14 Now the spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him…
23 Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
1 Samuel 16:14, 23
Curious way to open the introduction to JPR’s `Master, Speak! O Speak to me!‘
I go further to say…
`This creative work was synthesized and developed while in the process of taking a short-deserved rest from my daily scientific drudgery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (kia minoga, as the national patriarch would have rightly observed). Getachew provided the needed framework for reflection, by his incessant impromptu visits to delightful restaurants, to savour Makiato.
This dramatic piece is dedicated to a man, who is now considered an institution worthy of mention as a national heritage, who at the time of writing, had spent some five months confined to his bed at the orthopaedic wad of the ever-busy Kenyatta National Hospital.
His ever-bright face, in the midst of excruciating pain he felt, his wit, charm and mental alertness, his capacity to grow even larger and ability to reach out to others, strengthening them with an infectious enthusiasm for life, will live with me for the rest of this earthly journey.
So, join me in clasping hands and through the union of our minds, release bounds of restorative energies to him, wishing our friend a speedy Godsend recovery and the blessings of the Almighty’s gracious mercies.
And hence it is to one ST. Emmoyitte Opoti, I dedicated the drama…’
Now, as it has always been, my writing is a result of interactions, intellectual and otherwise, with like-minded friends and colleagues. We exchange information and each soak as much as they need, out of the available pool of thoughts and ideas (each to their needs, and greed), as we individually weave through daily chores and struggles of existence. This time round it has not been any different, with the exception being that this creative piece came after a relatively long period (almost three years!) of inactivity. This follows the discovery in April 2004 that I had developed deadly medical condition of modern living hypertension. I was instructed for my own good, to slow my pace of work, and avoid the extreme sense of excitement that creativity seems to unleash in me. But other forces were also actively at work.
Despite the above, the year 2007, ended up being very stressful to me, both at work and in the social front, meaning that minimal emotional and intellectual resources were set aside for creative endeavours. A vicious circle of turmoil began in me. I was restless because I was not writing, and this in turn resulted in more stress and blood pressure related problems. I desperately needed the stimulation that results in oneself when, in the middle of night slumber, one suddenly wakes as an idea, often as a follow-up to a dream, demands to be instantly committed to paper. By the third quarter of the year, it occurred to me that I was on verge of creative decay and ultimate death, if my muse could not inspire me with a gust of germinal ideas to spur my rejuvenation. As my good friend Elisha Wandera, who `in his wisdom, or in total lack of it’, would continue to mockingly jab at me, wondering aloud at every opportune moment, where my flame and flair had gone. I was in poor shape, and envied my colleagues, such as Kap, who were far much busier than I, and yet who weekly found the energy to pen an excellent newspaper column.
Guys, it’s at such times, when one is in a suffocating dearth of non-performance, and wallowing in a deep sludge of inertia and self-pity, that `…min Omolo kaNyunya’ (`The Mystery Lady’ re-listen to Jamnazi’s 2005 hit `I am not Sober’) wanders by. That she surely did in that slow afternoon of the 13th day of November 2007, when some news, in the form of an email from a long-time colleague, Helen Masibo arrived on my PC with a rather curious title: Steadman Consultant `Mellows’ after Sate House Summons.
Friends, when min Omolo kaNyunya’ comes by, you will have no doubt that she has come, and that you have really no option, but to respond. I responded by sending an urgent enquiry to my associates in our outfit known as ProPerArt Creations. And they responded; oh, they surely did respond! All the way from Martyn in New Zealand, to Kap in the US; from Caroline and others, in Kenya, to Kwame in Zanzibar, and from many, many more. They rekindled my spirit and reaffirmed their confidence in my ability to deliver; but also went further, by suggesting this and that, and thus making valuable contributions to the story.
And thus, in the ensuing early mornings of December, when `min Omolo kaNyunya’ was most kind and at ease to insist on calling me, I felt the urgency to complete this dramatic piece. Feverishly, I milked the on flush of conflicting thoughts and ideas that surged into my mind, and hammered away at my laptop, penning down my contribution.
More meat followed with the national elections held on 27th December 2007, especially the electrifying and emotional stand-off at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) on 29th-30th, as the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) attempted to deliver a contested verdict on the outcome of the polls.
Forced to work indoors, in the ensuing days, as the nation underwent went through pangs of pain in delivering the fourth republic, I found time to fine-tune aspects of this drama, as I also struggled to comprehend how a popular government that was voted with an overwhelming majority some five years before, had been reduced to a pathetic shameful shell of itself, its leadership depending on propping-up by the very oppressive agents of state that they had so much struggled against…
I am still struggling to comprehend the madness unfolding in our country today, and so the play is far, far from done, these many years later…