I am walking down this street. This is Nairobi. And Nairobi is full of streets. A collection of streets is called a Nairobi. Anyway, I’m walking down the street. It was a street with a view of the Green Building. The Afya Centre. God forbid that I lose sight of the building. For if I did, I might have as well had have lost my way in life.
The sun, bitter and fierce, is beating hard upon my back with the ferociousness of an angry mob. My body is bleeding sweat in return. In effect, my cologne is fighting back hard to keep the ensuing aroma from the fight between body and sun a private affair.
A light tap rests upon my shoulders. And just like light rains, s-light inconveniences and everything light, I ignored. The tap follows me some few metres later. Persistent. Persistenceis key, and so I stop. Albeit with a ‘me sina’ ready to dislodge from my mouth. She is light skinned, not beautiful in the strictest sense of it, but was attractive. Light dimples, well-shaped shapely chin. Deceptive but alluring smile. She was simply striking. A strikingness that struck the words off my mouth.
She wanted help with something. And I was in a position to help her because, in her own words, kijana ameiva kama mimi haachangi watu wakiumia. It was the ‘ameiva’ part for me. For those left behind , ‘kuiva’ is a top tier compliment. It’s the more serious version of you’re ‘hot’ , undiluted by homonyms. A person with the title of Umeiva would never turn down a woman in need, for after all, what was the point of having all these elevated levelsof hotness ? It is there and then that I decide to lose my sights on the Green Building and follow the damsel in the dress.
I come from a village with great deserves about people from Nairobi. Constitution of Eshisiru, Article 9(b) on the conduct of members in cities states that; Any stranger, with exception of fellow village mates, in any place, public or private, is a con, thief, or potential murderer, and as such all manner of evasive measures shall be deemed necessary to get away from such. This, in simpler terms, is , Though Shall Not Trust a Stranger.
And like in every village, there’s always a story. But in my case. Stories. Stories we might as well as term to be villagerial tales.
There was this time when Constance, a fellow village man, was stopped in a corridor of some street. Syringes whose needles were to be planted into his skin dare he fail to give out his phone, wallet and any other items of worth on his person. In this era of multiple diseases, one might never know what coctail of diseases an unknown and hostile syringe can hold in store for him. He had to comply lest he be Patient Zero for a new type of disease that might have been waiting to be unleashed unto the world. This was a new type of biological thievery that he’d never before witnessed. And it was scary.
Then came Dorcas. Our village wannabe celebrity. This one would always proudly strut about the village with her bright yellow Tetema blouse, green skinny jeans and ‘shoes?’. She was always in the clouds, muchntonfhe distaste of Her proud gait was finally diluted and toned down after a brief encounter with a Nairobi street thug. I guess it was the PTSD that brought her down to earth. It is rumoured that she had been accosted in the streets by a one man army of a street kid. Cupped in his hands was a huge clod of faecal matter that was to have been spread onto her body like you do butter to bread had she not given out her purse and ‘willingly’ handed over her phone . Leave it to Nairobi crooks to find other uses of faeces besides biogas generation and manure.
There were many other cases. Including Jakton who was bodied by a bulky dude with a knife, within the plain sight of multiple pedestrians. He was threatened to have his genitalia cut off and transplanted into his forehead with glue should he fail to give up everything. Of course no one would ever want to be a penis-horned unicorn however impossible it may seem, he yielded. This might as well as shed light on the nature of Nairobi pedestrians I guess. Everyone minds their preserves.
Then there’s the one that scratched closer to home. My father got accosted by a group of women. I cannot divulge the details further for the circumstances surrounding his ordeal, well, are sensitive. But he lost a laptop, phone, my school fees, his dignity, his wife.. the list goes on.
Therefore, as you can see, by following this girl to the middle of nowhere, I was in danger. By I I mean my phone, shoes, manhood, the scent of my cologne, my coins, everything i had was on the verge of acquiring a new owner. But I still went on. She was the Pied Piper, and I was the Children of the Village, following the tune of her voice towards a certain unknown.
Three weeks later, she’s cooking us lunch in my bedsitter as I scroll through the chaotic streets of Twitter. Some guy and his ex girlfriend were hurling insults at each other, and I, like my fellow twitter comrades, were there to add firewood to this raging inferno. Failed relationships these days have more action than the National Drama Festivals. This girl is called Purity, she stole my heart. I’m sorry, dear reader, for extinguishing your expectations like that.
photo credits James Wahome