RIP INTEGRITY; TWAS AN AWFUL MURDER


Horror-silhouette-of-man-with-knifeMy old man, Grandpa Richard, started the month on a very poignant note. So cheerless was the old man that if his moods sunk any lower, they’d have struck oil. Grandpa was mourning the death of a beloved childhood friend and companion. So special was the pal that they all went wherever he led; he was their cynosure. His name was Integrity.

According to Grandpa, the special friend had gone missing for many years in the recent past. Curiously though, nobody seemed to miss him. In fact, all my comrades seemed happy that Integrity was not around to boss them anymore. And then at the start of the week, a sensible journalist called Dennis Okari came up with a disconcerting revelation, a real doozy. Integrity had been murdered!

I hear the brutal murder of Grandpa’s bosom pal was all caught on tape. Comrades hatched and executed the heinous plan in cahoots with rogue college administrators. Acting in the name of The Almighty Shilling and rapacious greed, the barbarous perpetrators cut out Integrity’s heart and soul.

They all say they aren’t guilty, pointing fingers and shifting blame. Everyone—comrades, their lecturers and school owners—claims absolute sainthood, maintaining that they abhor all that fears the light. But the evidence is out in the open. Were it not for Okari, all the suspects would have gotten away with a massacre. But now that we know, somebody must hang.

If you’ve been living under a rock, let me put you up to speed with what subterfuge that’s unfolding in the country’s ‘accredited’ institutions of higher learning. Someone somewhere devised a means of skipping college and still attaining the same papers for as little as Ksh 3000. It is chicanery and mendacity at their epitome.

There are no portions involved in achieving a diploma, other than a bitter concoction of sweat, hard work and diligence. “Why would one pay a Sh. 3000 to betray their own soul?” questions Grandpa Richard, who finds it unbelievable that such a small amount of money was used as payment for his friend’s head. “How much is that in ancient exchange rates? 30 pieces of silver?” he quizzes.

The notion that you can afford to be dishonest just because the end justifies the means is spurious for more reasons than my fingers and toes can count to. A college degree without integrity is as useful as a dried up pen. All it brings forth is a breed of comrades who grow up to become flagrant land grabbers and epithet-ridden MPs whose mouths need to be washed with soap. And if your dishonesty does not catch up with you in this world, Grandpa believes you will rue in the next life.

I’ll pen off with a pithy truism from the annals of history, uttered by one Benjamin Franklin. “Let no pleasure tempt thee, no profit allure thee, no persuasion move thee to do anything thou knowest to be evil. So shalt thou always live in jollity, for a good conscience is a continual Christmas.”

jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.