One day you’ll be at the right place at the right time, but then you’ll regret it.
It will be on an early Tuesday morning. You’ll alight the City Hoppa bus at Kilimanjaro road at Upper Hill Nairobi. You’ll be clad in blue jeans, a purple t-shirt, a cool looking navy blue hood jacket (the one you like), some white and red coloured sneakers and a laptop bag dangling on your left thigh as you walk.
You’ll be heading to work that morning, ready to bring out the best in you, ready to complete the work assignment and get that week long decent money pay check from the company you’ve been offering your creative writing service to. And you’ll feel proud of yourself because writing is what you love to do.
You’ll walk up to the T-junction, the one that looks over the beautiful face of Radisson Blu Hotel. You’ll think of how the 2016 Bloggers Association Kenya Awards (BAKE) ceremony was held at that hotel. You’ll wish to end up nominated in the next year BAKE awards and you’ll desire to take your fiancé on a surprise date at the hotel.
You’ll walk; lost in your morning daydreaming thoughts.
But all that will change in an instant. You’ll smell danger up your nostrils all the way to your brain – like a dog’s corpse lying by the roadside. Your nerves will scream to you. Then you’ll turn around, only to see four chokoras, with clothes and souls dark as hell. They’ll be closing in on you, ready to attack. Fear will have the best of you.
For the next couple of seconds, maybe minutes, your dignity will be reduced. You’ll yell for help, “nisaidieni, nisaidieni, nisaidieni!”
But no one will help you at first.
You’ll immediately realize in retrospect what just happened – that upon taking the right turn at the T-junction, you ignored the legion of violent hungry packs of chokoras across the road, walking their way up in the same direction. On a mission. A wicked violent mission. You’ll later learn that the four bastards spotted you wearing a hood, walking with the brown laptop bag. They will want it.
They believe you have something that’s ‘theirs.’
You’ll fight back, toss and turn, shouting, trying to break yourself free. You’ll feel blows, kicks and slaps land hard on your body. But all that won’t hurt you. What will hurt the most is the onlookers doing nothing to save you. They will stand there like worthless statues.
You’ll fight like a man – not because you are stronger than the goons but because you can’t let them have that laptop. It means a lot to you. Your fiancé spent her savings to buy it for you in a bid to support your writing so you can work hard to provide for both of you. And so you will fight, like the man you are. A warrior!
In that shit storm, God won’t let you fall, no he won’t. He’ll let one courageous driver stop his car and hoot relentlessly (God bless that fella). The devil’s demons will get scared and scatter away from you. You’ll pick yourself up – though hurt, dirty, crashed and demeaned – you’ll pick yourself up.
You’ll walk back the same direction you came from, seeking a safe haven and trying to regroup yourself. You’ll see two labourers standing a stone-throw away from where it all happened and you’ll ask them with such firmness, ‘why didn’t you do anything to help me? Didn’t you see those guys were hurting me, trying to rob me?’ Both of them will be lost for words. You’ll secretly hope the guilt eats at their conscience but later you’ll let it go because you’ll ask yourself; if it was one of them, would I have done any different? That question will keep your mouth shut! Sadly, in Nairobi, though you walk in the midst of a crowd, you are all alone.
You’ll sit down at the Mama Chai’s spot answering dumb questions from folks who seem to care now yet they were idle spectators when the devil’s boys had earlier made you their punching bag. You’ll ask her for water to clean up yourself and wash the wounds on your right hand. She’ll generously offer it to you with a thousand comforting words.
You’ll think about calling your fiancé first. Later your Dad. Then your boss. But you won’t. You’ll stall it for a while as you slowly swallow your anger. Eventually, at the right time, you’ll tell her.
You’ll go on to have a productive day at work because it takes more than that to knock a Lion down! Or dampen his spirit. You’ll be glad you still have your laptop, and despite the few bruises on your right hand and both knees, you’ll be as fit as a fiddle. You’ll vividly remember how the empty glass bottle thrown at you by one of the goons missed your head and it crushed on the road.
You will thank God for protecting you.
This account is based on real events that happened to me early this morning around 8:54am. It was a nasty ordeal, one I wouldn’t wish to happen to you. No matter where you are even though it’s the right place at the right time, always beware of your surroundings. Be safe and take care.