What you need to know:
- There’s that friend who will tell you bad things that you do not want to hear. Keep them close.
- A good bad friend will not let you throw away your marriage. Not if he can help it. Even if he knows there’s a bro code and he won’t snitch on you, he will not let you one-night-stand your marriage away.
In the sitcom, Kim’s Convenience, Jung and Kimchee are exchanging verbal jabs about bro code and an incident that happened earlier in the day. Kimchee drops this gem: “You gotta be the good bad friend. The guy who tells good friends bad things they need to hear.”
A good bad friend. This was what came to my mind when I read about Dr Leonard Thuo Mwithiga’s case; the Kenyan banker who flew to the US and hired a hitman to kill his wife.
I don’t know if Dr Thuo mentioned his plan to a good bad friend; someone to tell him he was about to make the costliest mistake of his life. Maybe, just maybe, the admonition from a good bad friend would’ve saved the day.
Saint and sinners
Several years ago, I did an article in the Saturday Nation’s pull-out magazine about the lengths some scorned lovers go to in their quest for revenge. I told the story of how a man approached some men to beat the living daylights out of a girl who’d left him.
This incident was closer home. It happened to me. I was among the young men approached by NCC to unleash terror on a young lady. We jokingly referred to each other as NCC (Nairobi Chuny Chandruok). That’s DhoLuo for Nairobi Heartland of Problems.
NCC was not just my boy from the hood. He also belonged to his church’s youth group. His ex, whom he met in the church youth group, left him for another saved, more loaded brother. NCC could not take it lying down. NCC was struggling to pay rent and fend for himself. I was also in the same boat.
“NCC, please understand,” NCC pleaded, “I got this girl a job and now she’s leaving me kwa mataa.”
“NCC, I understand,” I said, “but you can’t do this. I know you, man. You’re better than this.”
It was ironical that we - the boys in the hood and the world - were the ones counselling a brother who, ostensibly, belonged to the Kingdom of God. It was sinners who were speaking sense to a saint, urging him not to commit an intolerable sin.
This just goes to show that any man can be a good bad friend.
Human blood speaks
Every so often, I think of what would have become of NCC and yours truly had we gone ahead with his wicked plan. One thing’s for sure; his life - (not to mention mine) - would have been entirely different. And I mean entirely different in a bad way. Why, when you shed innocent human blood, you trigger deadly traps that adversely affect you and your generation for ages.
Not long after this incident, NCC’s life started picking up. It was like a movie script. He fell in love and wedded another lady who loved him. NCC is now a US citizen, holding down a good job, with a wife and kids.
Sometimes temptations come when a man’s about to have the breakthrough of a lifetime.
The best revenge
A good bad friend will not let you drink and drive; even if you drunkenly insist you’ve done this a thousand and one times … and your car knows its way home.
A good bad friend will not let you throw away your marriage. Not if he can help it. Even if he knows there’s a bro code and he won’t snitch on you, he will not let you one-night-stand your marriage away.
Listen. If you’ve been scorned or conned by a lover, the best revenge is to be better and do better. Grind more, man. Dream bigger dreams, dude. And the best person you can have in your corner, at all times, is a good bad friend. If you find one of those, just one, you will never make a Thuo-esque blunder.