The Blue Posho-mill

The bell rang and like bees out of a hive students poured out of their classrooms. It was tea time and as usual one had to hurry not to be late getting back to class. Getting late meant getting serious punishment from Mr. Omuyonga who was always voluntarily on duty; a man highly feared by all students at Kivuu secondary school. Spag, his real name Tyson stood by a pillar outside his classroom and watched the other students rush for tea. He never went for tea, he just did not feel that hungry most of the time. He was nicknamed Spag because of his slender body and somewhat weak look like that of cooked spaghetti. He was however very smart in class and was always earning presents for being top in class.

He stood staring into nothingness and murmuring lines from topics in biology he had read.(He loved biology) and hoped to be a doctor someday. He was a child of a single mother, a tough mother who decided to painfully divorce a man she learnt had a wife she never knew about. She devoted her life to taking care of her son and making him grow into a better man than his father. She also made sure the father paid for the son’s expenses and that included school fee. It was because of the agreement to have Spags father pay school fee that it was decided that he goes to Kivuu high school. A school the father could afford.

Spag never met his father, his mother could not let the foolishness of his father rub onto him. She never allowed it and once when he asked who his father was and where he was, he was told he died in war. The look that accompanied that answer warned him never to ask that again and he never did. He was young then but smart enough to read his mother’s moods and eye speech. It bothered him sometimes and he would wear a sad face from wishing he knew who the man really was.

As he stood by his favorite pillar, Abu his dorm prefect came walking towards him. He smelt trouble and stated walking lazily towards the school canteen. Abu increased his pace to catch up with him. Abu was a prefect but a bully. He was always picking on Spag and it irritated his so much. Being a quiet and reserved boy he never once reported him to the deputy principal who was in charge of discipline in the school.

Aside from being top in class, Spag was also holding the county’s debater of the year award. Maybe it was for this reasons and more that Abu got jealous of him and used his ‘prefect hood’ to mistreat him. Spag was among a hundred other students who suffered the wrath of prefects and some teachers for being drama club members and for being Nairobians. He was however better off because he was smart. The rest who were average had to live with comments like “ kizungu mingi but you get nothing in class”. Seemingly it was ok at Kivuu to be a poor performer from the village than be a poor performer from Nairobi.

Abu caught up with Spag and asked rather rudely “hey! Why haven’t you gone for tea?” shaken Spag responded “I’m not that hungry.” “Not that hungry or you are trying to tell us you are too sophisticated to take our kind of tea?” “I haven’t said that” “so you are calling me a liar huh?!” Abu rambled as he pushed Spag to the side of the canteen. Some boys saw the pushing and ran to hold Abu back. The bell rang and everyone went to class in a rush. Abu shouted “this isn’t over!”


The next week the final examinations begun and Abu did not cross Spags path ever again. Everybody was busy reading and making final touches. Group works here, revision there, past papers there and so on. Everyone left school once they were done with their paper and so when Spag left, Abu did not know or even notice. Abu was an Agriculture student while Spag took Computer studies. The computer paper was done earlier than the agriculture one and that’s why Spag left school at an earlier date.


Life after high school was bliss for spag. He did well and joined medical school just like he had dreamt as a child. He enjoyed every bit of his studies for the six years there. He got posted to a government hospital not far from Nairobi and every weekend he managed to visit his now aging mother. His mother was happy that his son turned-out alright, there was nothing she treasured more than her son. They made memories eating out, doing road trips and playing board games late into the night. It was during these bonding moments that Spag got to be told who his father was. They even planned to visit him someday.

One morning a phone call from Spags paternal aunt revealed that the father had passed on the previous night. He had been ailing for a while but his death was not expected to be that soon. Spags mother was sad, sad because she secretly still loved him.(why she didn’t remarry) and because her poor son was now never going to meet him. She called to inform him and there was a long silence from the other end of the phone but when he finally spoke he said “It is well, at least I’ll get a chance to bury him.”

Mother and son drove from the city at 5:00am. Their plan was to get to the burial at 10:00am. There was no talking in the car only music. Rhumba. Spag liked driving to rhumba. His mother only gave him direction by pointing where to make a turn. It had been years but she still remembered the roads well. It was in this county by the blue posho mill that she met Thomas. He was to be the love of her life and the father to her son. A kilometer later and she saw the blue posho mill. She asked her son to stop. He stopped and she turned to look at the building, still painted blue 32yrs later. Memories of how she met him clouded her mind.

They got to the home and sat in a tent where the aunt who made a phone call directed them. Spag was a bit uncomfortable with the way most of the people who came to greet him and his mother quipped that he was an exact copy of his father. The ceremony begun and when the pastor was done speaking the introduction of family members started. Somewhere in the middle of the introduction Spag heard the name Abubakar Kalii. He turned, removed is sun glasses and confirmed that it was actually Abu the bully back in high school. It was him. His heart raced from the shock of this discovery.

After the whole family had been introduced, Spag’s mother was asked to stand and say something. She stood and introduced her son who only few people knew about. Dr. Tyson Kalii. Abu stood up when he heard that name to confirm that it was indeed Spag’s name he had heard. He could see that it was him though not skinny as he was back then. His heart raced, he was ashamed of how he used to treat Spag back in the days. He was very confused. How could he be his brother, just how? Had he not been in this confusion of thoughts maybe he would have heard it from Spag’s mom who narrated how she came to meet Spags father.

Abu walked out of the ceremony when it was over and took a stroll down the nearby river and cried like he never did before. He cried for his father ,he cried for his sins and for his brother whom he treated bad and who seemed to have been blessed more for he turned out to be a doctor and he just a struggling entrepreneur in the village; the owner of the blue posho-mill.





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