My phone abruptly stopped ringing, Governor Gakuru’s PA

I met the late Wahome Gakuru at the University of Nairobi in 2010. He was a lecturer at the University and I was pursuing degree in Finance. We became friends when he learnt we shared names and that we shared a backyard.

He would later invite me to a Nyeri County Professionals meeting where he was the coordinator.

We worked together during his campaigns for governor in 2013, which he narrowly lost and in 2017 which he won.

He then appointed me his personal assistant. Little did I know that he would be gone so soon.

I have no recollection of the accident that claimed this brilliant leader. We had slept late the previous night so I was sound asleep in the car as we drove to Nairobi that fate full morning.

I actually spoke with the Governor for the last time at Makuyu when he switched on the car radio to listen to newspaper reviews.  I learnt two days later when I woke up in hospital that our car was involved in a horror accident and that the Governor was dead.

I was later told that after the accident, I stepped out of the car and started helping the governor, driver and security guard. Witnesses took photos of me bleeding and part of my hand lying on the tarmac. To this day, I don’t know where that piece of my hand went.

Fortunately, I was spared the horror of looking at the photos of the grisly accident that were doing the rounds on social media because I stayed without a phone in hospital on doctors’ orders.

Though I followed the story on television, I saw the gruesome photos after eight weeks. I shared a ward with three other patients, and though they didn’t know me, they discussed about the accident and how traumatising the photos of the tragic accident were.

I dread bumping into those photos. They bring such painful flashbacks. But what hurt most was learning that a local politician and a friend had posted “RIP” messages on my Facebook page. My closest friend who is a popular vernacular radio presenter announced that I was dead.

On hearing that, my sister fainted while my mother who was unaware of the accident was so traumatised that she travelled from Nyeri to Nairobi and waited till midnight to see me being wheeled from theatre to prove I was alive.

To assure people that I was alive, we prepared a mass at Nyeri. I travelled there on a Sunday after I left theatre on Friday, and the following day I was back in theatre. I don’t know why Kenyans spread information that they haven’t ascertained to be true. It is so sadistic and crass, especially where it involves the life of a human being.

Although I was in extreme pain and in trauma, I attended the governor’s funeral accompanied by a doctor. It is the least I could do for a man I had grown to love and respect.

My injured left hand remained on my abdomen but what people did not know was that doctors had cut open my abdomen and pushed my hand there and stitched so as I healed in the stomach, so did my hand. It remained stitched inside my belly for eight weeks.

And then you know what? My phone stopped ringing. Before the tragedy, I used to be bombarded by calls to the extent that I was forced to switch off the phone to tend to my private life. All kinds of people rung me regularly. But when the governor died, they forgot I existed. They just vanished…

A friend I helped pay university fees for, accommodation and get Sh150,000 when his wife was sick run away from me. He has not as much as texted me to-date.

At least I hoped such people would visit me, call or text to give me hope. I didn’t want money from them but compassion.

Interestingly, the few who came to my rescue were not my close friends before the accident. One of them raised cash from friends and gave it to my wife. Others visited me but and even without mentioning it would buy stuff needed at home and hospital and give them to my wife. I came to learn about their acts of kindness later.

Others visit, but our encounters end up hurting me more when they remind me how I interacted with who-is-who only months back yet I am now struggling.