpaid Debt
If you have ever attended Luhya burials you might have a good background for this story. Their funerals are better than weddings!
Three years ago I was part of a team of influencers who were on a payroll by a certain MCA who did not want to lose his job. The MCA lived in Lurambi area of Kakamega and although I stayed in Umoja, Nairobi, I was still apart of the group that received monthly payments to say nice things about him online.
We were on a roll, with money at the end of the month and no worries about late payments. It was a life you could only dream of. I started playing County football because I knew all I needed to do was wake up in the morning, post some glorifying content about the politician and go about my day.
Then our able MCA went quiet. He was Missing in Action. We started asking the coordinator why we could not receive the weekly message on whatsapp on what to prepare for new content. The quietness went on for a month. Two months hit and still nothing, then the third hit. Rent was due and now our daily bread was in the mud. Soft life was out of the window.
A report came at the end of the third month that our benefactor had died. He had been suffering from malaria of the back. Luhya’s know what I’m talking about. MCA was gone and as loyal workers we planned to attend the matanga.
I boarded the Climax buses at Country bus. 6am in the morning I was already sitted waiting for the journey to start. Nairobi to Kakamega was no joke. The constant cries of the babies, the smell of omena and diapers was tough.
I got to that compound at 6pm and because of how I was dressed, the welcome was what I had never expreienced. “Huyo ni mtu wa Narobi, mpatie kiti kwa sitting room,” one woman whispered. I was directed to the sitting room where I introduced myself and finally found the other influencers I was working with.
When the casket got to the compound that night, screaming started with the aunties and other realtives. The MCA had no family of his own so the family was the only one mourning. One of the influencers joined in and started screaming. He motioned to me that I should also join in.
Nduru ilipigwa like we were pros. “Labda walikuwa wanajua Matandarwa vizuri akitembea huko Narobi,” anothet woman whispered.
When I asked the other influencer why we were screaming he told me that the family would share the money they got from the mchango with people who seemed closer to marehemu.