Normal 24 year olds in Kenya are up to a lot! A majority are busy hustling in the back streets of Nairobi, Nyeri, Nakuru, oh hell from wherever corner of the country they might be. Some are in the deepest of panya-routes in the informal settlements like Kibera trying to make at least 70 bob per day so they can afford to have a decent ugali & mboga meal in pursuit of kusukuma wiki! Some are in universities and colleges, trying to excel in their studies so they can literally hit the tarmac road in search for jobs and with it a secure future as the society has defined the circle of life. Some rather lucky or hardworking lot have white collar jobs, at least with that they are able to earn some decent salary to sustain expenditures, needs and allow some entertainment here and there. There is however another group that’s engulfed in societal evils like drug abuse, indulgence in criminal activities, sexual and reproductive health complications, from HIV infections, maternal deaths, FGM to STD’s vulnerability.

24 year old Samuel Wanjiru came first. Not only in the world of marathons but in the world of 20 year olds among many in Kenya. How many Kenyans in their 20’s have broken such world records and with that managed to become instant heroes/ billionaires? Let’s not forget with it demands strenuous activity, diligence and discipline. It’s definitely not a walk in the park, on the contrary I hear it’s months of training in the high altitudes of Eldoret among other undisclosed locations in the world.

From a distance Samuel’s seemed like the perfect picture story. A record-breaking talented good-looking young man, billions of money in the bank, a hero’s welcome well stocked with Mursik (traditional Kalenjin brewed milk) on arrival at the JKIA airport, a bunch of pretty litu girls showering him with bouquets of rose flowers, well arranged in between lilies and carnations (even though he might have not noticed the mix), a wife by his side, the traditional skin Kalenjin regalia with a bow and arrow, just to mention a few. Back in Nyahururu were his big cars, palatial home with servants. Why can’t I have my own servant? LOL! What else would you need if you were Samuel Wanjiru? I don’t think I would need anything, eeeer ok other than a private DJ to throw parties in my BIGASS house, well I would also hire a few males swtrippers for the weekly ladies hen nights…. Mhhh…

Some say that money can’t buy love, while others rival that saying; those who have it must know where to shop. Did you ever sit and think about it, it might have been the case that where to shop was metaphorical…  It was obvious that paradise was troubled in December 2010 when Samuel was arrested and detained in Nyahururu police station for allegedly threatening his wife and servant’s life and procession of an illegal firearm. Why would he have a rifle? If you ask me, I think he was paranoid, I wonder why. That gun procession was a red flag! I think that at that time, he should have sort some psychiatric help ASAP! I am certain that he would have been more than able to pay Dr. Frank Njenga anything.

Its rather sad that Wanjiru died, and in very mysterious circumstances. In the wee morning hours of May 15th 2011, he fell off his balcony and finally succumbed to the injuries. Following the dramatic events between him, his wife and mistress, the case has since become the home of speculation as different camps have cited either suicide OR homicide. I cite a means to an end. What’s yours? Money, Lust, Happiness, Wealth, Power, Friendship, Charity? When Samuel was alive he practically made his means of living through running, it’s life’s ironic twist that his means of demise was while jumping the balcony. It is far much ironic that the celebrated son of Kenya would turn to be a laughing stock soon after his death as the social internet world flooded with jokes ridiculing his death. I would think that such a young blood and hardworking sports-person who had at many times carried high the Kenyan flag around the world, would have a hero’s send off similar to how he was received while alive.

What is wrong with Kenyans? That they would find something to joke about after such a sad blow to the Kenya sports arena and the country at large? I wish that if people had nothing good to say they would at least look at their lives and Wanjiru’s in comparison and contrast so as to learn something. That hard work sure does pay off! Talent should be recognized and nurtured. I love a quote that says “If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy” It can’t buy you honesty. That’s why he had a wife and was still with a mistress in bed. It can’t buy sanity. That’s why he underestimated the distance between his balcony and the ground. It can’t buy life. That’s why no money would keep him alive after the injuries he sustained. Anyone would like to have everything Samuel Wanjiru had, a good life. But was it really that good?

No one really knows of the intent behind Samuel’s unprecedented fall but I know one thing that I am thankful for the life I have. You should be content with yours. The difference between Samuel and the array of 20 year olds or any other person (after all age is nothing but a number) is simple: he has set an example looking at his achievements, he was far ahead of even half of most of his counterparts achievements. Thats why the idiots who indulged in the Samuel Wanjiru tasteless jokes should be ashamed of their pathetic sense of humour! Since his death, the additional difference is that: the rest have lives to live, he doesn’t. So how about you get working at whatever you do because you have a chance to live another day, a chance to right your wrongs and yes you have a right to be wrong, its life. Next time you are caught between a rock and a hard place, look at your life. It’s far greater than any achievement or the world. So try relax:  breath in and out, whatever you do, do not jump!

R.I.P Samuel Kamau Wanjiru (10 November 1986 – 15 May 2011)

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