This story was told me by Donald “Babu” Zakayo, of Wamba, Kenya in the mid to late 1990s along with several other stories, a few of which I offer here. The edited transcription is mine.
OMAR WAS NOT crazy before. When he was eighteen he was a little bit crazy, but the Muslim took care of him and he was normal again.
This man was selling. This man was a business man. He had to sell his brother’s shop. For so many years he had been selling shop without coming out of the shop.
When he was around thirty years the brother said, “It’s too difficult to stay with this old man without a wife. Lets marry him a wife.”
He was asking, “Do you want a woman?”
“Yes! Why not?”
Well, the Muslim contributed money and he went to Marsabit and got a lady.
The brother returned. “Now, this one, your wife!”
Omar said, “Yes, I like it! Good! beautiful!”
The day of marriage came and they married one another. According to Muslims you don’t sleep with the lady before you marry. They were taken to the home to spend the night. Omar didn’t want to have to sleep with that woman. So he sit down throughout the night until it’s morning.
The next night, he came with a mattress. Instead of going up the bed he laid down his mattress and slept there.
Tomorrow, the woman went the old people. “Oh, this man has never done me anything! What’s wrong with him?”
So, Omar was called, told, “Why don’t you sleep with that woman? Love her?”
He said, “Ya, I love her, she is my wife!”
It was then he was told, “Since she is your wife you should spend the night with her.”
He said, “Yes! Today! I wasn’t feeling well.”
The night came. Omar went the bed. When the woman came he dropped from the bed. He went under the bed!
“Oh!,” the woman said, “what’s wrong with him now?”
She want to call people, “Come and see! Now he is under the bed, not on top of bed! Under the bed! What’s wrong with him?”
The old man come and said, “Omar, come out. Come out! Why are you hiding yourself?”
“No, no, no! I’m not hiding!”
Omar went and put on his suit. He left. He came down here and he climbed that tree you see there. He climbed on top. People went looking for Omar. All the night. Was not around. All the day. Was not around. He migrated from this tree. He went to that one. He climbed up.
For three days.
The fourth day people saw him on top of that tree and they saw him because he was saying, “Hello! Police control from Miali? Control! Can GO AHEAD!”
Allah what wrong?
So they went and told the old man, “The person you are looking for is on top of a tree!”
The old man came. He told Omar, “Climb down!” Omar didn’t even know how to climb down. So he took a ladder and Omar came down slowly slowly at the ground. He was taken home and told, “Your wife is here.”
“NO! I don’t want this one! This one not mine! I don’t want!”
The woman went.
From that day he started being crazy. Crazy. Even still.