OneStepBeyond: An Unsettling Dream

hiv huawei

I feel forgiven and relieved right now. I have sure pardoned myself and my conscience for attending to a worst dream ever in my life last night. Ok an awkward dream at that. Everyone who know me can curse whatever triggered a dream of such description. Because they are aware I can’t do whatever I did in the dream. Well, I dreamt that I torched our high school dormitory. In the dream, I saw the boarding master and the head prefect furnishing me with an expulsion letter. A white letter. At night.

I was given a few minutes ultimatum to pack and leave school premises. In the view of the entire students body, I saw myself collecting my stuff in disbelief. At this time, students formed in small groups discussing my unusual social impropriety in low tones. A good boy gone awry.

Dreams are queer. You should know however, that I did not burn any dorm. I was accused. Anyway, a dorm was burnt, Omamo dormitory. This nightmare marveled me and had me ask myself several questions. Why me? You know it takes two to tango and I expected to be in a group. A group of bad boys. It beats logic how the teacher and the prefect singled me out. The duo must have been stalwart anti-Moses Auma, so I thought.

I don’t have any history of violent acts. I’m always cool. And gentle. I don’t believe in the use of violence to address my problems. You have heard a story about a carpenter who believes that every challenge is a nail and the solution is the hammer. So, he would use a hammer to address a mosquito bite. I believe in dialogue. The dream did not respect the fundamental things I believe in.


Maybe I should have dreamt giving a public lecture before the president of Kenya, articulating the woes of Kenyan youths and their possible solutions. How we have been marginalised, used and abused. Tossed to the back seat and the drivers seat taken by fogeys of an outgoing generation who can’t even see the road properly. I mean state appointments where the same old faces are given jobs while the youths are encouraged to venture into social entrepreneurship and create jobs for fellow Kenyans.


Governments front youth agenda as a priority but in practices, the promises are cosmetic.

There is nothing as off-putting to Kenyan youths now as the clamour to be job creators rather than job seekers. But no one gives you the cash to create a job. Paradoxical. Bitter but it is what dominates graduation speeches. The adult world around us is no longer creative or innovative, create jobs, create jobs, create jobs has become their mantra – without giving alternative courses of action.

Still, I should have dreamt myself giving a speech on women’s day, addressing gender-based violence, women under siege to be specific. You see, a woman, a Mrs Mwende just got her hands severed and face sliced a few weeks ago in Machakos. Adding to the soaring list of women domestically abused. One got a knife lodged in the cheeks some days past, something that gave her the rare opportunity to board a chopper, ferried from Wajir to Kenyatta National hospital in Nairobi for treatment.

Or still, I should have been addressing food insecurity in Africa. Statistically asserting the number of children going to bed hungry each day. Highlighting how Africans use a huge chunk of their income on basic food stuffs. More than 50%. And therefore, the need for increased food supplies distribution.

The dream saw it fit for me to engage in arson, an offence punished heavily. I should ask my friend, lawyer James Lesikito how many years I could probably spend behind bars. Or the amount of bond I could pay, if any. To atone for my sins.

When I woke up at 3:45 Am. Heaving and sweeting profusely. The first thing I did was laughing. Oh a neighbour heard me. I marvelled at how a national disaster can sometimes dominate the dream of an average Kenyan. You should know that, this year, Kenya got into the Guinness book of records. Sadly for wrong reasons. We have produced a generation of arsonists. Our schools have been burnt. Almost all of them.

My school’s dormitory caught a mysterious fire in 2013, just a week before we could sit our university tests. It was not in the papers. No journalist is interested in covering the affairs of small schools. They would rather tell you how a confused form one at Starehe Boys Centre asked the school storekeeper to keep him his leftovers in the school’s main store or how a teacher spilt tea in his pants at Moi Forces Academy. The fire happened at 8:13 pm. I was in our library-like structure reading Trans-Saharan trade.

Anyone who thinks about national issues is liable to conceive the weirdest of dreams and I find it quite natural to have burnt the dorm in my dream. That is having the state at heart, Isn’t it?

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