‘Mokungu Ogotonda- Fare Thee Well Grandpa

‘Mokungu ogotonda

Agateba gachi obonge

Akabonga saa nane

Saa tisa akainoka

Mabwoga ekamobwoga

Ekamoura ekenyatta

Gachi otebi omogaka omonene

Omonyene emberesi

Ngai Obara achire?

Ochire Borumbeta

Koburugera ebiasi

Amo nemeringamu

Baba ng’ina Okemwa

Rika Akarube

Gatare Nairobi

Kayaya ninchu bwango Nyoko Oitire Oboko

Kayaya ninchu bwango Nyoko Oitire Oboko

Kayaya ninchu bwango Nyoko Oitire Obokoooooo.

‘Omokungu Ogotonda’ is a Kisii song by the late James Nyanumba Mariga (My grand father).

I still don’t know the meaning of this song or what it meant to soki (grand pa) but he made us sing it every time we went to visit him. He was a great man, a sweetheart and a literature geek. He read all sorts of books; the bible, books of health, religious books and even joined us in analyzing the set books we did in school. Sometimes I wonder how such an old man could memorize ‘The Merchant of Venice’ A set book with the English most of us feared. Even so… it seemed so easy for grandpa.

He was a living legend.

His loss came too soon, but the stories and songs he told and sung are still fresh in our hearts like it’s yesterday.

Fare thee well Sokoro.

Till we meet.