Dear countrymen, I was not born in an affluent family as most of the children these days but the life I lived in my youthful days dwarfs most of the so called celebrities of this age though I come from a distant generation.
In my retirement today, I spend much of the time reading papers and books (political and business literature) and for the television, given my tired eyes and head I don’t come close to that metallic box that was not so common when I was growing up.
Recently Steve, my youngest grandson came running to grandpa and he said this to me, “grandpa my new name is Alpha, call me Steve Alpha.”
I was intrigued by the young man’s revelation and sat him down to inquire more about his new name (of course after buying him chocolate).
“Why are you suddenly Alpha?” I asked Steve only to send him into uncontrollable laughter. “Come-on papa, where do you live in this country?” he answered my question with another.
“You mean you don’t know who Alpha is?” he went on to explain to me who his hero is. “He is the Rwandan who won the last concluded Tusker project fame regional music competition.”
I had grown up drinking tusker beer and I knew they always associate with good things. After internalizing the explanation I concluded he should be doing the thing I did in 1967.
To my disappointment, poor Alpha (though I understand he won money too) spends most of his time composing and singing gospel music and signing autographs.
During the regional annual schools quiz competitions that were held in Nairobi, I emerged the winner in 1967. Now this put me in the limelight and of course I wanted it there.
My long relationship with our female counterparts has made me conclude that they love celebrities. And I saw this in Nairobi that year.
I immediately appeared on television, radios and papers so in no minute everyone in Nairobi knew me.
Part of the prize, was to spend a weekend in Mombasa eating fish given my age of course I would not be given beer and women.
Trust the son of Bugingo, I drunk beer and yes….she came or they came in. “This is shooter, this year’s quiz winner he will stay here this weekend.” I was introduced to the receptionist. She was half Kenyan and half Arab you know the beauty that comes with such products.
“Hullo am Hanna, please anything you want I will be there,” she volunteered. In my mind I started to ask myself “anything I want?”
Sure that same evening I called at her table for coffee. She was in her mid twenties and out of innocence and naivety, I looked at her heaven sent beauty and whispered unknowingly three times “thanks you are so good” she laughed as if to tell me “say it kid.”
I called again after a few minutes this time determined to say it. “Hi shooter anything?” I closed my eyes and said “yes Hanna you are beautiful?” “Shooter I had seen that in you” and we shared very fast a cup of coffee so that her absence is not recognized but she promised to come once she is done with her work.
True to her word, she came to the quiz winner’s room and stayed. Need I say it all? I mean the night games? No, I am a born winner unlike Alpha our national hero.
And for the next many years without much effort though, I continued to ‘enjoy the fruits’ of winning the quiz with many more Hannas. Am daring Alpha to say it out if he has achieved as I did. Sharpshooter I am.