The year was 1981 when the regime in Kenya was threatened by the coup that was instigated by their, own soldier, Capt. John Ochoda and a few of his treasonous goons who wanted to overthrow Moi’s legitimate government, though it was a flop.
By this time, I was beginning to develop an interest in crime and war reporting and I jumped on this opportunity with professional vigour.
We ignored the danger that is synonymous with air transport during such situations just to reach there in time. Kenyatta International Airport was abandoned and the whole crisis was evident and we got straight to work.
The coup attempt was thwarted by some professional soldiers who included a ‘private’ female ‘soldier’ whose names, I can not remember.
At the Ministry of Information where the press briefings would take place, coincidentally she was there and seeing her was enough for me to calm down the tensions that I was suffering under such a bleak situation.
This pte soldier had escorted a senior government official who was also slated to brief the press and she would not leave until the conference was over.
She had a very wide jaw, heavy arms, and was tall but with a welcoming smile and this gave her a look of a typical soldier.
“You will not leave before the officials” she politely commanded as I excused myself to fix my recorder outside. The tone with which she commanded, gave me an impression of a true soldier and at the same time, a down to earth person who was friendly.
“Afande am just fixing my recorder, am not leaving,” I replied while gazing straight into her tough soldierly but compassionate eyes.She smiled and let me do my job.
During our series of interviews and press conferences, we continued to interact with her and stopped being strangers.
Since the coup had finally flopped, the government was so certain that it was in control of the situation and the plotter had fled into exile, so the excitement was high.
There were several cocktails thrown every time meetings ended, and this presented more opportunities to get to know each other.
She kept away from cocktails like a true soldier, but I provoked her by initiating a conversation. “Kenya looks beautiful” I complimented “why are you not sharing with other people?” she asked but, I ignored her and introduced myself “am shooter”.
We got talking and I found a good person in her, and she told me she would go on leave for the next two days saying that it had been delayed by this coup, and I requested if I could see her and she answered in the affirmative.
I also had to extend my stay in Nairobi because of this afande woman. Low and behold! Time came for us to meet.
Jesus Christ, she looked so sexy in her civilian wear and I made sure she got to know that I was admiring her.
“Look that kind of thing is out” she kept me away from that topic.
Trust the shooter, I managed to convince her and took her to a nightclub, since the city was now peaceful and calm.
Time for me to go back home came, and I expected her to shed some feminine tears out of love but she did not- true soldier she was.
We had loved each other instantly and we would miss each other like she admitted.