When Jiji’s father died, we were all upset. He was a generous man and everyone at school loved him. He was one of our favourite parent; mainly because he always came bearing gifts for the whole class, but also because he was genuinely sweet and generous. I had benefited most from his generosity because I was Jiji’s closest friend.
She was not really upset when her mother came to tell her the news of his death. Her reaction was not odd at all, at least not to me. He had been sick close to three years now and Jiji always prayed that he would rest in peace. She was heartbroken by the immense pain he was undergoing in his sick bed. The doctors had advised that they do euthanasiain order to ease his pain and also to help someone else who needed the vital organs, but his parents had refused. They in fact claimed that Wairimu, Jiji’s mother, had plans to kill their son.
Her father having the nerve to marry a kikuyu woman did not augur well with his people and when they continually fought her cause wrangles, he moved his family from Siaya to Nairobi. This created more problems but at least it was not on a daily basis. Another thing they detested was that Wairimu had decided to have only one child, who unfortunately turned out to be a girl, which meant that there was no male child to carry on their name and also inherit the massive wealth their son had acquired. He had apartments all over the Nairobi suburbs, car hire services, plots of land and an audit firm. Wairimu on the other hand owned a chain of salons and an advertising agency which was doing very well.
Nyandenga, Jiji’s grandmother always felt that Wairimu had gotten married to her son because of his wealth but the main reason she really hated her was because he had refused to marry the woman she had presented to him. When his illness struck and the doctors could not treat him, she claimed that his wife was responsible for his ailment. Suggesting to euthanasiajust made matters worse. Wairimu was a strong woman. She dedicated her strength to her sick husband and held her neck high even when everyone else spoke ill of her. Jiji’s father also helped. As much as he was bed ridden, he was still able to talk and his hands were also able to work normally. His legs and spinal cord were the main problem.
Jiji did not go home immediately which kept me wondering whether she was not going to attend the funeral or not. She was more worried about her mother because her In-laws hated her. She was sure that her grandmother and her uncles were going to take everything from her mother and leave her penniless. There was also the issue of their customary wife inheritance. Jiji was sure that her mother would be remarried to one of her uncles, not because they wanted her in the family but because it would give them an opportunity to make her life a living. Jiji had no problem with them. In fact her grandmother adored her very much like she was her very own.
When Wairimu finally came to take Jiji to attend the funeral, she had already handled her in laws. I call it a gift from God; some may say survival for the fittest. Wairimu had sold all the apartments they owned. She also sold the audit firm shares to one of her husband’s bosom friend and sold off some of the cars in the car hiring business. The rest of the cars she transferred ownership to her husband’s only sister. She was always nice to her. She also sold of the house they were living in and bought another one where she relocated to. To the plots of land, her in laws did not know of their existence and so she planned to build up more houses from the money she acquired from selling the apartments. She then informed her mother in law that her husband had passed away.
Jiji’s uncles went to Nairobi in full swing after hearing the about their brother’s death but they found another person at their brother’s house. They were dumbfounded. No one could tell how Wairimu had managed to sell their brother’s property so quickly. They reported the matter to the police but Wairimu was exonerated by her husband’s will. He had left her everything that they owned. He had left his mother two million shillings and the rest of his money; he had left it to Jiji for her education up to the level she would desire and the rest for her to inherit after she turned 25 years old. His brothers were left dumbfounded. They tried to prevent Wairimu from attending her husband’s funeral but the village elders intervened. Karma hit them hard and left them to ride the wind.