A police in Kenya can be posted in any part of the country.
That was the case for Sammy Ondimu Ngare who was transferred to Kibish a town in Northern Kenya almost years ago.
In the letter titled Goodbye Kibish, Ondimu recounts his disappointment upon learning of the transfer and the worry of living the ‘easy’ Nairobi life for the hardship area.
In the tribute, the officer reminisces of his play time with kids and how the elders would visit his camp to regale the officers with stories of their traditions.
He also recounts how he encouraged locals to send girls to school despite a culture that gives little attention to girl-child education.
Here’s the viral letter:
When I was posted here in Kibish,I was forlorn and devastated.My friends told me that the place was a dreaded far flung remote area at the apex of our boundary with Ethiopia. A place known for extreme insecurities,banditry attacks and gun-wielding cattle rustlers.
They also told me that Kibish people were unfriendly,uncooperative and conservatives.
My wife and kids received the news of my transfer with a rollercoaster of emotions.
After my wife had prayed for me,with a very heavy heart, I began my journey to this place,that I knew nothing about it.
I took a journey that took me days and nights traversing through precarious and dusty terrains.
Upon reaching, it didn’t take me long before I realized that people in Kibish were friendly and welcoming,and not as my friends had earlier told me.
They embraced me with open arms and warmth.
We would crack jokes, talk about everything in general and nothing in particular,all day long.
I thank you for letting your innocent kids walk into to our camp so that we could play cheeky together and laugh our heads off.
Your adorable kids reminded me about my lovely kids whom I had left at home.
In the scorching afternoon sun,I would sit with them in the shade of neem trees as they taught me basic Turkana words like Ejoka,Nyai,Nyanungache,Apese, Ejok noi Akuje, Aps Among others..
What amazing kids.
Mothers,wrapping themselves in lessos and glowing in megawatt smiles would bring me camel milk from the wilderness.
What lovely mothers!
Fathers and elders would sneak into our camp not only to spent with me but to also teach me on the good and wealthy histories of Kibish and also grim histories of this District bordering Ethiopia- How Ekiru was killed by Toposa bandits,how lethal Kibish young men neutralized and pushed back the stubborn cattle rustlers from Ethiopia etc.
Sitting down at night during our usual banters enjoying the dusty breeze and bright moonlight,the elders told me about the rich culture and traditions of Turkana’s.
Oh my,I remember that day when I told you about my desire to see all your girls get equal treatment as boys.
That conversation almost ripped our ties apart,but after severally convincing you on why a girl child needs education,you somehow nodded affirmatively.
As young as I was,you understood me,not as a person who had come to water down your traditions but as a person who had come to offer constructive advice.
You saw sense in my message and finally said enough of forced and underage marriages.
You allowed me to take your girls to school.
You also helped me reach out and rescued other little girls who had been married.
Your girls couldn’t hide their joy when they stepped into classrooms for their first time ,wearing new school uniforms,school bags wedged against their backs,and radiant smiles written all over their faces.
I cried when I saw girls suffering from exclusion every time they were on their menstrual periods.
They felt bad about themselves,their self esteem suffered big time and felt worthless.
However,I was filled with profound joy when I distributed the towels and saw smiles on the girls.
Oh man,I remember that morning when I was riding on a motorbike towards Kaikor town and saw an old lady crawling from her house looking emaciated and malnourished.
I stopped to check on her and shared her story.
In no time,my online family in their numbers took upon themselves and sacrificed their resources towards building Mama Asinyen a decent house.
Within 24hrs,Mama Asinyen had relocated to her own place and into a new house.
Even though Mama Asinyen didn’t live longer in the house,she died a happy woman.
That was my GREATEST achievement that will forever remain embedded in my memory and heart.
Well, after spending two years with you,duty calls that I have to pack my modest luggage and go elsewhere to serve other humanity.
I will forever treasure the sweet moments we enjoyed together, the memories we had and the rich lessons you taught me about life, courage,resilience and humility.
If I had not married,I could have left this cool place with one of your beautiful girls so that I could be coming here more often!
Forever, you will remain in my heart.
I will miss Kibish, a home far away from home.
See you soon,Kibish.
Kidongo nia jokon ngitunga Alokibish..