Pain And Pen

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9

When I think of Josaya Wasonga I think of a lone and embattled wolf separated from the pack. We worked together for the same publisher in the late 2000s. We were both features writer’s; him for Twende Magazine and me for Adam. He spoke very little. He was always a furtive figure, like a modern-day Zorro, going about the office with little detection and noise. He seemed to walk through walls. His writing – unsurprisingly – was in contrast to the man. It was bright, loud, vivid in description and often laced with strings and strands of wonderful imagery and large looming storeyed columns of metaphors and a hybrid turn of phrase. Of course I greatly admired and respected his writing. I still do. The funniest I ever read was a travel log of him running over someone’s chicken in Luhya-land and the ensuing conversation with the irked villagers who had gathered around their beloved dead chicken in the middle of the road. Traffic was halted until that chicken was accorded the appropriate justice. The story – told with a beautiful tongue-in-cheek was hysterical and in complete departure from the silent man who sat not many desks away from mine. His humour  would spring from nowhere in his pieces like a predatory cat in waiting.

I’d see him around the office, lumbering around with those heavy-set and slightly bowed shoulders, shoulders of a man who seemed to have spent many years in the gym as a young-un, lifting stones as we all did at some point in our youth. He spoke softly, his voice sounding like a ball of cotton in the wind. He’d stop by my desk and we’d have conversations as he headed to see my editor – Oyunga Pala- who sometimes offered him assignments. It’s only in Oyunga’s office that I would be surprised to hear him laugh heartily and I’d turn around on my seat to confirm if indeed the laughter came from his own lungs. (Oyunga was the patriarch, our sensei, and we all sat at his feet and learnt).

There are some people who, if cops came asking you questions about them under suspicion of a crime like espionage or a coup, human trafficking or poaching, you would be completely shocked and go, “John? Hell no, he would never do that!” Josaya Wasonga was not one of those guys. That’s because I always got the feeling that I didn’t really know him. That he didn’t let you in. You couldn’t breach him.He was a layered man and we could never seem to access his emotional raw material.

Life eventually separated us and we were set on different paths. He got a column in the Daily Nation on Wednesdays while I got a column in the Saturday Nation. We  were both new fathers to daughters and he would write flourishly about his  daughter (Pudd’ng) on his column while I would bang on about mine here on my blog. Once in awhile we would exchange a phone call, or ask for a contact on sms, otherwise it was quiet for the most part.

Then his wife left him. I know because he wrote about it in his column and I thought, “Whoa!” He was 41 years old. His intro for that particular story had his beautiful signature. He wrote:  “Oh shoot, this is not working.” Then he continued further down. …My wife and I are not living together. Ah, let us take that again, slowly. My. Wife. And. I. Are. Not. Living. Together. Today is our third week of separation…”

I remember being so envious, not of his wife leaving, but his courage, that blinded valor of opening his hemorrhaging heart to the whole world. (OK, maybe not the whole world but people who read newspapers). I didn’t know whether to call him and tell him , “pole” or “good for you,” but that decision was quickly taken away from my hands when he wrote about it again in his next column. And the next.

Tenderoni – as he calls her – had indeed exited stage left.

He wrote things like, “Love is the core of my faith…my love should be a reflection, not a refraction.

That period, his column was peppered with pieces about affliction that were undisguised, near-weepy and quite embarrassing for me to read at some point. A festering chronicle of hurt. I remember smsing him and telling him, “Chief, it shall be well, sit it out” as if someone had died. I pictured him writing these lonely heart pieces in his shorts and barefeet after he had put his daughter to bed, the midnight overhead light glowing harshly on the exposed scalp of this marital orphanage. Nonetheless, as a writer I knew it for what it was; he was reaching out to the healing power of catharsis, I recognised it because it wasn’t any much different from me coming here to moan and grieve for for four years after my beloved mother breathed her last and turned into a mere “body.” He was grieving; how a man expresses his grief, loss and pain is a man’s business.

So when I called him for this interview last week – about three years since we last spoke – the first thing I asked him was if the wife ever came back. “She did,” he told me, “just before our 10th anniversary.” I could hear the smile in his voice. Oh Wasonga, I thought to myself, such a lover.

I had called him because Judy, who works for Standard, had Whatsapped me and told me he had a story to tell that I should look for him. And that’s how we came to be sitting at Kiza Lounge on Galana Road. It’s after 6pm on a Friday and the terrace is filling up fast.

“You writing about your wife was about really standing close to the ledge,” I tell him.

“I had sat on it for five weeks, but then when I wrote about it I felt better,” he admits. “My friends and family were surprised because they thought the marriage was working out.”

A waiter comes. He orders orange juice. (He’s a teetotaller). I order water, not because Sabbath has officially started but because I’m running in Karura Forest at dawn the next morning.

“What did you learn from that separation?” I ask.

“It took only the two of us to iron out our issues; nobody was involved, not the in-laws, not a counsellor, or a church leader, just the two of us. It was necessary because the problem was ours. Her mother knows her as a daughter, not a wife and my siblings know me as a brother not a husband, so when outsiders – so to speak – come to mediate they come with certain perspectives of the two of you which can sometimes do more harm than good. You get what I’m saying?”

I do.

“The best thing that happened to my marriage was that separation,” he continues. “It was going to happen, I’m glad it happened then, and not when I’m 50.”

“Why did she leave, or that is personal?” I ask.

He laughs and says of course it’s personal.

“But things are back to normal now? You guys are happy? Joy has once again settled in Josaya’s household?” I ask.

“Yes. Things are great. It has made us stronger.”

Amen.

A bright light beams against my left cheek and I turn to the sight of the flaming ball of sun falling behind a construction crane that – with the sun’s bright energy and light – looks like a one-armed scarecrow floating on the metropolis’s skyline. Gotham city. The view is awe-inspiring. “Look at that sun behind that crane! ” I tell Josaya and we  just sit there in silence and stare at the sunset for a moment.

Then truth is Josaya isn’t sitting here because I’m keen to talk about his marriage. He’s sitting there because I was told he was raped when he was a child. Raped by another man. Now I don’t know how to broach this subject in a sensitive way because when I called I didn’t specify that I wanted us to discuss that. How do you ask a man to tell you about being molested by another man? So as we stare at the sun I think to myself; do I just jump in or do I start by being cryptic. So when I eventually turn to him I tell him, “You were molested when you were young. What exactly happened, was it a relative?”

“No,” he says. “It was by a stranger. So I grew up in Jericho Lumumba. I remember that when it happened my mom had just come back from shags and was cooking dinner. At around 7:30pm she sends me to go get some money she had loaned to one guy who was known simply as Macho Nne who lived in Makadara. I was 11-years old.”

To get to Makadara he had to cross Jogoo road at a place called Hamza dividing Jericho Lumumba and Makadara. It was still not late to walk around. Across the road, in a field there was a man standing under a long pole. Even after seeing the strange man he felt no fear. “When you grow up in Jericho very few things faze you at a very young age. So seeing a strange man standing in my path at night wasn’t something that worried me. I was from Jeri after all, right?” He says.

“I was carrying this stick and as I passed him he grabbed my hand and took the stick from my hand and asked me to lie down.” He sips his juice. “Now don’t forget that this was pre-internet, pre-anything. This was like 1983 or thereabouts when the world was closed out and nobody knew about anything like rape or things like that, of even talked about it. My world was limited to where I lived and where I went to school. Naturally I thought this guy wanted to cane me. Things happened so fast after because I remember him roughly pulling down my shorts and raping me. I was numb of course because I couldn’t comprehend his actions. It happened so fast.”

He remembers running back home, knocking on their door and his mom opening the door and “knowing immediately that something so horrible had happened to me.” He remembers the smell of his favourite meal – matoke – coming out of the house as his mom stood in the doorway with that worried look. He remembers brushing past her and running to the bathroom to shower because he felt “slimy on my butt.”

After that he blocked it.

“I never quite dealt with it. I blocked it. I blocked it from my mom until she died. She never knew that I was raped that night but she suspected that something bad might have happened to me. Mothers just have a way of knowing.” he says.

There is a big office birthday happening next to us. One of those office shindigs where the office accountant sits there like he swallowed a plastic toy, hoping the bill doesn’t overshoot his allocated budget. There is a whoop as a small cake is brought out and candles are blown and singing is done. Old school jams play. The sky looks bruised. Day is quickly dying.

“This thing happened just as you were about to get into your teenage. Did that conflict your sexuality?” I ask.

He looks at a spot on the table in thought and says, “No. No. But it conflicted my spirituality.” He leans in and says, “you know, I used to sing in the church choir, I later went and became a choir conductor at my church and won certain awards back then and I remember asking God why he would let something like that happen to me when he knew I was serving him. But you have to realise that I didn’t know how to deal with it consciously, so I blocked it for over 15-years because I couldn’t comprehend it.”

“Do you think that experience informed the kind of teenager you eventually became? Were you truant, did you rebel or did you withdraw?”

“I don’t know if it did, but I suspect that it might have,” he says in thought. “I remember partying hard and drinking and going to the gym fervently, I remember lifting weights to become big and strong.” He pauses. “But then again, most boys my age lifted weights and drunk and partied hard. So I don’t know if the rape informed my teenage. It must have in ways that I’m not aware of.”

He continues. “There is a verse; Luke 12: 48 that says something to the effect that, for everyone that is given much, much will be demanded and for those that are entrusted with much, much more will be asked. You know that verse?

“I have heard it, yes. So what do you think was entrusted to you, or given to you?”

“Pain.” he says.

Before he can say anything else, Ali of Kiza Lounge  floats over to our table in his purple Kaftan to say hello. He stares at my water suspiciously and asks why I’m not drinking, “have drinks on me,” he says. I tell him thanks but I’m on water this evening. “This is my pal, Josaya.” They shake hands. “Have you seen our new African fine dining restaurant? “He asks me. I tell him I haven’t. “ Oh you should,it’s come together very nicely. Listen, when you are done here please let me know I show you around the restaurant. I will be sitting over there. Tell me when you are done, OK?”

And off he goes,  Ali the showman.

“I don’t want to be called a rape victim,” Josaya tells me. “I want to be called a rape thriver. I prefer to thrive in it.”

“When did you start processing the rape?” I ask.

He thinks about it. “I think I blocked it off for many years but then in my 30’s I started sort of trying to figure out things. It’s only in my 40’s that I think I have clearly put it into a scope which I can say is constructive and coherent, if you will.”

“Do you think about the guy who did it and when you do, what emotions dominate those thoughts now?”

“When you are raped the pain can’t be measured because it comes with other things, other emotions. If that guy walked through those doors I wouldn’t recognise him but recently I prayed for him, I asked God to rid him of guilt he might harbour. I forgave him yes, but I still find it so hard to forget what he did to me. I think there is a pill one can take to forget, no?”

“I doubt…”

“No, I heard there is a pill that wipes off all memories.”

“I doubt. In fact, I don’t think there is any.” I say.

We sit in brief silence, look around the now buzzing terrace. The music is a notch higher. My eyes lethargically follow a tall high-heeled girl walking across the floor with the lazy, self-assured grace of a lioness, she’s sporting a disturbing weave that flows to within an inch from the small of her back.

“Someone told me that it’s only in heaven that we will forget everything that happened to us on earth.” Josaya says.

I think about that for a second. I like it.

Josaya is turning 45 in not so long. I asked him how he he finds 4o’s now and he says that it’s quieter than he thought it would be.  “Quiet and reflective,” he mumbles. “ I can stay in the house for days. I find that I reflect a lot now than before. I’m also reaching out for my dreams more now. Does this rape define my life? No, but in a way I suspect my life has been defined in many ways by it.”

“You mentioned the verse – where much is given, much is demanded – and you said you were given pain. Is the rape the pain you are referring to?”

“Yes.” he nods. “ God apportions different people different things. Some are given pain others are given talent. Some get both. Some are given five talents and two pains or one pain and three talents and He expects us to know what to trade with. But he knows what to give you and at what time. There are people he gives little pain and some lots of pain because he knows who can handle what – that’s why some men kill themselves when Arsenal loses. Those are people who can’t handle the pain they were given. But the thing is we all have to be accountable for the pain and talent we are given and so one day God will ask me what I did with my pain.

There is a misconception that people who are hurt end up hurting other people, people who use their pain to give others pain. If that were the case I would have ended up raping children or women. You don’t dish what was dished.”

“So what are you doing with your pain?” I ask.

“Oh he also gave me talent. I can write. I knew I could write before I was raped. I did very well in my compositions and all my teachers would commend me so it was very clear what my path in life would be. So He gave me pain and a pen. I’ve been trying to crack the theater and TV writing scene for a while now, however, it’s very difficult. Whatever the case, I think I’m ready to write a musical now. It will be titled something like “What was happening in heaven the night I was  raped.”’ Because I have always wanted to understand what God was doing that night he allowed another man to violate me. Me, his child, who praised him in church and sang for him and worshipped him. I want to know what he was doing when I was raped.”

So his 40’s is about his passion of writing and of his pain. He wants to delve into scriptwriting for movies and theater as well as asking questions that will eventually exonerate him from the chains and balls of that dark night by a pole in a field. He mentions to me an interview Madonna did and the interviewer asked her if she is re-inventing herself and she says she isn’t reinventing herself but revealing herself.

“Like Madonna I’m also revealing myself. So this interview is not a re-invention,” he says. “It’s a revelation of myself to myself.”

My phone then dies. Your phone will always die when you are getting deep into things. I borrow his phone, open his notes and continue taking notes from it.

“When did you tell your wife about the rape; before or after the marriage?”

“You can’t reveal such things before.” he laughs.

“What was her reaction?”

“She said she would walk with me. She said she was glad I told her because it explained so much about me; that I’m sensitive and very protective of the people around me.”

“Are there low moments after the rape that you cried?”

He looks right through me, like I’m glass, and says, “You can’t cry rape out. It’s something that stays with and within you.” He takes a pause. “You know when you get raped once, you somehow feel like you were raped your whole life. It’s effect stays with you.”  

From the blues he tells me a story about cats. “We have this neighbourhood cat who loves me,” he says. “She will see me and run and rub herself against me. My wife hates cats. She will see the cat and banish it, saying cats have a bad spirit.” He laughs. “But I have always loved cats since I was a child.”

I’m not a cat person. I hate how they emit a humming sound like they have a generator in them. Plus, I can’t look at a cat in the eye.

I get up and walk over to where Ali is seated with the bearded Alexandre of Moet Hennessy whose boss I had interviewed earlier in the week. They are speaking French. “You speak French?” I ask Ali and Alex sighs, “He speaks everything, even Chinese.” We laugh. I tell Alex about the 40’s series I’m doing and that I have just finished one with the gentleman back there. Is there a loose bottle of champagne I can hand to this guy to celebrate him? They confer briefly in brief French – oui oui –  then Ali calls a waiter who goes to fetch us a bottle of Moet Imperial for Josaya to take home.

After we have toured Kiza’s fine dining African restaurant (I fancied the chef’s table) and said bye to him, we find ourselves waiting for the elevator just the two of us.

“Why did you tell me about the cat?”

“The what?”

“That story about the cat. Your neighbourhood cat that likes you,” I tell him. “Why did you tell me that story? Is it tied to something in your life?”

He stands there looking up as the numbers above the lift illuminates as the the car ascends towards us on the 8th floor. He finally turns towards me,  “I think they can tell.” He says.

“Tell what?”

“I think cats know people who are hurt.”

Ping! Comes the sound of the lift as it yawns wide open to swallow Josaya’s far-reaching words before I can fully appreciate them.

        ***

I’m looking for men and women in their 40s who have lived richly and are willing to unpack their lives for us to learn from. Know anyone like that? Or maybe you are the one? Please  email me on [email protected]ke

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243 Comments
  1. I have always wondered what the first people to comment feel after they’ve done it. So today here I am. Okay. Let me go back and read now.

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  2. Wow! My eyes are cloudy with tears because I cannot cry but I want to. I have read every 9 no almost every) Fatherhood101 piece. I loved it when Tenderoni and Josaya started working out stuff after the break up. I loved whatever he wrote about Pudding when it was the whole fam together. And who would forget Pudding’s first day at school ? And the trips and the packed lunches ?? I could go on and on. That is the Josaya I know and want to remember . Thanks for this Biko

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    1. When I was in college, there is this fellow who used to repeatedly share stories of his poor and difficult upbringing. Until one day I told him off – be a man, not a cry-baby. I still feel the same. What is it you want to get of this? Is it Sympathy? Pity? Publicity? Readership? Sainthood? We all have faced tragedy and more – we take on the chin, wipe the sweat off our brow and step up to the next challenge. Never do we cry aloud that our wives have left us, or that we were raped 33 years ago. Because it the end, all you will get from us are the sneers and weird stares we will give your image when it appears in the ‘column’ next time.

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      1. You, Mr Charles Kagana are a true depiction of a sad sad life. Pain is personal and how a person decided to deal with theirs shouldn’t be at your liberty to decide for them.

        Being a man doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to cry or talk about your pain. That kind of mindset is retrogressive. If you have never been raped or left by your wife, you cannot relate and therefore you have absolutely no right to judge the man. Look in the mirror bro.

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      2. Are you for real? U need a psychological check man, every human bing is allowed to be sad, how someone lets out that is their choice. Don’t judge anyone for going out there to let out their pain, GROW UP…

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      3. Wow! Now that is some real negative energy right there.
        Maybe if you start revealing urself like Josaya, you may just be able to deal with those underlying issues you definitely have.

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      4. It takes a lot to admit and talk about some stuff. It takes a real man’s courage not to hide and pretend all is well. Maybe when you master such, then your sentiments might change….or not

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  3. I remember waiting for Wednesday’s to read about Pudding… It was a journey I took in all through, very religiously, until the separation. I remember reading that article twice and still couldn’t take in… That was the last I read of Josaya Wesonga….then this..?? Am not sure what I feel right now.

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    1. I was an avid reader too.He did write about the rape on his Wednesday column, I think that was the time he started to come to terms with it.

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  4. He was right. Rape stays with you, all your life. You can’t cry it out, you can’t even talk it out of your system. It stays somewhere in your mind. Nauncing your decisions and thoughts.

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  5. I remember his article on “I will tell my daughter that I’m a rape thriver”… it hit me right here I love his writing, closest thing I had to entertainment at a boarding primary school.

    ION yani hii Nairobi ina wenyewe, you just ask for a bottle of Moët and voila! Meanwhile Mama Brayo isn’t talking to me cause nilikopa kiberiti na tissue paper na sijalipa Yesu tuonekanie

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    1. ION yani hii Nairobi ina wenyewe, you just ask for a bottle of Moët and voila! Meanwhile Mama Brayo isn’t talking to me cause nilikopa kiberiti na tissue paper na sijalipa Yesu tuonekanie
      LOL

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    2. Your writing is amazing and your 40s segment always makes me cry.but I love how no matter the pain and adversity this guy’s pull through.asante sana to those willing to share and to the guy who captures and narrates the stories to the world.

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  6. I thank Wesonga for telling his story. It just lays bare my spirit. I also 100% reckon with him about cats and hurting souls. Biko, keep at it. One word at a time you are doing your bit for the world.

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  7. It’s about time that you addressed rape Biko. I feel for Wesonga, it’s bold to stand up and tell the world your experience as a rape victim. Rape may unearth good or bad in you. And I think speaking up and telling even just one person helps in lessening the burden one feels deep inside. In the past, the ’80s and ’90s children were raped both boys and girls and you had no one to tell. You would live with that wound in you forever. But I’m glad that now many fronts have set up ways to help those molested and the response is quicker nowadays. I honestly don’t know why a grown person would see a child and think of raping them…it’s just something deep that not even words can explain…

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    1. Its true. I think so too. My mom’s cat is my friend only when am hurting. Otherwise it doesn’t come for nada except my food.

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  8. Honestly I confused the two of you…..your writing skills very similar .very touching story,i never considered life to be measured in that way pain or talents:really like the way you are graphical…in my mind I can actually picture you both seated at Kiza.very nice piece…

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  9. “you know, I used to sing in the church choir, I later went and became a choir conductor at my church and won certain awards back then and I remember asking God why he would let something like that happen to me when he knew I was serving him. But you have to realise that I didn’t know how to deal with it consciously, so I blocked it for over 15-years because I couldn’t comprehend it.”

    So deep

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  10. Beautiful writing evokes emotions. This is such. Whatever happened to Josaya is unfortunate but he appears to have settled with it and grabbed the lemonades. andrewismme.wordpress.com

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  11. Sending lots of love to Josaya. I am so happy they got back together with Tenderoni. The last of his Fatherhood 101 I read was the separation story you highlighted and boy! Was I heartbroken? Does he have a blog or where does he write these days?

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  12. There is a misconception that people who are hurt end up hurting other people, people who use their pain to give others pain. If that were the case I would have ended up raping children or women. You don’t dish what was dished.”…. Wisdom.

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  13. I love Puddn’g and Tenderoni, and how simple Josaya makes life look with his family. I pray their marriage works, and I love how he trusts God. Sometimes he puts you through stuff to make you stronger. May he have peace for the future.

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  14. So those Puddng pieces were Josaya’s? I would wait all week to read them. He is one of the greatest Kenyan writers I know now that I realize he was behind the pieces that also curved my writing.
    I can only imagine the pain he’s been through because of rape. I’m glad he’s found peace and a channel for it. (The pain). He seems close to God Biko. Maybe we all should be. Maybe that’s how we’ll be sure to forget all the bad things that happen to good people like him. Forget everything up there in heaven.
    Good read.

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  15. “There is a misconception that people who are hurt end up hurting other people.” Couldn’t agree more. We are all hurting in one way or another, but not all of us are out to hurt others. This story isn’t sad at all. I’m in awe of this man Josaya, he has not let a horrific act define his life. He has forgiven. A lot of people do not understand what power their is in forgiveness. PS, I hate cats too.

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  16. I think 40s is the age where the knowledge you have acquired all through starts to shoot out of ground. All these guys seem so deep. But maybe I will know when I get there.

    Another gem of wisdom that was. If pain is given onto you, don not dish out pain but inspire and give joy.

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  17. I will agree that there are things that never really go away; I love Luke 12;48 and the linking he gave. After religiously following his column then reading this, I agree we are designed to handle our afflictions fully.

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  18. I think I’m ready to write a musical now. It will be titled something like “What was happening in heaven the night I was raped.”’ Because I have always wanted to understand what God was doing that night he allowed another man to violate me. Me, his child, who praised him in church and sang for him and worshipped him. I want to know what he was doing when I was raped.”

    man this is deep.

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  19. i just cried. Thanks for reminding me of some parts of me. I must also say that the three of you amaze me-josaya,oyunga, and biko- because ive been reading all of you since highschool-2004. in reference to the line ” dark night night by the pole” ,Please tell josaya to read the poem DARK NIGHT OF A SOUL by St. John Of the Cross.

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  20. I am humbled by the way Josaya lets his pain to positively influence him. Josaya you are a true hero.
    For the sick humans…rapists…tusikutane! if we ever did, I will castrate you with my bare hands.
    We take this matter so lightly yet the sex pests still pry on our vulnerable young ones causing lifelong trauma, we need action beyond speaking out.

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  21. I remember reading the article back in the early 2000s in his column. It made me know that I was not alone. Not alone in the bad feeling of being raped by a man. It happened to me in 1994 in Mombasa. And, to date, the feeling, the reliving of the horror, and the aftermath, has stayed with me. The part of “‘Slimy’ liquid in his butt” reminded me of how my hands reached on my butt to ease the pain…only to touch the “slimy liquid”, and the smell of chapo and beans in our house made it even worse….

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    1. Oh Nelson! So sorry about your pain! And the connection of an otherwise sweet aroma (beans and chapo) to the horror is so sad since you can never control when those traumatizing memories hit you…. you could be walking along the street, or visiting a relative….. pole! Poleni nyote mliotendewa mabaya kama haya. Hugs your way.

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  22. Jo’s aya is back! Even if only for an interview. I do not have words. This is such a poignant story. May you find total healing. And thanks for the lesson on pain as a gift. PROFOUND.

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  23. Last week,I remember telling someone that Biko,Josaya and Oyunga Pala were some of my favourite local columnists and he was asking me where Josaya went with his Fatherhood 101. He said that Josaya was a rape victim, and there is a rape culture in our society. Somehow its true, someway its not. For a man,speaking about rape takes courage,balls and virtually everything in his body. People feel weepy and lacks answers. I pray he heals.

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  24. Thank you Josaya for letting us in as you reveal yourself! I always looked forward to Pudd’ng and Tenderoni stories which I easily related to. Waiting for the musical or movie!

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  25. Perhaps if we did not know pain, from whichever source, we wouldn’t know joy, from whichever source. Everything that happens to us transforms us and impacts our way of life. That’s all.

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  26. I have read Pudding post for a long time now, always a good read.
    Many a times we question why? oblivious of the fact that there is a reason why we go through what we go through and only if we triumph we get to understand why.
    Key is to not give up, fight till you the bitter end.

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  27. This is the second article from you this year that has made me whimper and howl in pain. Josaya my heart goes out to you. And he is right, you can’t cry out rape. And even when you do it just stays within.

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  28. I am impressed with what you are doing Biko these past few weeks, the 40s. I am also happy that I can relate to most of the issues here, I am forty and know better than I did before, like Josaya I like the calm and acceptance this age comes with. The feeling of doing yourself good and letting others adjust. I was scared to turn forty I looked at all the things I did not have but immediately I turned forty I adjusted, its a great feeling, I now look at all I have and appreciate it more. Its a good place to be.
    I have a blog I write in from time to time. until I was forty it was kinda private I was more worried about how I was exposing myself in my writing, now I really do not care. Here is the link http://wariki-wachukanthots.blogspot.com/
    Thank you for helping us rediscover ourselves. Thank Josaya for me I love his writing and am eagerly waiting for the musical and much more. Blessings to you too.

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    1. On this story I am touched. The pain Josaya went through is unimaginable its even more painful to know he did not get any support to deal with it. God continue to bless his soul. This is deep, Sharing is courage beyond limits. Kudos Josaya I miss Tendoroni and Pudding.

      3
  29. Too many emotions and the only one I comprehend is sadness….I loved Josaya’s lessons….too much wisdom….God bless him.

  30. I remember reading Josiah’s piece every Wednesday’s about Pudding and his stories always resonated with my life.There was alot of resemblance between Pudding and my daughter. Deep words there Josiah.As always nice piece

  31. “God apportions different people different things. Some are given pain others are given talent. Some get both… But the thing is we all have to be accountable for the pain and talent we are given and so one day God will ask me what I did with my pain.”

    The 40’s words of wisdom make me hopeful of winning the internal battles of my 20s, eventually.

    2
  32. O,hi baba Pudding! Have read a few of ur articles…but I no longer meet newspapers now….if u have a blog, I will subscribe… glad the marriage things worked out. God strengthen you and ur family.

    2
  33. Damn! For a man to open up about rape, it takes more than balls. In life, when we take all the battle, scars and pain we realize it is all part of a greater purpose. It makes us stronger eventually.

    8
  34. He is brave, not every man can put his pain out there for everyone to read. You don’t dish what was dished, many of us can borrow from that.

    2
  35. There is a misconception that people who are hurt end up hurting other people, people who use their pain to give others pain. If that were the case I would have ended up raping children or women. You don’t dish what was dished.”
    That is powerful. Rape is a sensitive topic. Big up to Josaya for opening up considering it’s a man. That’s a bold step.
    ION the last time a rape survivor opened up here, Biko was roasted on Twitter by a brigade of feminists. People have different ways of opening up. Respect

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  36. Rape is such a misogynist idea in that is so hard for my African brain to process the heinous act. Its so eroding to the human soul; a perfect abuse of our very existence. At that instance when Josaya was being ravaged buy failures of nature, God was still there. Of what He was up to, I am not sure. But certain as to everyone of us, it was just a curve of life that was taking its course. A dark spot in ones life that we abhor and wish, if only we knew our steps here on earth, we would die before we got there. But somehow, we don’t. But every minute thereafter, we gain a slow but sure steady course of who we are, where we have come from and where we are heading thereafter.

    Josaya, a one of a kind mortal. From the pulpit singing beautiful innocent hymns to God to the darkest of abyss. Though shaken, the very dim and faintest of faith you still have.

    5
  37. I always used to look forward to reading about Puddin’ and Tenderoni, so sweet and real. I almost cried when I read Josaya’s separation with his wife… I really felt his pain, and I prayed for them to get back together. Then the rape… why do bad things happen to good people, cliche as it may sound. But I have learned something new today… to whom much is given, much is required. Even if it is much pain or grief or sorrow, God expects us to make the most of the experience.

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  38. Sad story but very brave to share with the world.
    Rape is horrendous. When it happens to a child, it’s unimaginable. Makes me a little paranoid about anyone around my child, friends or teachers.
    I wish Josaya had shared with his mum what had happened that night, maybe that would have been a first step towards healing.
    May God continue the healing process in you, as you continue to seek out His presence and His direction, He may choose to use that horrible experience to reach out to others who’ve gone through similar experiences to find strength and inner healing. Love the cats in our neighbourhood too; some dart off when I approach them, there’s one who purrs and lovingly rubs itself around my feet, and there’s one particularly aggressive one which hisses when we try to come close.
    I once fought off someone who tried to rape me. I had to go through a year of psychiatric treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
    I don’t like talking about it, so I wrote it here: https://africanahgirl.com/2016/03/18/solo-female-travel-and-fighting-off-assault/

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  39. You know what? Biko and Josaya’s articles about Pudding and Tamms were so similar, I actually used to think that Josaya was Biko’s pen name for writing in another magazine. Well, today I have learned that you are 2 different people.

    1
  40. Biko, I love your stories. Could you write about older men and women as well? I think people like Dr. Yusuf K. Dawood have a mouthful to further decorate your parlance of life’s lessons.

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  41. “It took only the two of us to iron out our issues; nobody was involved, not the in-laws, not a counsellor, or a church leader, just the two of us. It was necessary because the problem was ours. Her mother knows her as a daughter, not a wife and my siblings know me as a brother not a husband, so when outsiders – so to speak – come to mediate they come with certain perspectives of the two of you which can sometimes do more harm than good”. this here is a take home for me

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  42. I’m not a cat person. I hate how they emit a humming sound like they have a generator in them. Plus, I can’t look at a cat in the eye. That sound there……. that sound

    1. That purring sound has me feeling all loved by another living thing. I love it when my cats come for a cuddle and purr..

      2
  43. I didn’t miss any of Josaya’s stories. His stories about Tenderoni & Puddn’g warmed my heart. He sounded like a very hands-on kinda Dad to Puddn’g. Then he wrote about the separation & it broke my heart, I stopped looking forward to the articles or he stopped writing around that time. This story is really sad, but I’m happy he is able to talk so boldly about it, it shows he is in a better place. & I’m even happier him & Tenderoni are an item again.

    1
  44. Wow,that was really brave of you Josiah to open up about your past.I was a big fan of your wednesday column on fatherhood-always looked forward to reading them. I may sound controversial but that nasty experience was NEVER in God’s plan for your life. He is still able to turn it for your good but take comfort in the fact that it hurt Him as much or even more than it hurt you because He is not a wicked Father and the healing you seek is available in God.

    1
  45. I connected with Josaya’s writing because he was very compassionate, you could feel things that he had penned down on his column, I miss him. I Hope he has a blog.

    1
  46. This is a true definition of courage. A man to talk about being raped by a fellow man in public like that takes courage.
    I would really love to read his book.

    I think this 40s people category is now my favorite, Too much experience! Too much wisdom!

  47. Leaves me with a lot of mixed emotions….pain,anger,forgiveness,calm….aaargghh! I always like Josaya,I agree with him on the cats story….they can tell

  48. When I got my son back in 2008, that’s when I started reading his column on Pudding, she could be 8/9 now. Oh my wasn’t I hooked. Every Wednesday I would delve into his column and soak in every word, my son and pudding had a number of things in common and that column told me I was parenting just fine. Read it every week for 2 years then, I forgot about it. I used to imagine Josaya as an average sized sensitive guy. Not the man you have described . I missed out on the tenderoni pieces… does he still write the pudding column on wed?
    To face his demons and tell the world makes him one strong man. Mad respect Josaya.

    1
  49. “ God apportions different people different things. Some are given pain others are given talent. Some get both. Some are given five talents and two pains or one pain and three talents and He expects us to know what to trade with”-deep!

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  50. Oh what a good read. Happy to see how people view life after eventful lives/incidents. May we learn from them, may we be them in such moments, may we carry on towards the eventful lives. Biko , a quick one, when can we plan so i come to Nai so we visit places where we just ask for a bottle of champagne and it appears there and then…..i would use such moments honestly.

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  51. I haven’t felt such respect and admiration for anyone in a long time. Josaya, I thank God for you and people like you who are brave enough enough to reveal themselves in this way, it always helps someone somewhere, always.

    1
  52. Congratulations Biko for the great story. I like, ‘rape thriver’, very positive way to look at a very negative act.

  53. How about interviewing guys with an obsession of being the first to comment? I think they have a lot in common and we might learn a thing or two.

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  54. He clearly feels the ”love” from the cat. Yet no word is spoken. There is communication. This man’s valor is amazing.

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  55. painfully enriching and even refreshing.I love when he says God give us pain we can handle and that his ordeal doesn’t define who he is and the best part is that his wife returned home.motions of life.rich and impacting 44 indeed.

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  56. Something about pain that is thoughtful…. Something about things that can never be reversed that changes your life forever. Yet, something about pain that keeps you up other than down… To those who are given a bigger dose of pain, more is demanded of them…

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  57. I remember that article where his wife left him. It was sad. We ‘grew up’ with Pudd’ing through Josaya’s article. Glad they are back together.

  58. As always thank you once more Biko,My weekdays start on Tuesdays after reading your blog.This piece gives such an insight into how much pain many people undergo. My quote from the read is “But the thing is we all have to be accountable for the pain and talent we are given and so one day God will ask me what I did with my pain. ”
    Have a great week BIKO.

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  59. Someone once said there is purpose in our pain. It is a scary notion to believe. I am humbled that Josaya could open up to us with his story. Thank you for sharing Biko, liking the 40’s series

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  60. Sometimes you think that you’ve been through a lot but then you encounter a story that makes you have a different perspective. Thanks for highlighting these stories Biko. They really are an eye-opener.

  61. Thank you for sharing your story Josaya. Truly, thank you.This is deep, very deep . was a great fan of pudding. I remember waiting for Wednesday’s to read about Pudding… It was a journey I took in all through, very religiously, until the separation. I remember reading that article twice and still couldn’t take in…(Glad to learn that Josaya reunited with Tenderoni.) That was the last I read of Josaya Wesonga….then this..?? Am not sure what I feel right now. Rape is cruel,sad,hurting and hard to cry off.I hope by sharing this he may have peace for the future.

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  62. I remember reading about Pudd’ng and Tenderoni alot up until that first separation article then i stopped. I didn’t know who you were talking about until you mentioned Pudd’ng and Tenderoni.
    I’m dating a man who was repeatedly molested as a kid. When he disclosed this, i wanted to run away but the connection we had was too strong. I stayed, we have fought through his demons and we are still fighting. A boy who was molested grows into a different kind of man. I see that with my mister, different in a kind of way that would seem weird to someone who does not know his story.
    Sometimes he will need space and i will give it to him without him even having to ask. Do we ever talk about the rape? No, but i know when those demons attack, then i show him that i will stay no matter what.
    That was a great read, it hit very close to home.

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  63. Having been a victim of rape, I do not understand how Josaya can forgive that guy. If you were to ask me what I would do to the person who raped me, I would say ” cut them up in small pieces and watch them bleed to death”.

    1
  64. Josaya, yeah, he did write about it, the rape, in his weekly column, he was very criptic with the writing though, it was hard to tell if it was himself he was talking about.

    I remember when Tenderoni left, he sounded wounded, hollow, hurt. Am glad they me need their marriage.

    Once he wrote, “sometimes what a man needs is the silence that understands”.

    I love his writing.

    1
  65. My take home is one: Hurt people should not hurt people and Everybody gets an allocation of pain which they are believed to have capacity to handle.

  66. I love this series Biko, I wait for them weekly like a barren woman would sit in wait for a pregnancy test to read positive. I wait to be inspired by others experiences as I appreciate my own, both good and bad.

  67. Now I know why cat’s like me,problem is,I always think of them as a bother coming from nowhere and rubbing themselves at me.This piece hit a nerve and I feel as well as understand you Josaya.I agree with you,those of us given pain know how to churn it back into love!Am glad am not dissapointed God,with the pain that came my way.Thank you for this great piece Biko and many thanks to Josaya for the wonderful inspiration.

  68. i have read Josaya through the years, the first writers name i noted. I imagined meeting him on many occasions and he would match his stories in personality. however your description of him doesn’t match the writer. I know why now. we all rise at some point…sadly for him it was from pain.

  69. I have always loved Josiah articles i don’t fancy reading newspapers but always looked for Wednesdays papers for his articles funny and inspiring. i was heartbroken for him when i read about the separation, but admired his courage to write about it,am so happy that things worked out. Marriage has its twists and turns and doesn’t always work out,but am so happy i did a happy dance in the office to hear things are working out for him and his wife.

    I pray for him and his wife that they will continue to have many days of endless’ unconditional love and that he gets to do that script writing, those movies will be something else i wait in eagerness to read.

  70. Wow Biko wow! You just keep getting better with each article.
    I hope all you who were mentored by Oyunga have found a way to honor him.
    I love that there is a story of pain..sometimes we forget we are products of both joy and pain. How we use the two is what matters.

  71. I used to read Pudd’ngs stories every week. Loved how he’d write about his family. May God continually strengthen you Josiah. Truly to whom much is given much is expected. It’s great that you’re thriving and not letting the rape put you down. May you find true peace in God.

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  72. Yes…i remember reading about the separation and the rape…i thought that was very bold. Thanks Josaya for opening up! Tebderoni and Pudding were such a highlight on wednesdays!

  73. I do remember reading Josiah’s article; and his revelation stunned me yet made me relate to this Wednesday writer who’d taken a position of demi-god status in my head what with the narration of his perfect life! Hmmmh never quite thought of pain being a hand that one is delt in life…if them then why not me? Oh life.

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  74. Reading in from the land of “juice wa mango”, Uganda and given our recent history with gay rights and all am so disturbed that Josaya was raped as far back as then? I have so many whys and how’s. He is such strong dude.

  75. My heart goes out to Josaya; then it breaks for him but also celebrates his tenacity. So many lessons to learn from his outlook on what was given to him…..
    the cat story hit like a brick; jolted my now sorrowful spirit (for Josaya’s wrecked childhood) into the realization that solace, comfort, and peace can indeed be achieved if we choose to see beyond the dark, into the light.
    I yearn to hear Josaya’s laugh….. I may have to be a fly on Oyunga Pala’s wall to do so.
    You carry your burden well sir. May we learn to know what to do with ours. Selah.

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  76. “You know when you get raped once, you somehow feel like you were raped your whole life. It’s effect stays with you.”
    I was sexually assaulted at around age 9 he was 17. His name was Dickson, we called him Dicky (oh the irony) he should have known better but he just did it. He convinced me I wanted him to touch me…. He didn’t get very far…My mother was in the next house she called me outside. I dressed up and hid my shame…I never said a thing to anyone. I cry about it at times not because it hurt but because of what he took from me. My innocence the right to say no…the ability to trust men. That minute or two …. affected every stage of my life, it still does. I am an angry soul. Maybe one day I’ll forgive him

    1
    1. so sorry to hear about your experience. Please forgive and move on for your own sake – the anger and bitterness eat you from the inside and allow him to ‘win’. You did no wrong, you were wronged!

  77. Thank you Josaya, you spoke for many. Some of us can’t always be so eloquent and forthright.
    Also Biko, thanks, I’m here for the cats 🙂
    x

  78. Nice to read about Josaya. I was an ardent fan of his column in the Wednesday Nation. Just like some of us feel that we know Tamms, and at times Kim, I felt I knew Pudding and Tenderoni.
    “It’s only in heaven that we will forget everything that happened to us on earth.”

  79. Quite a story there. Someone told me, quiet people hide a lot.I believed. He is an inspiration…God gives us pain and talents it’s up to us to determine how to use them.

  80. Ok, here goes:
    In the happening of such a tragic event as rape, someone loses a little piece of themselves… Deep inside something shatters,even the belief that God is by your side looking out for us. I dont know if saying ‘I am deeply sorry’ or ‘I empathize ‘ makes you feel better, but i can say that these tragic events happen for a reason. I also need to know where He was when my chromosomes were combining; He could have removed the gene predisposing me to depression right? However, i now possess a deeper meaning to life, love and good health. That waking up, having energy to breathe let alone shower, dress and show for work is not an ordinary thing.

    We are all a little broken, and its ok. You are okay.
    And yes, cats know people who are hurting. At least all the stray cats i call come running 🙂

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  81. I read Josaya’s Rape story when it was published in Daily Nation. I can’t forget how he ended it. Something to the tune of, “I will teach Pudd’ng to speak out when something like this happens.”

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  82. My mum always told me about Pudd’ng & Tenderoni, and this sparked so much interest in reading afterwords. I always thought of the author as a father, I can not remember when I stopped reading of this family. Never thought it would ever come up… till this. Deep. Pain is real. All I can say is that I believe we cannot question God- sometimes you just take comfort in that,

    1
  83. Because I have always wanted to understand what God was doing that night he allowed another man to violate me. Me, his child, who praised him in church and sang for him and worshiped him. I want to know what he was doing when I was raped.”

    Meeeen this is deeep.
    Thanks Biko you make Tuesdays mysterious. never knowing when the next bat will emerge from the darkness or how hard its going to hit

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  84. I nearly encountered rape sometime this year but somehow God came through for me that night. I still shudder from the occurrences of that night more so because he wasn’t a total stranger. I feel Wesonga’s pain and I’d love to hug and console him. I’m christian and we never get to understand some occurrences in our lives, we question why God let it happen to us, but we can live through them a day at a time..a little tears here, some prayers there and we have strength for the next second we hurt

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  85. Sure enough, only oneself knows what they have been through in life despite how much the people around thinks they understand. Besides, it takes courage and maybe maturity to talk about some wounds-that-never-closed incidences.

    Nice job Biko!

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  86. Josaya is very bold. It isn’t everyday that you find someone who pours their hearts to the whole world, especially men. Women cry and that a times help lessen the burden. most men don’t. they kaa ngumu as the society has “moulded” them to think. Thanks so much Josaya

  87. I’m in awe of the 44 year old Josaya.
    Very sad and crushed for the 11 year old Josaya.
    I am raving mad thinking about that rapist standing there, waylaying 11 year olds. I want to shoot him in the head, completely obliterate him from the face of the earth. Then I loop back to the 44 year old Josaya, who now prays that the rapist would be relieved of his guilt.

    I look at myself and think Lord, make me a better person.

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  88. Very deep. Inspired me to do some soul-searching. ..”From the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
    I used to read Josaya’s column. A good writer, that.

  89. This is deep..proud of you that you lived through your pain and did not allow it to destroy you…There is so much pain going on in our lives…Nice work Biko giving people an opportunity to open up about the pains in their lives..I think it really helps to lighten the burden…

    1
  90. Here I was thinking Pudding was your daughter. Great writers/creatives and pain/turmoil are never a strange match, regardless of how un-ideal the pain hence Josiah and his craft .I will be looking out for his craft it has been a minute since the Pala,Biko and Josiah days.

  91. I just like how Biko makes interviews not sound like interviews. They are just stories with a flow… Great read Biko.
    And oh, I heard cats ‘generate’ that generator sound only when they are hungry so maybe Josaya needs to look into that .
    Brave man Josaya

  92. Aaaah, Josaya. This felt very, nostalgic. I was a big fan of his fatherhood tales even before I started reading Biko. My old man was so big on politics(still is) he’d bring all the papers from the office home, yeah he was that guy. I’d always look forward to wednesday’s living magazine. Then when I discovered Biko I confused all those names, Tamms, Tenderoni and Pudd’ng. I wish I could have more of Tamms. And Puddn’g? How is she? I miss her. How about a guest post for next week now that you’re sort of back? One more time?

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  93. I can’t put my emotions in words right now damn. I have always loved Josaya. He is amazing. He is a warrior and may the Lord bless him. Josaya thank you for sharing your story you are such an inspiration and you may never know how many lives you touched just by sharing your story. Biko keep up the good work I am always routing for you.

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  94. Great read. This well done article hurts. It’s hard to imagine that the Josaya Wasonga whose Pudd’ng/Tenderoni column I used to look forward to every week suffered a rape ordeal. The pain is palpable…probably summed in this extract:

    “…Whatever the case, I think I’m ready to write a musical now. It will be titled something like “What was happening in heaven the night I was raped.”’ Because I have always wanted to understand what God was doing that night he allowed another man to violate me. Me, his child, who praised him in church and sang for him and worshipped him. I want to know what he was doing when I was raped…”

    May you find healing soon Bw. Wasonga; it shall be well.

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  95. Until you unmask your self, healing and closure does not start, amazing article and Josaya, it gets better with time.

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  96. Pain. And. A. Pen. Thriving through it all…. Powerful.. “Things that don’t define us yet we suspect that our lives have somehow been defined by them.” ‍♀

  97. I read Josaya before he moved to the standard. Oyunga too. Now chocolate man. He has had his pain and is his outstanding writing.

  98. I remember reading that article Josaya and thought I should hug you. You are one of my favorite writers and you being open and vulnerable in your work is what I love.
    Thank you for sharing,and Biko thanks for telling his storyl

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  99. Takes real courage to open up in this way… Thank you and may you find healing and peace in these reflective years

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  100. Thanks Josaya for sharing. I always thought your articles were to have the happily ever after effect and then separation happened and i really felt sad. Glad that you are back together and please bring back your article on DN Wednesdays.

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  101. I used to religiously read Josiah Wesonga’s series on puddng and Tenderoni. its hard to believe that he has been through so much. This made me cry and i am in the office illegally reading Biko during working hours!wow!i like the part about God giving you talent and pain..its so true.That’s why most brilliant artists are tortured souls i guess.The best writers have really dark side yet write the most beautiful work.
    Also the intro to this interview Biko spoke to me.The writing was superb. i havent felt that from you in a while.Good job.

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  102. Josaya! I have been such a fan. So glad to read more about him. Keep the fire burning. And your realness. You are a blessing to many.
    Biko, I enjoy your articles.

  103. I have always loved reading Josiah’s articles in the Daily Nation. For him to have opened about such a traumatic event in his life goes to shoe that he is such a strong person.
    “I want to know what God was doing when I His child was violated” this is a very normal response to pain and trauma. Am sure God was still protecting Josiah despite the circumstances. God never wastes our pain.
    Beautiful piece. Thank you

  104. I have read this piece over and over again, four times to be precise.. (Yes I made a print out)… Great article Biko, though sad… I loved reading about Pudding when Josaya was a new daddy, somehow, someway I stopped getting the physical Daily paper and there went my follow up on Pudding. As a mother and especially to a son, this has shattered my heart, and I cant start to imagine what was going through Josaya’s mum’s tormented thoughts when she set her eyes on her 11 year old son and “knowing immediately that something so horrible had happened to me.” as he puts it.. Yes mothers have a way of knowing this stuff, I feel sad that she passed on without knowing what had happened to her “little boy” though it shows how strong Josaya was and is “to have chosen to protect his mum from such a heartbreak” (May she continue resting in perfect peace). Thanks for sharing your pain with us and may the good Lord continue giving you strength and increasing your talent day by day as you continue touching hearts in a positive way…

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    1. Would it be because it takes time to absorb and deal with the trauma? Not to mention the stigma around male rape.
      Before you type,please think…… What would you do? Everyone has a right to deal with things in their own way and their own time and it’s good to speak about taboo subjects in order to raise awareness. We are talking about paedophilia here where a child is involved and innocent in all respects – notice he said that he thought the man wanted to cane him…..
      Two main reasons I can think of ; Catharsis and to promote awareness?

      1. I understand on the catharsis. But we gotta choose our forum and audience. I would understand if its talking to a group of people with similar tragedy, an encouragement on how to deal and what not to do. And other relevant cases.
        Or what else would I do? I would talk to someone who can help, a priest, a counselor, my wife etc. That in itself is releasing also. And his writing he mentioned was his way of releasing even the case of his wife leaving him. Until it became too much as Biko said.

        But again, what’s the lesson in sharing on this platform? Is it really relevant? Does it help? And take out Biko’s extra descriptions, its just a one paragraph story. Someone wanting to learn from this will have to dig for the lessons. Did it affect his marriage, or his later life, in what way? What would he have done differently (apart from telling about it earlier to his mom or anyone that is)

        Anyway, I will insist (only in this case here) this story is irrelevant TMI. We don’t just tell because there is telling.

  105. “Someone told me that it’s only in heaven that we will forget everything that happened to us on earth.” Josaya says.

    then also

    But the thing is we all have to be accountable for the pain and talent we are given and so one day God will ask me what I did with my pain…

    where will this question be asked? then,

    I feel u. Then there is this book titled A MAN CALLED OVE where the thing about cats and them knowing who is hurting is well elaborated

  106. I read this yesterday. I decided to sleep on it so that I can have something profound to tell Josaya but I’ve got squat. Nevertheless I have something not so profound to say.
    First of all, why didn’t you tell your mom? You were eleven! I cant begin to imagine what you must have felt after such an aldeal. Do you think the reason you didn’t tell her was because you thought it was a man’s thing not to talk about it? That your manhood manifested and thought ”this is not the kind of thing men talk about ” Because I’m sure were you a girl you would have confided in her. You should have told her, she might have carried a little bit of your hurt and at least lessened your pain. I teared up a bit reading this, it broke my heart because I pictured you running back home scared and confused. Wondering what just happened. Your life as you knew changed that night. Your innocence snatched away from you at such a young age.

    I also agree on what you said about God. It makes sense I guess. Some of us go through so much pain while others just thrive through life untouched by its cruelty and unpleasantness. But heaven must understand the ratio of pain per person because I don’t.

    And lastly. Sorry I have to kind of point out that. You mentioned that you’ll like to understand what was happening in heaven that night. What God was doing when He allowed another man to violate you. I don’t think any of us can answer that. But I do know this for a fact. He was still seated in His throne. He saw it all. I have no idea why He didn’t stop it, but I hope He gets to reveal it to you someday.

    Keep your faith Josaya. Sometimes its the only thing that keeps some of us together. I’m glad you wife came back.

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  107. It’s difficult to say anything in response to this story. Knowing it is not a story – It is another human being’s life. Somehow, nothing springs to mind, that even comes close to the homage I wish I could pay Josaya.

    He does not tell stories. He invites us into his home and his life. And as excited as I was when Pudd’ng first went to school; as saddened as I was when Tenderoni left; I simply went blank when he wrote about the rape.

    Pain was entrusted to him, and he does with it, what so many of us are too afraid to do – he shines a light on it. I can just see pain cowering in the corner because it realizes that Josaya is much, much bigger than it ever will be.

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  108. I think 40’s makes one face his/her pains and fears with boldness.

    Thanks Josiah for sharing your story with us, may you find complete healing.God bless

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    1. totally agree with you .. admin pls install an auto delete app for any “am the first to comment” posts
      its way too insensitive to the spirit of the articles on this blog

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  109. I too remember reading the article Josaya wrote and feeling so heartbroken I emailed him. Unbelievably he managed to inject his poetic writing into this difficult story. The rapist was described as a dancer I recall. Also his regret that his mother never knew was very poignant.

    I love his assertion that you don’t dish out what was dished to you…proof positive that evil does not win.

  110. I didn’t even for a second think that Josaya was that old, I loved him unconditionally for his sensational writing and now I love him even more for the tenacious spirit and spiritual maturity.
    Also glad to hear he got back with the wife, that’s how I stopped reading his articles because I couldn’t stand the pain of reading about his separation. May God give him the peace that passes human understanding…He gives beauty for ashes.
    <3 <3

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    1. Rachel – mid 40s is the new mid20s? right ? Josaya is a fine young man and we really appreciate him and his courage in baring his soul!

  111. ” I think they know” ”know what” ”I think cats know people who are hurt”

    i didn’t see that coming. good read Biko asante

  112. Oh Josaya! that feels worse than a stab in the heart,but am glad he soldiers it on so braves to even tell it out-and has got the strength to forgive. The pen though is such a great gift he got there.
    Write on brother! and dont you swallow that pill.we cant afford to have you forget how to tickle the ribs of many who’ve been hurt in this world.You may not cry out the pain, but you sure can laugh it away.
    Greetings to pudd’ng.
    Thanks Biko

    PS:I hate the generator feeling too,but hey! that got me

  113. That was very deep. Only strong men can stand such a test. Indeed to whom much is given much is expected. I envy this guy Josaya.

  114. I think Josaya thrived from that pain. He’s well built-to protect himself at the next attempt
    He’s sensitive-he understands pain
    He’s a writer- he does understand to express what he feels
    Thanks be to God, The pain gave him purpose in life.
    Great read Biko

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  115. “Love is the core of my faith…my love should be a reflection, not a refraction.”

    “What was happening in heaven the night I was raped.”’ Because I have always wanted to understand what God was doing that night he allowed another man to violate me. Me, his child, who praised him in church and sang for him and worshiped him. I want to know what he was doing when I was raped.”

    Deep staff.

  116. What a powerful, emotional article! Be blessed Josaya! I have been totally blown away by your story and your aspiration for that musical “What was happening in heaven the night I was  raped.”’ Thank you for sharing your story! Thank you for being you. xx

  117. Thanks for sharing.
    though mine was a different nasty experience i can relate. blocked it from age 14 for 25years.. On an inner healing path now. The tears have lessened in the last two years…reading this story made me cry. I would like to know where God was that fateful morning. Forgiveness is hard but it helps the healing process.
    Asante Biko

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  118. I read Josaya and Asunta Wagura EVERY Wednesday! I literally felt like I was part of their family. Then Tenderoni left and my heart was shattered. So glad they mended things. Then this rape story…my fragile heart again 🙁 I love his outlook on life. The way he has purposed to thrive through his pain. That musical would be killer! Do it Josaya.

    Biko, please look for Asunta Wagura. Hers is a story I’d love to hear as well!

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  119. Oh wow….I have read this over and over and still not collected myself to comment.
    Every single line from Josaya spoke so much of his life and all of life as well.

    Kwani this is the first am hearing of Josaya , since I reside in the pearl
    Does he write any material online ?

  120. I had read this so many times my heart has broken for the man whose articles I read so many times….. Just glad his pain didn’t deter him from being great… Awwww I love have happy endings so glad Tenderoni and Josaya got back…..

  121. I can’t even begin to imagine Josaya’s pain all these years. Wish him well. Now Biko, why would you get a teetotaler a bottle of champagne? Product placement shouldn’t appear laboured.

  122. The Cat thing…. its so true , people hate on them but cats can truly sense a humans pain in a way dogs can,t. This story is quite inspirational. Glad I read it.

  123. ‘Love is the core of my faith…my love should be a reflection, not a refraction.”

    “What was happening in heaven the night I was raped.”’ Because I have always wanted to understand what God was doing that night he allowed another man to violate me. Me, his child, who praised him in church and sang for him and worshiped him. I want to know what he was doing when I was raped.”

    I cannot go beyond this. How can anyone go beyond this.

  124. Biko, you have a rare gift, while an interview is almost sad, you throw in a word which bring a slow smile to your readers. I celebrate you two, you give hope to your readers. Like me. One day, I will be in your interview, not because I am a celeb or anything, but because I have triumphed over many obstacles in life….. And I would love for those that have kinda given up to know that, like Josaya has mentioned, it’s about you and not what people think about you….. It’s you to overcome the emptiness you might be feeling or the inadequacies that hamper your grow. It’s all about you. Thank you Biko 🙂 and Josaya for this lovely and inspiring piece. And about cats, Biko, you didn’t have to ask, seriously hehehehe

  125. Parece que já se sabe quem é o primeiro dos úolimts!Uma tripla, Dias Ferreira, Futre e Jasus era coisa para alimentar os Gatos Fedorentos durante 2 gerações!

  126. Interesting how you switched the story…just when I thought the story was about his marriage…I’ve never forgotten the article Josiah wrote in the Nation (DN or SatMag not sure) about his rape. That was one of, if not THE the most, heartfelt writing I have ever read. It must have been about a decade ago but it has stayed with me. He is so strong to have overcome it to the extent of being able to share it with the world. A great writer and a great man.

  127. “Someone told me that it’s only in heaven that we will forget everything that happened to us on earth.”

    Oh how there is so much pain out there :-(!

    This has left me with this cloud hanging over my heart!

  128. I’ve always enjoyed Josaya’s articles; who knew what torment such a creative man had to go through. I feel for him and other men who have gone through the same ordeal because in our society, most of them dare not talk about their ‘incidents’ as freely as women do.
    Hopefully we can come up with a support system where men can feel free to turn to in such cases, luckily Josaya had an ‘outlet’.

  129. I had actually googled Josaya Wesonga to check on any latest articles on puddng and came across this.Those stories were what used to make me buy Daily nation on Wednesday. I also remember he shared this.Thank you for sharing your journey.I guess we have pain and sadness creeps up for me even in my forties from things that emotionally hurt and i never get past it.