MY STORY: I watched my dad being shot dead
As much as I was just a few years old, I couldn’t help but admire the strong bond that existed between dad and mum.
The way they held hands and kissed, the way they teased each other, the way they went for evening walks and such like things. This actually made me look forward to getting married someday. I felt in my heart that indeed marriage was a beautiful thing.
My father was a security man at one of the most famous restaurants in town. He used to alternate guarding the place with his colleagues. With the little money he got, he was able to provide for us, his family.
My mum, on the other hand, worked hard in her green grocery business which wasn’t far away from the rented house that we lived in.
Being the firstborn in a family of three, I constantly felt challenged to work extra hard at school so that in the future I would try to make my parents lead a more comfortable life. I used to wake up early and help my younger siblings get ready for school and also help mum with a little bit of the house chores before leaving for school.
When I was in class four, roughly ten years old, dad mentioned to me that he and mum were planning to put up a house since the rent and the cost of living had become too high.
My dad and I were very close; we were more of friends than daughter and dad. My parents had saved some money to buy a plot for the purpose of setting up our home. After consulting with friends and relatives, my father now had some idea of where he could get some affordable piece of land.
Having done that, he made an agreement with a certain gentleman who agreed to sell him a 100x100m piece of land at Sh200,000. They agreed on all the financial plans and we to meet on a set date to finalize the deal.
One fine Saturday morning, we all went to the bank where father was to withdraw the money. Mum and I were so excited. We waited for him outside as he went in. A few minutes later he walked out and we started walking down the lonely street to meet the gentleman who was supposed to sell us the land. This is when disaster struck.
Four armed men approached us, they ordered my dad to give them the briefcase containing the money. My mum attempted to scream for help but she was silenced with two slaps. Dad tried pleading with them explaining how desperately he needed the money and how hard they had worked for it but those men were heartless. To them, he was wasting their time since they could be found robbing us any minute.
In that confusion, one man pulled a gun out of his pocket and shot my dad. We watched him fall to the ground. Before we realized it, the men were gone. All we saw was a black car being driven at a high speed disappear in the horizon.
We started screaming and shouting for help. My mum, who was expecting, went down on her knees to feel my dad’s pulse. The look in her eyes said it all. He was gone. With that realization, she passed out.
That was the most heartbreaking day of my life. At times I tend to think, hard work doesn’t pay.
Phylis A. Tambasi writes for Content Production Media, a Nairobi based Media Company that creates elegant content for print, online platforms, film and television.