Kisumu Ber!

Posted: January 26, 2010 in In Living Memory

The Kisumu retreat is considered the ultimate outing for student leaders in UoN for a multitude of reasons. Top on the list is of course the financial rewards on offer which range from the rather modest allowances provided to the more hefty ‘jackpots’ at stake for the more ‘enterprising’ students. Then of course there’s the lavish living, lovely ladies and lots (and lots) of liquor. Needless to say, it’s the most anticipated event of the year albeit for all the morally wrong reasons. But then again this is campus; morality doesn’t rate so highly in the order of priorities around here.

So here I am a junior student leader with all the zeal you can think of, totally psyched up for this one in a lifetime experience. My buddy Paul and I were over our heads with excitement. All we could think of were the good times that lay ahead and like the rest of the one hundred and fifty-something guys in our entourage, we were certain of having the time of our lives.

Thirty minutes before our bus departs we head to a nearby Uchumi Supermarket and stock up on some booze for the road which could be considered enough to throw a small party for a group of average drinkers. We head back to our bus and find a cozy place to sit before embarking on our 600km journey from Nairobi to Kisumu. In the meantime, Paul and I start imbibing on our alcohol to get ourselves in the mood for the trip. I should point out here that I have always known that having more than 50 campus students in one place at any one given time is a sure recipe for disaster and this case was no exception. Let me correct myself, this was an exception. These weren’t 50 ordinary students but 150 hot blooded UoN student leaders intoxicated by a variety of (mostly illegal) stimulants and gigantic ego’s. How many ways can you spell ‘trouble’? Lest I digress, I’ll spare the nitty gritty for another day.

So after 10 hours, 6 bottles of whisky and about a dozen fights, we finally arrive in Kisumu. At some point during the long ride I had managed to learn some Luo and upon disembarking form the bus, I screamed something in Luo which someone had told me was some kind of greeting but as I later came to learn (under not so pleasant circumstances), this was far from the truth. Anyway, we were shown our way into our hotel which I was told is the best in the Lakeside city and proceeded to have a sumptuous meal before heading out for an unguided tour of the ‘city’.

After hopping from one club to another Paul and I finally settled on ‘Jazz’ club somewhere in the heart of the town centre though I would have preferred ‘Kengeles’ where we had bumped into some fine looking ladies from Maseno Uni. Incidentally, half the guys we had travelled with had somehow managed to find their way to the same club making it rather packed and quite livelier than I had anticipated. And you know what they say…the more the merrier.

This chic from campus tries to teach me pool (which I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of to date) and while were busy trying to push the balls into the hole (that didn’t come out right did it?) I spot Liz (one of the girls from Maseno). That pretty much marks the end of my pool lesson for the day as I quickly pounce on this chance to get to know her better…<wink>. Unbeknown to me, this was to be a blessing in disguise because what follows next is one of the reasons I decided to start this blog (To preserve my memories).

One of the guys from UoN had his phone robbed by God-knows-who and pinned it on some dude from the club who by a twisted stroke of fate happened to be related to the club’s manager. In the ensuing scuffle, one of the club’s security officers (a mean fellow whose head looked like it had been circumcised) intervened. Before anyone could say ‘SHIT!’ a small riot was in the offing outside the club pitting the UoN students on one side against the club’s bouncers, security officers and local ‘boda-boda’ operators on the other. You should have seen the street the next morning. Shards of glass lay scattered all over and there were some random pools of blood here and there.

Meanwhile, I was busy ‘knowing’ Liz a little better and I must say I was loving the direction we were taking until her other friends decided to come over to where we were seated to ‘say hi’. For starters, we had already exchanged greetings twice in one night and secondly, I would assume that the fact that we were seated in a dark secluded corner of the club away from everyone else was enough to suggest that we were a bit preoccupied with ourselves (or at least we were intending to). Anyway, after brief deliberation, my female companions decided we should leave and asked that I should pay for their cab fare (classy, huh?). I decided to do what any honorable man would do; asked to be excused for a short call and high tailed it out of the club.

At the exit, I bumped into several of my campus mates arguing with some bouncers and conveniently chose to ignore them. I have learnt from experience to mind my business in such situations. After all, I am not exactly of athletic build and cowards actually do live longer. In my defense though, I was unaware of what had occurred and maybe (just maybe) if I did I would have…nah!…who am I trying to fool?!

In no time I was on a rickshaw heading back to the hotel where I made straight for my room and hopped into bed. I awoke after what seemed like five minutes to the concerned calls of some chic who I learnt was Lillian (one of my classmates) upon opening the door (at which point I also learnt that it was already morning). Apparently, Paul had been caught up in the previous nights scuffle and was badly injured. Some security officers had cornered him and hammered him senseless leaving him with a cracked skull, a fractured arm and minus his cell phone and money. Incidentally, another guy whom we shared a name with had received similar treatment and (wait for it…wait for it…) his balls had been thumped high up into his groin. The thought of it still makes me cringe! There were a few other guys with minor injuries here and there but it was this case (and Paul’s) that were of particular interest to me. Apart from the awkwardness of my name-sakes injury, the fact that we shared a name with the ‘injuree’ meant that a lot of people confused him for me and actually showed a lot of concern for my prize jewels. It was nice to know that the well being of my lineage was of importance to my campus mates.

At the end of the day we returned to Nairobi a deflated and injury stricken lot. I can’t wait for this year’s trip!

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