Tuesday, 30 October 2012


I seems to be going through a phase where I actually find myself worrying about Kenya; getting upset about the things that are happening and should not be happening. Things I will not repeat because, well, you live in Kenya and even if you have buried your head six fit under, the problems of this our beloved country are not unknown to you.

Of all the things that make me worry and get upset about this country, there is only one thing that irks me beyond belief – the public transport industry in Kenya. I mean, matatu’s have got to be God’s way of punishing Kenyans. Especially 44 matatu’s! I honestly believe the drivers were born with no common sense, no reason and no intellect.

Sometime last week, Safaricom and a bunch of other organizations launched a campaign called TOA SAUTI! The campaign is aimed at reducing the number of road accidents happening on our roads by providing a platform for Kenyans to speak up against reckless driving. Statistics show that 8 people die daily in Kenya from road accidents. I think this year we have lost more than 8 people daily. Anyway, so if 8 people die daily and we have 365 days a year then what we are saying is 2920 Kenyans die each year from road accidents. Those are many people. I saw the campaign in Friday’s paper and skimmed through it. I suspect there must be a number where passengers are supposed to SMS to alert cops on reckless driving. I never read the article comprehensively. I wish I did.

The story.

Last week, on Friday I get to town. Board a 44 mat and sit in front with the driver. For your information, the reason why I MUST sit in front is because it is the only way I will make sure the punks use the service lane and drop me off at the stage and not in the middle of the highway, where I have to jump over rails to get home. This is a lesson I learnt the hard way – after I lost my balance one night attempting to jump the rails and almost fell on the road and there was an oncoming car. Yes, I know… Life is hard when dealing with punks.

So, since it was a bit late, the mat took some time (about 30 minutes) to fill up. The following is a conversation between the driver and the guy seated next to me:

Driver (Holding a bottle of water): Boss, nimekaukiwa jo!

Random guy (Holding a bottle of coke): Pia mimi jo! Ni kubaya leo

Driver: Uko na  <insert a sheng word>  I do not remember what he said. I don’t speak Greek.

Random guy: Unaona ata yangu (the bottle of soda) haina kitu.

Driver: Hauna <insert sheng word>

Random guy: Sijafungua bado

Driver: Wacha ni mwage hii maji uni-sort.

*Random guy takes out a bottle of Johnnie Walker (Black Label) from his bag and opens it*

*Conversation with myself: Aaaah! That sheng word must have been referring to alcohol*

*Driver empties the bottle of water*

*Random Guy pours Johnnie Walker into drivers bottle till it’s three-quarter full*

Driver: Wazi jo! Umeniokoa sana.

*Driver drinks it neat till his bottle is quarter full*


Me (to random guy): Excuse me, wacha nishuke tafadhali

Driver (while pointing at his “water” bottle): Madam unadhani nitalewa na hii?

Me: Ndio.

Me (to random guy a bit irritated now): Excuse me, I need to alight.

*Random Guy Ignores Me*

*I stretch out to open the door for myself*

*Driver locks it from central lock*

Driver: Mrembo, si endeshi hii gari. Nabaki town. Nitaenda ikirudi.

Me: Then you should have no problem with me alighting. Fungua hi mlango na uwache ujinga! And what the hell is wrong with you? You think in thirty minutes you will be less drunk. FUNGUA MLANGO!

Me (to random guy): You must be a murderer. Why would you give someone driving you alcohol?

Random guy: Jaymo!(that is the drivers name), Fungulia huyu mrembo na wazimu zake ashuke

*Jaymo opens the door and I alight*

* I walk away pissed as hell and wondering why the hell random guy gave the driver alcohol*

*Conversation with myself: Crap! What if the mat gets an accident and the guys at the back don’t know the driver is drunk. You should have told the other people that the driver is on Johnnie Walker*

<It remained a thought>

Maybe I was acting all crazy and dramatic but I would rather be crazy than be a statistic than be among the 8!
I wished I had read the TOA SAUTI article thoroughly. Taken down the number and made my voice be heard.

One of my daily mantras is:

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason and intellect intended us to forgo their use ~Gallileo Gallilei~

I now know that there is an exception to every rule. Even that one.

Read about TOA SAUTI here.

Have a safe week. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

Of Coffee Tables


He waves at her. Excitedly. To signal where he is seated. He has been waiting for the last ten minutes… He also smiles because he cannot for the life of him hide his thrill to see her. He has never been this happy about seeing a girl in his life. It’s a strange feeling. One he would not trade for anything. It’s a coffee date at the coffee house down the street from his house. He hopes that this time the location is strategic enough… You know, just in case the conversation goes down a certain road… The kind of road that makes her cheeks turn red and makes him shift in his seat. The kind of road that it went the last time they met, and the time before that, and the one before that, and the one before that...


She walks towards the table smiling nervously. Hoping he will notice that 1) she is in a dress and 2) that it is a short dress. She wore jeans on their first date; jeans and a turtle neck. She loved the company. So on all the other dates, she made a point to show more skin; a more revealing top today, shorts tomorrow, a skirt the next time... Msichana ni effort she was told. She wonders if he is smiling because he is happy to see her or  because it’s polite. 

*Mental Shrug* 

It’s JUST a coffee date. He can’t be that happy to see you – besides you are ten minutes late -------- Mental conversation Number 1.  He doesn't care if she was ten minutes late or an hour late but she doesn't know it. You are lying to yourself you know, it is not JUST a coffee date------ Mental Conversation Number 2.


*Peck on the left corner of her lips*

“You look AMAZING!” He whispers in her left ear.

*MENTAL HI5* He noticed *Leprechaun Jump* ---------- Mental Conversation Number 3.

“Thank you. You look good too” she responds.


Conversation! Conversation! Conversation!



Conversation! Conversation! Conversation!

Her cheeks turn red. Maroon even. He shifts some more in his seat.

Grab her hand and "read her palm" --------- Mental Conversation Number 4

He leans across the table and gently reaches for her hand. She does the shifting this time round. He listens to the voices in his head and starts to read her palm. She surrenders to his words, (though she knows he is bluffing), to his eyes and to his touch on the lines on the palm of her hands…

He finishes bluffing. His eyes meet her now red eyes...

It was never JUST a coffee date but the table between them made sure it just that.