Once upon a time in the village of Isongo, there was born a male child by the name of Obiero from the family of Munialo. Obiero was charming and vibrant and deed strange things that made those around him happy and joyful all day long. His energy and synergy thrilled everyone and made them wonder what sort of a child this was. Right from that tender age, his antics made everyone believe that he was destined for success.
Unlike most of his peers who were mostly dormant and docile, Obiero played all day long and kept his mother and those charged with the responsibility of taking care of him on their toes from sun rise to sun set. According to many, this was a good sign as it helped his parents know when he was in a good state or not. When sickness creped in, for instance, he would become reserved and dormant hence medical attention would be sort immediately. This was however on very rare occasions as such a vibrant child could hardly fall into the traps of illnesses most common with toddlers his age.
As days turned into weeks and weeks into months, the boy grew and become even more amazing. He began school at a tender age of just two years and three months. Tutors in his school were left bewildered at how prompt he was in grasping concepts and executing them to the end with minimal supervision. In that regard, Obiero was found to be a prodigy of sorts as he excelled in various fields: academic, sports and entertainment.
He passed his final exams in standard eight with flying colours and joined a reputable national school in the city known for its excellence in academics. While there, he even bettered his grades and was elevated to the highest post any student could hold in a school while still in form two. A position only held by form four students since the school’s inception. He became an enigma in the school and a role model for many. Every student aspired to excel like him and impress both their teachers and parents in all aspects. He became respected and adored in equal measures.
Obiero nevertheless, did not let all these accolades go into his head and distract his course. He remained humble even as a leader and was always there to offer assistance and advice to his fellow students in order to better their performance. To say the truth, Obiero was an all-round person that any parent could wish for.
However, things begun to take a different twist when he entered form three much to the dismay of many. Tragedy upon tragedy struck one by one without notice. First it was his dad then later his beloved mother. His dad who was a renowned farmer across the village and beyond developed a chronic illness and efforts to save him from the jaws of death proved futile as he succumbed to death within three months. This left Obiero and his family totally devastated as their sole bread winner had passed on. No sooner had he buried his dad than his mother followed suit within a fortnight.
Villagers say that the death of her husband –Munialo- had overwhelmed her to the point of throwing in the towel considering the challenges she had to face of raising up her six children alone with the harsh economic conditions they were facing. These sudden deaths were a huge blow to Obiero and he had to leave school for months in order to mourn and ensure his parents had a decent send off to the next world. Being the first born in a family of six, all responsibilities of taking care of his younger siblings fell squarely on his shoulders and this had a severe effect on him.
As times went by, the little money that their parents had left behind ran out and they could no longer sustain themselves. They had to skip meals and at times do odd jobs like cultivating people’s lands and fetching fire wood in order to irk a living. These rapid measures however did not work for them as they received merger wages. Some of the people they had to work for even ended up not paying them and this demoralised them completely to the point of despair. Eventually, Obiero had to drop out of school as he could not manage to sustain himself there and his siblings. His dreams of finishing high school had quickly vanished. Obiero finally entered into a state of depression as he was over burdened by responsibilities. He began seeking refuge in drugs and alcohol abuse and consequently became an addict. To add salt to the wound, Obiero begun seeking short cuts to end his family’s miseries. He began indulging in theft to put food on the table as the easiest means to salvage his family from the pangs of hunger.
Rumours started spreading in the village like wild fire that the late Munialo’s family had been cursed or bewitched due to the sins of their ancestors and they became the laughing stalk of the village. Some said that one of their forefathers on the father’s side had offended the village gods by refusing to offer them sacrifice as was the norm while others said that their mother’s side was to blame. However, the truth of the matter was unknown and it remained a mystery to many.
Things reached boiling point when Obiero’s evil deeds escalated from stealing food to animals and the villagers could not take it any longer. “Enough was enough,” they concluded and vowed to take a stern action that would bring Obiero’s stealing to a drastic halt. They staged a trap for Obiero one Friday evening and he was caught red handed stealing their neighbour’s goat. The hungry mob pounced on him baying for his blood and had the village askaris not arrived on time, the poor guy would have been beaten to death. They arrived in the nick of time while he was being stoned to death following a tip off from one of the villagers. But he was severely wounded and had to be rushed to hospital for treatment.
It was while in this critical state that Obiero had time to meditate upon his life. Being a Christian, he realised that he had been a disgrace to his siblings and that God had given him a second chance in life. Though life had been unfair to them in many ways, he noted that violence and irresponsible behaviour only exaggerated their plight rather than solving it. By the time he was being discharged from hospital, he had resolved to turn over a new leaf. Fortunately, the owner of the stolen goat who had been a great friend and foe of his father decided to drop the charges against him. He had learnt his lesson the hard way but it was better late than never at all.
Obiero embarked on toiling hard once again by doing manual labour and became a jack of all trades. He stopped looking for excuses and fended for his family with the little money he was able to salvage. After working for a year and saving enough money, Obiero opened up a kiosk at the village centre and it blossomed within no time thanks to his knowledge in mathematics. People flocked at his shopping premises like bees on a beehive and his tainted reputation became restored once again. He managed to enrol his siblings back to school and they continued with their education without a hitch.
His business prowess grew day by day and became famous country wide to the point that he begun securing government tenders to supply stationeries, food items and electronics. Later he expanded his wings to also include construction services and hired both skilled and unskilled manpower to carry out the chores as he provided the necessary materials. Obiero’s efforts not only helped sustain his family but also led to the creation of employment for the villagers of Isongo and as a result, helped in the elimination of poverty in his village. As his profits increased and overflowed like a flooded river, he started his own school with the sole purpose of helping the needy students in his society who could not afford school fees.
His love for education necessitated him to re-join school later on and after completing is high school, he later joined university where he pursued a Business and Administration course. He emerged the best graduate with the highest score ever to have been recorded in the faculty. Indeed, Obiero was a born genius and success followed him everywhere he went. All this Obiero gave credit to God and never thumped his chest. His siblings also did exceptionally well in their various fields and pursued other careers.
Obiero became a mentor and a father figure to many. He became an icon in his village as he had helped raise the village to greater heights in terms of economic development and education achievement. To date, Isongo – no longer a village – is among the richest towns in the country and attracts both local and international tourists eager to learn about its rapid development.