Ywak Brian Muga Rambo
I lost a close friend his name was Brian Muga and he was cooler than most — to me anyway. He loved to wore long jeans shorts, colorful tank tops and matching New Balance sneakers up and on Dudi streets on the hottest holidays. He always perched his Dancing-quality headphones on top of his bush and blasted Nas, Biggie or a member of the Wu Tang Clan. “Brian!” you would have to scream at the top of your lungs to get his attention, as the music leaked from the cushion covering his ears. He could rap, too, but we all wanted to make it to Harambee Stars We both liked football — that’s a common African dream that most of us rusty black boys share, generation after generation. We spend hours on the fields, beating the spit out of each other, trying to prove who's superior. Brian and I parted ways after one of those long nights of hooping and I never saw him again. They say he got AIDS when he moved to Kisumu. The bulk of my friends were saddened with the departure, I drunk and mourned his death for weeks. Dude was the topic of every conversation I had, all over my neighborhood, from when he passed On December holidays, well throughout the new year. And we used to get his name airbrushed on every radio interview I went. That was three years ago, years before new realities could hit me about life. I used social media, to write about his life and the moments. And admittedly, I don’t mourn in the same way I mourned Brian. Close friends and family members I lost became topic on my social media handles. I'm moved by losses . It sounds horrible, but it’s true. It’s almost as if the grief will bring them back to me. I’m fortunate enough to be a writer who travels in and about lecturing on the importance of reading and the power of critical thinking. My songs and writings have done well, and I get to introduce creative young people who didn’t see entertainment as an option before. Brian is the one who made me realize the potential my pen carries. He introduced me to literature and sports. He was there as a mentor and a brother. I'm writing this because dealing with violent deaths year in and year out has forced me to change. I embrace everyone with love, even people I had static with in the past, because life is too short. Every time I hit these funerals, and view the bodies, and hug the family, and comfort the children, and watch the songstress before listening to the sermon, I think about what I could have done better. Why are we always here? Did I tell them that I loved them and that they mattered before they passed on? As a result, I’m seizing every opportunity I have to connect with the people in my home town . I'm giving away love, eating extra plates together, hugging every grandmother and orphans, or trying to beat, everyone in every fun games like soccer, bicycle rides and Dance. I'm cheesing on every picture I take, because this might be our last year together. My Instagram account has been dormant for years and it's time to fill it with memories , I miss my fallen friends, so I’m vowing to work harder at celebrating the few who are left. I love y'all.