Thomas Kariuki (T.K): Tribute to The Gentleman

Yesterday night, I was undergoing my usual “before bed” checklist.

  • Alarm set for 5:53am which gives me a 7 minute window for my snooze budget
  • Confirm that I actually ironed my clothes for the next day
  • Ensure my phone is plugged into the charger for some electrical juice.
  • Recheck my alarm in case something happened again to interfere with my expected ETA to earth after sleep.
  • Confirm that “Lione-ss” got my goodnight text
  • Recheck alarm
  • Refresh my social media dose starting with NBA highlights, King Bach vines and end up on Facebook for final touches.

So yesterday night was not any different until I saw the photo of Thomas (T.K). He had that model pose with the “med school 101” kit. In my mind I thought to myself, “A brother finally made it !!!!!””. So just as I was about to like the photo, my eyes landed on the phrase that I only liked when watching The Undertaker back in my WWE days, “RIP”.

Dr. T.K

As an involuntary action, I clicked to view his profile just to confirm that this wasn’t like a Jimmy Gait prank of some sorts. To my dismay it seemed I was late. A bevy of friends with heart-breaking tributes and captured moments thronged T.K’s timeline. With each scroll, my heart continued to beat faster. “It can’t be, this is T.K, he just can’t be gone like that”. So quickly I call my pal Mirera, whom I should probably address as Dr. Mirera since now he is learned and I am not. I digress…..

There’s a background tone so I presume that he is in a happy joint which somehow sends a ray of hope that what I viewed earlier was probably my imagination. Unfortunately, Mirera confirms the news. I quickly cut the call since I needed to make tea for the family( happens when you have a gene of luhya where tea is served after dinner). I hurry to serve the family and quickly rush to call Mirera. Interestingly a friend of his answers the on his behalf. The whole day he has been answering the same question, “So what happened?” So Sandra narrates in detail amidst interludes of emotional statements revealing that she was also hurt by the twist of events.

I got the chance to meet T.K after my high school days in 2010. The hang out was very “political” if I may say so since T.K had his pals as alumni from Alliance aka Bush, we had our boys from Mang’u and the glue that kept us were the ladies from Alliance Girls aka Bush G who happened to be the common glue between the two factions. Who said ladies don’t bring peace in the world? At that point in time there was a high sense of pride since each faction naturally showcased their poise in life. There would be meet-ups either as a house party or the common  Wacky Wednesday.

As a Mang’u man, 4 years after learning the culture to abhor the Bush boys since they were competition to us especially when it came to basketball or rugby, maintaining conversation was hard. It may be foolish pride back then but I was a strong disciple of that religion. However, the ladies made the environment quite chilled out since they interacted freely and this made us the guys realize that K.C.S.E was behind us and none of our clothes had badges. So to hell with the academic lingo and science congress testimonials and hello to friendship, hello to fun memories, hello to growing as cohorts.

T.K was that guy you would notice without effort. FIRST AND FOREMOST, being 19 years old back then, I noticed that all the ladies in the group were very easy with him. It’s like he had inside code personalized for each of them. “How do you do that MIGHTY MAN OF VALOUR?” I thought to myself. It was hard being cool back in the day compared to Mr. TK. Cologne wouldn’t help you, rocking Nike’s wouldn’t help you, bragging about your perfect scores wouldn’t help you  since T.K was miles ahead. A year later, when the childhood fun had faded away, the “funky” mentality had subsided, the group had started identifying with courses: med, law, arch, IT and all then I learnt over time who this man T.K was.

My man was the perfect gentleman. He literally embodied each of the letters in the phrase ‘GENTLEMAN”. It didn’t matter whether you were the friend, of the friend to the friend of his friend, as long as he got to know your name he would make you feel at ease. It didn’t matter whether you were a man or lady, a bush baby or a sub-saharan individual, T.K had that natural respect for all and sundry without any bias based on the financial muscle of your affiliates. He loved the finer things in life but was more down to earth than campaign posters glued to the floor. Who wouldn’t notice how polished and composed he was.

A brilliant man…..

A kind heart………….

A sharp mind………………

A doctor in the making……..

A man full of life……………………..

Shakespeare’s nephew…………………

Silent Bush die-hard alumnus……………

A friend to many………………………………………

A great son to his family…………………………………

A big brother…………………………………………………………

I am sure those around you all have personal memories of you. I will not act like I was always around for you,  if ever. Of which I am very sorry for . I am sorry I never got to reach out. I am sorry I didn’t play my part. I am sorry I didn’t provide a listening ear. I can’t imagine what your family must be going through right now. It is so odd using “was” instead of “is” when referring to you. It is very unreal T.K. Your exit makes me question many of my friendships. It makes me wonder why we have friends but seldom make the initiative to know how others are doing beyond Facebook posts and instagram challenges. It makes me sad to see young potential lives lost. At this point I even wonder, what’s the worth in life chasing all the glory…… yet it means nothing when we leave…. God has humour that I am sure of…. Yet at this point it brings tears….. But we hold on to His promise that He knows what is ahead.

I pray that God gives you eternal rest. That your soul may rest in peace.

At this point, I dedicate Kygo’s ‘Stole the show” verse to you, rest easy my brother

We used to have it all, but now’s our curtain call

So hold for the applause, oh

And wave out to the crowd, and take our final bow

Oh, it’s our time to go, but at least we stole the show

Least we stole the show

Least we stole the show

Least we stole the show

Least we stole the show

Salute Dr. T.K….. Till we meet again

One Thought on Thomas Kariuki (T.K): Tribute to The Gentleman

  1. Reminds me of one GENTLEMAN I had an opportunity to know … Irosh- He embodied it all but as nature would have it,he rests!

    Celebrate TK and all he stood for but more importantly, celebrate those you still have a chance to call up,meet up in flesh!

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