Birds of Ng’ethe

Birds of Ng’ethe

By Nimo Kuria

So this morning in Wakanda … having coffee…

I’ve known her for awhile; the woman does well. Financially.

But it’s from what I hear not what I know…

I’m at my favorite corner lost in my phone, typing nothing in particular but am busy. I look up, she smiles and I smile back…

She enquires if am expecting someone, I shake my head, no.  She asks if she can join me I say yes waving at the sit next to mine.

“Hey, I’ve always seen you here alone, can we be friends? “

I say yes though I can’t help wondering who still drops that kind of line to make friends. I last heard it in primary school.

After introduction she asks if I’d like to have another cup of coffee, I say no and opt for fresh juice instead.

“I’m seated here wondering if I should go to the airport tonight to pick him up or not.”

Me: Pick up who?

And the story begins :

She met Obiero eleven years ago in Obieroland. She and her parents had traveled for her sister’s graduation. Obiero had come for his nephew’s graduation in the same campus… long story short… love struck and three years later they wedded.

Obiero lived in ocha of Obieroland

Obiero lived in the ocha of Obieroland and according to her, being a native of Wakanda, she drew a lot of attention. People stared at her everywhere they went but that did not affect her marriage in the beginning…

But then, somewhere down the line Obiero was changing… he would hardly go with her in public. They lived in a farm house somewhere up on a hill where winter was twice as bad compared to the rest of the Obiero continent. But she was such an asset, she told me of how her skills of a country girl from Wakanda turned every project in their farm into gold… but Obiero appreciated her less and less.

She lost both her parents within a duration of a year and a half and none of their burials did Obiero attend. He funded them from a distance.. He saw no reason to visit Wakanda, in short… she realized she had married a racist.

Now, Obiero had one downside or should i say two? He was superstitious, extremely superstitious to a point of being paranoid. And the other was that he made money illegally. She never got to know what the guy did for a living besides running the farm but she was certain it wasn’t clean. He kept most of his money in a safe in their house. According to her, it was loads and loads of cash. He often took several trips each season of the year and the money he raked in doing whatever he did was stashed in the safe, never banked.

The ghost of her father in Wakanda

Obiero would not treat her any better as the days went by and he confined her at home even more, and to make matters worse, he refused to have kids with her…

Then one day she decided she knew just how to fix him…

She’d wake up screaming at night and tell Obiero that the ghost of her father had visited her from the grave in Wakanda and was demanding for grandkids…

Obiero, being the superstitious fellow he was panicked, and that was to her advantage.

Her father’s ghost visits escalated so bad that Obiero started screaming at some point too… he said he saw him as well.. The guy gave in, said they could have kids alright. He was so badly shaken he’d burn incense at night to keep his father in laws ghost away…

Unfortunately the couple was unable to have kids even after medical intervention and not to mention that Obiero’s age had a lot to do with it.

Now my girl felt trapped. She figured her only way out was to go back to Wakanda but she didn’t have money of her own.. She started doing the unthinkable… she would open the safe, take away a row stashed cash from the back end and replace it with papers. The days Obiero would travel, she would go to the city and transfer it in bits back to her bank account in Wakanda.

This went on for awhile; Obiero didn’t seem to notice at all… from the front side of the safe, all looked well…

Eight years into her marriage, she had stolen so much from her husband that she lived in perpetual fear of him ever finding out. She was certain the day he does, the dude would probably kill and bury her in the farm and no one will ever find out…

So one day, she figured it’s time to return to Wakanda for good…

Her night mares came back… she would wake up screaming… that the father wanted her to return to Wakanda and build a home. Obiero didn’t like that very much so he decided to pull a Pharaoh and told the girl he wasn’t boarding…

The ghosts were also in the psychiatrist’s office

The nightmares got so bad that he forced her to see a psychiatrist. She kept insisting she saw them even in the doctor’s office.

With time Obiero started seeing them too… he would wake up in a cold sweat at night screaming.

The girl told him it’s just a matter of time, the entire clan of her dead from Wakanda will soon visit him… they had warned him through her dream and this time, they were going to bring along the bird of “death”.

She only knew that her parents used to talk of bird of “Ngethe” back in her childhood. She had no idea who “Ngethe” was but she told Obiero Ngethe was the bird of death. That you only see it once in the dream then die.

Days went on and she now would wake up screaming how the bird of “Ngethe” was nearing their homestead.

She took to mourning Obiero, telling the guy that’s how things are done in Wakanda. You mourn the person targeted by the bird of Ngethe when they are still alive not when they die. She would wake up and start wailing and lamenting…

One morning, Obiero couldn’t take it anymore; he asked her how much she needed. She said she didn’t know, she had to ask the ancestors.

The guy was going insane, he took loads of cash and gave to her then booked himself a holiday for a week to the Far East

“When they get here, give them that. Am sure that’s more than you all need to build a mansion in Wakanda. But I can’t bear to meet them. I will come back when you are all done, “he said and left.

Skinned chicken in the safe

The following day she woke up, booked herself a one way ticket to Wakanda. But before she left, she went into the safe, removed all the papers she had stashed at the back and rearranged the rest of the money neatly. There were two and a half rows of big money missing.


She went outside, killed a chicken, skinned it and put it in the safe.

Then she wrote a note.

“This is the bird of Ngethe, this is exactly what will happen to you should you follow our daughter back to Wakanda. This will happen exactly three days after your attempt. The money you gave her was not enough, we took some more”

It’s now been four years since she left Obieroland. She knew he could not report illegal money as missing to the authority and she had counted on his superstitious nature for him to believe the bird of Ngethe crap…

But now he lands tonight…his first visit ever in Wakanda.. He says the money doesn’t matter, he misses his wife…

Do you think she should go to the airport?

To be continued…



This Post Has One Comment

  1. Mwangi Wa Mwembu

    Excellent piece of ink. Keep writing.


Leave a Reply