Most people ,I narrate this story to, Ask me who the Third Beggar was , And I smile and answer, “That’s a Good Question.”
In the bustling Streets of Nairobi, I walk with my Note book, A skinny Youth Hunting for my next story.I cross over the Traffic ladden roads and Head for KenCom bus stop, I know I’ll find them there ,I always do.
Its about Four Pm and its rush hour in the City,The blind Boy sits close to a Steel Fence ,By the Side walk Curb, in his fingers He fidgets With a plastic Disposable cup,in which clutters A few coins, dropped there by benevolent People.
His Jacket is darkened by Dirt, It is torn and rugged and looks like a Lion Used it for Clawing Practice, His trouser is Patched and torn in areas I cannot be Dignified to Jot about. His bare feet are cracked and dirty, he has sores all over them and in some of his toes oozes pus ,Which has dried and Matted on his talon like Toe nails, There is a mob of Annoying fat blue flies over his feet and face, He has short , dirty brown kinky hair that seem to dare any comb for a duel, His face is Blank ,emotionless and static, He would have looked Handsome were it not for long streaks of Tear marks emanating from his Blur Grayish eyes, and long forked streaks of Saliva indicating he can’t recall when he last washed his face. He sits still only his bonny arms move and jiggle the Plastic cup and its sad contents.
Besides the Blind Boy, Stands a Street Musician He is putting on a large Hat whose long brim covers his face in a shadowy mystery, He has a neat leather Jacket ,and Decent fitting jeans, around his lean shoulder his Brown Guitar strap digs deep into his collar bone ,His jugular vein is Popping up on his Long Neck ,His Tiny Eyes are concentrated in the Heat of the Moment, His Mouth is A Jar his Voice Deep and Loud, His Notes High and Ecstatic ,He is Singing Charlie Puth’s Marvin Gaye. His long Bonny Fingers string the guitar so well, that a crowd of people, especially bevies of girls , Smile and Nod off to. He Sings notes after notes ,Of the Duet with such Prowess the Folks at X Factor would be Knocked Off. On his feet is a long list of Songs he can perform at an extra tip, each Numbered. Next to the List is an open guitar Case littered with Coins and Notes. His other hand clutches his microphone stand with such Fragility and Love the way a Lover would Caress Another’s Cheek.
I stay on with him watching people, come marvel ,some dance, others hug, a few complement him of his talent and a sometimes one drops a coin or two and hastily walks away. Soon I’m the only Person Left, standing Awkwardly Clutching a dog eared Note book. He stops playing and Glances at me,smiles then asks me in Accented English ,”Do you want Me to Play you a song, Brother? ” I Stutter a bit and Reply, “No I have a few Questions for my blog..” I suddenly feel A pang of guilt ,like a Lover who’s said something wrong to his Dearest. He regardless Smiles and Nodes, Then says Quietly, “Ah I see ,You are one of those Media And Freelance Guys always Hunting for a Story , Well I pity your Kind.” I’m Immediately interested and jump on his last Word,”Why? ” He goes on a whole Explanation of how we are Simply Slaves, ‘You know’ he elaborates ,”Slaves of News,Slaves of Occurance, Later on Slaves of Fame, And you eventually die Slaves of Misery, when your spotlight eventually ,fades of ,Because you know what brother It always Does.” For a while we just stand on looking at each other before he breaks into a long Hearty laugh and Pats my Shoulder,” Not to worry ,Brother ,I’ll give you your story, Here in the streets we help Each other, Even those who Don’t Belong Here..” He Goes on to hastily tell me His Story, of his long Journey from neighbouring Uganda To Kenya, to living in the streets,to buying his first Guitar to Learning it and to his plans to create a recording firm to employ his fellow homeless street boys.
Its a good story, One I’m so familiar with, the story of each Kenyan who comes to the City, A story of Hope and Toil, For a Future clouded in Blur and mystery.
Its about then, My father’s Driver Musa comes to pick me up, Before I leave I pay to listen to His Marvin Gaye song, And as he plays on ,I feel a renown perspective of the city and its beautiful orange hazy light in the breezy still night, I feel such an explosion of Beauty all around me, Such calm, Such Passion in his Voice, Such love for his Talent, even though It involves hours of sacrifice standing in a strange city.
Next to me the Blind Boy smiles and Nodes on, Musa is Dancing on with a silly smile on his face, I just stand on, Like a man in Limbo, Never wishing for the song to stop, After a while he strings on the last Notes and stoppes playing, His loud voice ,replaced by the silent gusts of city breeze and Chirping of Crickets.
We offer him a ride, but he declines with a bow ,He then strawls to the Blind boy, and Empties half of his Earnings to his cup, He proceeds to Pick him up and before they walk away he turns to us and says,” When you write the story, Don’t forget the Third Beggar Brother ”
We bid goodbye and get into the car, Musa Sighs and Says,”Strange guy huh?” I ignore him and keep thinking, but occasionally my train of thought is disrupted by Musa Whistling Marvin Gaye, I Quite thinking and sing along ” Just like they say it in the Song, Until that Dawn ,Let’s Marvin Gaye Get it on …”
Written by Modish Republik’s Wycliff Peter .
#Modish Republik. The Pop of Youth Culture.
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