THE DEATH OF A HUNTER-Sketches from an onlooker (pen&paper)

A mother’s pride,a village’s encouragement,a hero in the making,a society’s hope of rescue;the arch nemesis of legends,even Luanda Magere would be jealous,that heroic stone or was it rock of a warrior?vision fails me if memory is still sound.

The village hero thus leaves the quiet,hilly homeland in jubilation and is escorted to high school with an entourage;a feast could have been made on his behalf were there enough funds to throw around.Poor situation though,education was a grind,a mountain to say in creation.A mountain whose mere foundations eroded the very depths and pits of finances.So today,an entourage the clan including chief and chief’s camp,sorry,the sub-chief I meant,has to escort the hero to high school.

Introduced into high school,a hero indeed he is,having scored a cool 431 out of the possible 500 marks attainable.That sure must have been a megascoop in an ocean of salt.A bonanza of fish were it the brown bears in the north in anticipation of winter.Did I mention winter?Now Jon Snow in Game of Thrones would sure understand when they say winter is coming ‘cuz the men of the night watch hence get no sleep….

So winter is coming and the hunter has to be prepared.

Away from that,the village hero soon realises that high school as it were ain’t no small boy’e fete.The chase soon becomes contrary to the wise saying which stated that the race ain’t for the swift nor food for the wise but time and chance happens to them all.

He thus revisits his stance and sure takes a long stare and pre-calculation of the racing track ahead.He sizes up all the giants around that he has to shoot and run down in this hunt and race.He not only needs bow in hand and arrow out of quiver but also wits beyond counter.

Swiftness soon counts and relentlessness makes for more in a world with so little prey.His competition is a pack of giants and he not only has them to beat but also an entire clan he can’t afford to fail;after all,a whole brigade if not battalion from his village brought him here,right?

The stage is set and the lad once hero finds a tight hunt and race twirled into one.1st year passes by and he isn’t as good a hero the legend Luanda Magere envied.He hasn’t met his villagers’ expectations and has to hunt better.

Hero returns into the next year and all concentration is put into paper whilst all else is thrown into air.No contacts,no friends.The hunter of giants now becomes friends with worms as head gets absorbed into books.

After all,he din’t come here with all the rest,his parents and village told him.He has to focus on his prey,leave the friends aside,sports ain’t your thing either…leave that to failures.Failures did I hear?Don’t forget that still winter is coming.

So hero becomes lad and worms become friends with book as ardent companion.Lad surely does a good four year race and hero is reborn as friends with worm and book surely yields fruits of success.

Another brigade soon leads delegation into higher learning as he is enrolled in University as village sings songs of praise.

Having learnt the lesson of swiftness,he is armed well,bow in hand,quiver on back and arrow in place.He must shoot for the stars and even a land on the moon would never suffice.After all,the jungle shows no mercy for slow hunters,does it now?

But,clubs do smell good with flow of party after party,though that would deter my race to success huh?and would the social gatherings be of any help?and what with a union with the student administrations and leaderships account for in my quest for good results?

Orientation illustrated that I need a mean of A and nothing else so as to land lucrative job positions.Right?

So hero takes a bow on knee,bow in hand and arrow out of quiver set into position.Target is aimed and bow gets a strain,even a fly would run off.Then follows sleepless nights and endless library visits;that HELB loan has to be cleared in time when he is done before it accrues any unnecessary interests you know?

A slump in his walking posture sure indicates the numerous books he has been ploughing through relentlessly.

It is midnight on Friday,a knock on the door and Robert peeps in,”Hey hero boy,aren’t we going out tonight?”Robert is given a shrug with a no,he runs off to join the others,following him a trail of giggles,heckles and laughs of happy Friday.The party is sure gonna boom tonight but hero boy has prey in sight and a shot to take.His arrow is well aimed and can’t miss its mark.

Saturday morning and Maureen suggests a hike to Mt.Longonot,more like a team building,but hero boy is too strained with an upcoming CAT on Tuesday morning he can’t make it off this weekend.

Days pass into months,semisters roll by and years draw to a close.Hero boy outperforms all his classmates.”This would sure make my village proud,”he prides.Hero boy in time becomes only friends with books,lives in virtuality and throws caution to reality and studies on.Four years end so quick and graduation takes platform.

Village brigade comes to celebrate a hero,he has blown off all colours of success..songs of praise fill the air as Luanda Magere watches from the shadows of legends in envy.He wishes he was a millennial.

First class honours sure come with a crown and he attains the power to read,I wonder what he was doing all this time if not reading…Powers to read?not to work?so was this all meaning to the word undergraduate?

Hero boy is 24 and at the prime of his hunting skills,little does he know the jungle is wide and expansive and he ain’t done hunting.He now has to hunt for work,an employment.He finds himself in the same race as those who only attained a pass and not a first class honours as himself.The jungle that once belonged to him,his bow,quiver and arrows and occasionally worm under foot is now crowded with more hunters,more bows,quivers,arrows and less prey.

The big prey that would satisfy the entire clan can no longer be found as the jungle is crowded,hence chances of a kill grow slimmer by day.

Soon the honours don’t count as the classmates who invited him for hiking,though they got lower grades,in this case honours are now having more honourable positions in alternative fields.But he was only friends with his books and knew no life out of this.

He isn’t affordable and lucrative enough to employers in the market jungle who now prefer skills and not qualifications or grades,in other and most cases working experience has a better chance than honours.But what experience when I just graduated with first class honours and need a job?

All the songs and praises in his background become noises and frustrations in his present,Luanda Magere at this point looks with sympathy from the shadows.

Did he miss the point all along?Jane studied Mathematics and Physics but really loved dancing so now has employment in a choreography company at Alliance francais.Judy was the school fashion icon and though she flopped in her biochemistry class and got a pass has so ventured into fashion and design.Did I mention Robert loved the party life so much,dropped out of third year and became a full-fledged Dee jay?He is making it big on the decks.

Hero boy turned deaf ear to reality and listened to what society demanded,ignoring what it needed which was what he had to offer,a portion of himself and not what was taught to him.Reality now has no recognition of perception and has to deal actual blows,blows not present in his quiver of papers.

The prey thus once so close in view becomes bigger than his arrows and fall their weight upon his lifeless helplessness.Hero boy thus gives in under the pressure and is forced to take a step back at reality.That promising course once awed for the elite now offers nothing in actual world.

Hero boy thus caves in to demands,frustrated by perception and is forced to re-root inorder to find himself.For growth to happen and as once said,that a seed must first die for a shoot to grow from thence.

From society’s structure,the hunter must die from his pre-meditated expectations and face the shot from the bow of the system.

So for Maureen,Judy,Robert and the rest of the pack,popular belief din’t work in their favour but actual interests and true inspirations cut it for them.Passion took priority and degree din’t mean life or death.

So did the hunter die from his own arrow shot or did society shoot him down?

Pen and paper must thus take a bow and let society decide.

(PePa)

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