random thoughts of a tapered brain

18 Years on…A tribute to my dad.

Years ago a child was born in the hilly fertile slopes of Mt. Kenya.

His parents named him Dickson Kabugu Mutegi.

I called him dad.

He must have been diligent from his early days since, I believe, some traits are innate and cannot be learnt on the job. He was studious in school and responsible at home – as was clearly evidenced in his later years.

Back in Chuka,  he herded my granny’s goats and cattle as was the duty of all the young lads. Kicking away at stones on his path, cracking jokes with his “crew” while keeping one eye fixed on the grazing beasts must have been the perfect routine for him.

(My mom once owned a single goat, tugging on its rope, milking it and feeding it wasn’t a stroll in the park for the modernized chaps we felt we were.  I would have suffered a slow death had the animal dared give birth! I made sure it was not “chotwad” by roaming males because its pregnancy would be my end).

But the Lord above had special plans for this particular young man.

Fate too was in a good mood as his older sister, on realizing that their parents couldn’t afford to spend too much on fees, let her schooling chance go to her sibling.

Talk about self sacrifice.

Probably buoyed by the need to qualify his sister’s sacrifice, he did pretty well in school – studying with the likes of Justice Muga Apondi and Dr John Khaminwa.

Ikuu Boys High, Alliance High and lastly University of Nairobi were the institutions that ‘sharpened’ him.

He studied Law.
He went on to become a respected lawyer (at home we jokingly compare him to Danny Crane of that time) as his brilliance saw him ascend ranks in the so called “corridors of justice”.

He was promoted to a Senior Resident Magistrate in the Nyeri Law courts after serving under the likes of Justice Ang’awa (believe me, you don’t want her for a neighbour) and with Judges Hatari Waweru and Samuel Mukunya.

I still remember running around the offices at the courts – occasionally pausing my play to pity the handcuffed and heavily-guarded suspects arriving for trial. To me, the maze of offices at the courts was just another playground which was to be properly utilized.
He was a wonderful father, a man full of love for family, friends and strangers too. While travelling upcountry, we had an extra vehicle tag along packed with food to be distributed randomly to villagers who had grown to recognize the blue Peugeot that every once in a while left the comfort of the city roads, to tackle the earth roads in Kirege and Iramba villages.

A man of the people perhaps?

He would cook for his wife on random occasions with Labour Day being the only appointed “Dad’s kitchen” day. However, most of the cooking happened outdoors with goat meat grilling over an open fire.

Friday’s was boys night out as me and my bro @kirigalll spent them at the golf club watching him swat away his snooker opponents and win several prizes. The “that’s my old man look” becoming somewhat permanent.

I don’t remember what the girls of the house used to get. I lived for Fridays.

Though gifted with love and the ability to show it, dad was never one to shy away from disciplining an errant child. My bullying ways that saw the house help wash me for longer years than my dad had directed were brought to a spanking stop.

The one incident that makes mom brighten up is when he stood up for her at the all-male golf clubs back in the day. Hanging out in the golf course bars was a no-no for the ladies until my dad told the men off that he had come to enjoy himself and his wife was a big part of that. The status quo was rattled.

I also once missed out on a 1 week trip to the Maasai Mara for throwing a plateful of githeri to the floor. The house help snitched out again – I had lost my rule over her.

Home was one busy place.

Too many animals met their death at his hands – to our enjoyment.
Dad, you left behind a great family with an awesome lady at the helm. Mom is one of a kind and yes, she still looks 16.

Grace Kaari is now Mrs Gitau. Faith and I managed impressive grades at campus. Paul (@Kirigalll) too is fine; he took your name to some madmen site called Twitter.

He has since cleared campus and starts his first big job next week.

James (@wa_mutegi) too is waiting to join campus after scoring an A-. another lawyer in the making like his elder bro I reckon.
Its 18 years since you left you and thought the pain wanes with time, memories and ‘I wish’ do not.
Though we don’t question God’s actions, we are allowed an occasional we wish you were here to see how grown up we have all become.

Your beard genes haunt me on a weekly basis while the other boys walk around sporting 3 hairs in the name of a goatee.  The family parrot – Faith – can charm herself out of a terrorist hijacking.

The Nairobi courts were closed on his burial day as the men of the corridors of power were shifted to his rural home.

A befitting tribute to a man destined to be great, if he had not achieved it already!



21 responses

  1. Kenneth Gikonyo(@KennehGee)

    My brother this is a wonderful piece right here and I’m sure Dad’s really happy where he is-its really touching.

    July 29, 2011 at 19:25

    • thanks. i hope this post inspires me to resume my blogging ways.

      August 1, 2011 at 16:21

  2. Pingback: 18 Years on…A tribute to my dad. (via human_coloseum) « mycluelessthoughts

  3. jenny

    i don’t remember him…but i know he is mighty proud wherever he is….u guys are the best kids a mum could have ( i think!!)

    August 4, 2011 at 14:27

    • best kids a mom would have? that’s a huge compliment. will pass it on to her.

      August 4, 2011 at 15:29

  4. gatwiri

    i remember him and his wow!habits of ending the lives of animals in the compound..infact the last time we visited your place before he left us we had come for ‘mburi kwa mutegi’ …kwa mama Kaari..may he rest in eternal

    August 4, 2011 at 16:36

  5. Mukiri

    I still remember Baba kaari from Busia days! The nyama choma is still fresh. I remember when our parents would combine us kids in one house as the mamas chatted. In the Muthuri house we still reminisce of those days. Mom keeps asking whether we have ever met any of you guys again. Thank GOD for social sites! I traced Kaari through a mutual friend. Good to know that you followed in your dad’s steps. I would definately love to see you guys again as i know Nene and Mutuma!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:10

    • He was a great man Dad….The lady in his life is equally amazing.

      July 31, 2012 at 17:02

  6. wow, a wonderful man indeed; a touching story!!!You painted a perfect picture!!!!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:35

  7. I feel like I’ve known him for a while…

    January 8, 2012 at 07:01

  8. Pingback: IT’S NOT MOTHER’S DAY? « Kiriga III's Blog

    • Kumbe ata wewe ulikuwa hapa?

      July 31, 2012 at 16:30

  9. Joanne Njeri Kobuthi

    Misty eyed.this is a very well written and emotional piece.

    July 31, 2012 at 15:50

    • Where are you? I have some tissues I could share. Thanks though for passing by.

      July 31, 2012 at 16:30

  10. Anita

    Beautiful piece..not to mention that my father is a kiriga, also departed, and that ours too is a family of lawyers..i think i shud rename maself to kirigaressIV..Did i mention he also hails frm meru…i could nt hav associated with this post more

    July 31, 2012 at 17:52

    • Kiriga? Are we related? hehe. Thanks for passing by though.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:31

  11. So i read this and i was teared up at the end….

    August 9, 2012 at 09:05

    • I hope we are not crying any more…

      August 10, 2012 at 10:32

  12. Anne Wachira

    oooh wow! this is reallygood

    September 26, 2012 at 16:14

    • Thank You Anne.

      Sadly,I have since stopped blogging.

      Work finally caught up with me!

      April 25, 2013 at 19:14

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