An hour of waiting is usually long enough but not so for Mr. Munyua Kimanzi. For twenty-one years, he has interminably waited for his dues after his wife died during childbirth. The memory of that fateful day compounds his grief making him a very sad man.

He was working as usual and couldn’t be at her bedside as she delivered their fourth child. The previous deliveries had been uneventful and his far-sightedness had seen him save scrupulously to pay for a family health insurance cover. In addition he had life insurance for him and his wife with Efficiency International.

It was thus with dread that he received the call after work. He had expected his wife’s or her friend’s voice. The saturnine voice solidified his bad premonition, “Are you Mr. Shedrach kimanzi Munyua?” the use of his three names rang alarm bells but when the devastating news were dropped, his whole body had frozen. His wife had died in labour but the child had survived. His stunned colleagues had accompanied him to hospital in silence.

Since then, each day of waiting conjures the harsh memory of his loss. Still, the company heartlessly clings to the money.

© Chrispus kimaru