A Warrior Taken Too Soon
I want and wish to write, to talk, reflect and look back at a friend’s life.
I got a missed call this morning; it was a call from a regular friend. Noted it and promised to call back.
Half an hour later, a call came through from another friend “Evans was hit by a car this morning and he
passed away” Richard said from the other end of the line.
He said that he was on his way to meet the previous caller after which they would go to the mortuary.
One can’t ask much at that point, yet the feeling and need to know more is obvious. More obvious is
that the voice on the other end is overwhelmed as well.
“He was hit by a car, was he walking? What went wrong? What happened? Are you sure he’s passed
on?” These and more questions popped up. Disbelief marked with a need to prove otherwise. I feel like
holding the person on the other end of the line. To be able to look at his eyes, see his skin twitch and
confirm if it were true.
I watered my little garden, thoughts re-emerging, imagining and reflecting “He was young, what a pity”,
thoughts shift, shape and deform. “What a life? So full of struggle”.
Did I owe him? No! When was the last time I saw him? To the best of my knowledge, it was a brief
encounter at Diamond Plaza parking. He was leaving the space while I was walking in. We exchanged
pleasantries and we moved on to opposite directions. It was okay, just like many encounters we had and
like many others we foresaw in the future, at theatres, rehearsal spaces and Yoga studios, restaurants
and many more places we would meet, so I/ we thought.
He was a Poet, a slam poet. He had been crowned slam poet king at a competition of slam poetry. That
was in the last edition that was held in westlands. His winning poem was about being single, joining
another single person to make a single unit. It was beautifully done, narrated and executed.
He was also a Dancer; the last performance I watched of him was at the Goethe Institute Nairobi. He
performed a duet with Adam, my earlier caller, whose call I had missed. They had a live band on stage,
the music was awesome. The performance had great moments. I liked it. I was in the company of my
design students, seven of them enjoyed it. They felt that it was an eye opener.
Evans was a power Yoga Instructor under Africa Yoga Project. He trained most Saturday’s at ‘Shine
Centre’ Parklands, where all his colleagues have a once week community class. He spent the rest of the
week teaching the under-privileged marked with a few private classes for individuals.
I sent texts to friends whom I knew had not received the news and were his colleagues. They called back
in denial and our conversations were characterized by disbelief and the conversations were marked with
words like sad, sorrow, unbelievable, no way, shocking, denial and how vulnerable weall are.
A text came through from Moses, Africa Yoga Project country director “My dear brothers and sisters,
am sorry to let you know that we have lost a brother, a friend and a team member!! Evans Ng’ang’a!!
Passed away this morning at 6:30 am, he was involved in an accident at Kassarani bypass entering
Windsor golf Hotel as he was going to teach yoga. He was hit by a car while on a motor bike. The bike
rider survived, he is hospitalized at Kiambu General Hospital. Let’s pray and be strong as he always
knows. We are strong for each other. Namaste!!
Another text followed from a teacher it said “Yes it so very sad. He was a gentle soul.”
Earlier in the morning I called back the caller – Adam. His voice was shaky; he was in a state, shaken
state. He managed to say/ whisper that he would be visiting the mortuary. Prior to this morning he had
spent two months almost daily, rehearsing for the performance held at Goethe Institute Auditorium.
They connected strongly, did poetry evenings together. Practiced Yoga together, exchanged books; they
even used to teach together a mix of yoga and B- Boy at the National Theatre.
At the time of his death, Evans was twenty eight years of age and five months. He had shoulder-long
dreadlocks, loved the arts, had a girlfriend, and seemed a steady girlfriend. He used to work at times
with Helen Mtawali, Singer, Teacher Performer, of Tusker Project fame on other projects. Made and
taught friends how to make bracelets.
He chewed Muguka and he had a liking of calling it Chai-Jaba. He was conscious of the bottle necks in
the art sector, nevertheless, he soldiered on. Evident from a solo evening he put up two years ago at the
Goethe Institute Nairobi.
Friends and colleagues called him’ Evanso’ and so was his facebook name.
Eighteen hours prior to his accident he had posted on his facebook wall “Hell is where not where U go
because you are not a Christian; it’s the failure of your life’s greatest ambition….. (Immortal technique)”
“Someone pliz tell me this ain’t real” Ngao ya Ngoi posted.
I feel so blessed to have been Evans mentor and to have known such a great man with such a big
heart!!! He was talented and really lived to make people happy and to make them shine. This is such a
sad time…. I cannot believe it’s real” Stacy Hammel.
“Another warrior taken too soon another brother gone to a better place. A toast and a tear for real
soldier; I’ll mourn U till I join U, RIP LION” Nuru Bahati.
Last Sunday Evans posted
“Immorality has no color, race or tribe… we should not divide humanity,,, not one of them is a devil or
saint… we are all average sinners… Sun at 2211 hours.