Ronald Kimutai also known as Obsurvative, is one of the people who are of the same age bracket as you and see things beyond your age group. When the contemporary youth think of partying, dancing to the latest styles, drinking, he sees our society in a more purposeful outlook.
He is one of those people who ask the question why… Why should we drink, when we have people who don’t have a meal? Why should we party every day when there is so much we can do to make other people who are not, enjoy the privilege of partying as we do? And proceeds to impact the society with his findings anchored with information and scripture. He is among the people in our society who are burdened with reason rather than excuse.
It was in the year 2015 that I came to meet Ronald Kimutai also known as Obsurvative. At first I didn’t know his official name I only knew of his stage or artistic name, Obsurvative.
One of my great friend, Mosam, who resides in Nakuru came to my place Nairobi and insisted we should go to East Pokot for an event. Deep down I didn’t know what to expect in East Pokot; like what kind of poems to perform, how do people relate in that area and things like that.
At that point in time we had this vision to teach poetry to people in remote areas and other places where poetry is not as popular; when the opportunity presented itself ,I took it with open arms.
A couple of days before the day of travel I boarded a matatu to Nakuru and upon arrival Mosam and a band known as “Awesome the band” comprising of George a talented guitarist, Sam who played the keyboard, and Jeff a drummer had scheduled a rehearsal at a certain church on how we were to perform at the event in East Pokot.
It was then at the rehearsals that I met Obsurvative. We did the rehearsals and he briefed us on the event then we went on to a certain high school to teach the young people poetry and spoken word.
On that day I remember Obsurvative perfomed a remarkable piece drawing parallels between Poetry and Engineering and at the end of the poem, he asked the students whether they would love to be engineers or poets. There was so much noise in the room as the poem had left the students in a dilemma of whether to be engineers or poets.
After a successful day with the students the next day we were to embark on our mission to East Pokot. I didn’t know how far that place was neither did I know our mode of transport was a pick-up truck.
On that early morning we woke up, I had spent the night at my friend Mosam’s place. We had rehearsed a huge portion of the night as we had some new poems slated to perform at the event and as a result we never had enough sleep.
Finally the day came, we met in Nakuru town and picked up a lady friend,Valentine Rono with the other guys. We started jamming with George’s guitar right before we left, we were set!
The pickup truck came and we all hoped in. Our driver was a friend to Obsurvative known as Ezekiel, a very quiet and humble person. We sat at the back of the truck telling stories, singing and freestyling with the guitar playing at the background until we arrived at Marigat town.
We picked more guys among them was Mc Felchez and two athletes. As we left Marigat town we were quite a big number, there was Cindy Cherop and S.K Komen also in our midst. We had lunch in Marigat and then left for East Pokot.
As we left Marigat the next town was Kampi ya Samaki, an area bordering Lake Baringo. It was beautiful to look at the long stretched Lake from the back of the truck, some of us opted to stand. We went a couple of kilometres ahead and an Ostrich was in the middle of the road. Ezekiel stopped a bit, we took photos and we went on with our journey. The next town was a place called Loruk.
When we arrived at Loruk i thought we were close to where we were going but to my surprise we were not even near, we had covered some distance, right, but not close enough.
We traveled a couple of kilometres then we arrived at a place called Chemolingot. We took a break, started jamming at the town centre with our guitar until a certain drunk guy came and started singing with us then we decided to leave.
The event was Kamrio Marathon, it was an event to raise funds for the students school fees in the area. Wenyewe group, formed by Ronald Kimutai and Mc Felchez was among the invited guests. We were to grace the event under Wenyewe group.
A few minutes past Chemolingot we veered off the tarmac and continued with our journey through a rough road. There were some places which were really steep that the driver had to advise us to get off the vehicle.
The conversations we had shifted from politics to the illiteracy levels in our country, arts, music, tourism and some bits of humor.
It was around seven in the evening that we arrived at our destination, a very huge group of women singing in Pokot had gathered to welcome us, dressed in traditional regalia, all excited to see us and those women could really sing.
We were tired due to the long journey but the way the women sang we forgot we had been travelling all through the day. We could tell that the event meant so much to the people because there were so many young people who were sent by their parents to attend the event.
The event was a success, the marathon was conducted and winners awarded. Some of the leaders raised funds for the same initiative on that day of the event.
As we left Kamrio, we asked ourselves a lot of questions powered by the illiteracy levels in that area, how can we say as a country we are developing and there are places in the same country that records illiteracy levels up to ninety plus, percent?
After the event everyone went home tired but with an experience of a lifetime.
Meanwhile, Ronald Kimutai a.k.a Obsurvative was developing a program. He had seen the need for a mentorship program in East Pokot thus designed one; a very elaborate program on self-discovery and self-awareness which he engages young people in the country to take part in, every holiday in Kamrio village, East Pokot.
One other notable achievement is that as a result of the success of Kamrio mentorship, Ronald Kimutai helped mothers to institute a drip irrigation system in Kamrio where they farm Kales, tomatoes which they sell at the village market.
Through the order of events, it is clear that Ronald Kimutai, Obsurvative, is a very progressive person, from travelling to the remote areas in East Pokot, designing a mentorship program, and helping mothers to farm through irrigation.
His intent is clearly demonstrated by his new music video ‘I Will‘ which encourages people to follow their dreams and urges them to be men and women of substance.
The Writer, Murathe Ngigi, is An Urban Poet and Spokenword Artist, Story Teller, A Librarian and a Mentor at Kamrio Mentorship
Very powerful story. Truly inspirational.