27 Aug Is “Ipo Siku” finally here?
By Gabriel Dinda
When Sahara Abdi and I joined residents of Rwadhia village in Kangema for Solomon Muya’s ‘homecoming’ in November 2018, I felt very emotional.
The speakers narrated how it took the whole village to raise Solomon and how disciplined he still is. While this statement has been figurative in many contexts, for Solomon, it was literal. Solomon’s parents died soon after he was born and from then on, he started the journey to “Ipo Siku” which would, on this day, lead him to bring people together to celebrate the launch of his book and his graduation. While for many, graduation or completion of studies is normal and usual, it was a dream come true for residents of Rwadhia Village. They were proud of the child they raised rotationally (he lived in eight homes and as some point, including Mwiki Mercy Children’s Home).
In the crowd was an old and jovial granny. I later came to realize that she was the pillar in Solomon’s life. After the death of Solomon’s parents, she took care of “Suleiman” as she refers to him. Unfortunately, because of lapse in memory and eyesight, she can’t remember Solomon anymore.
Many people in Kenya can relate to Solomon’s life, however, few will relate to his resilience and hope. “Where do you get the energy to keep going?” I one time asked him, when he sent me a Kiswahili manuscript for publishing. When I sent him the script upon evaluation by the editor, Solomon only took a night to send the revised script. This is the manuscript which would later be published by Writers Guild Kenya as “Ipo Siku”.
Jabali, the main character in “Ipo Siku” is a young man born in abject poverty. He, however, is greatly hopeful about the future.
“Is this your story?” I asked Solomon.
“You will get to know whether this is my story or not when I finally write my autobiography.” While he didn’t out rightly accept or deny, Jabali and Solomon share a lot, especially hard work and undaunted hope for the future.
I met Solomon at MMUST in Kakamega in 2015 when we had gone to launch a branch of Writers Guild Kenya in the western town. Ours was ‘love at first talk”. We thought we would achieve much more together. With this, Solomon came home and joined the journey of Hope-Writers Guild Kenya. He would later confess that this was one of the best decisions he has made.
Solomon got introduced to the clarion call, ‘Let’s keep trying”, a call inspiring all of us by reminding us to put our best efforts in every pursuit we undertake after praying about them. Through the journey, Solomon would later meet people and nurture an idea to pursue a Scholarship in Mass Communication in the United States of America.
With nothing but hope, we encouraged him to pray about it and give it a try-his best human efforts. With the help of numerous people in the process (people we believe were directed by God), Solomon finally secured a chance and started his fully paid scholarship and Graduate Assistantship engagement with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
While Solomon denies that this is not the “Ipo Siku” which he has been praying and working towards, I see a great correlation between the events. The depth of Solomon’s hope is one that can only be inspired by God.
Solomon tells me that he can’t tell his story without shedding tears-not because of his regrets for the past but because of his immense gratitude to people who have held his hands. He tells me that one day he will write a book with the title, “Ever so grateful” and in the book, he will enlist all those who have held his hands.
Solomon’s story is greatly inspiring to us because in all honesty, he has personified all that we believe in. He has taken everything we write on paper and done it. May you be motivated to pray about and give your best to that which you have thought about for so long. May this encourage you if your background have resemblance with that of Solomon that the world is our playground and we should play on it. “Ipo siku”
Gabriel Dinda is the founder of Writers Guild Kenya.