My first day in Nairobi

You have just finished form four. Completed sounds better. You don’t want to spend the whole four months in reserve digging and literally being the de facto family shamba boy until results are out. That is for those of us who schooled before Matiangi was discovered and later a no-nonsense Professor George Magoha.

Prof. George Magoha- CS Education

So you decide to visit and stay with your eldest brother in Nairobi. Your parents are reluctant but since they don’t want you to commit suicide, they give you their blessings. The next one week is for preparation, buy a pair of jeans here and there, get a suitcase … name them. Your mother is also not left behind in all this events. She has already put aside unga ya wimbi for her eldest son and his family, maziwa mala, 40 gorogoros of maize, bananas.

By the way what is it with people transferring their farms in the name of visiting a relative in Nairobi? One would think the ninja runs a children home so that you have to carry lots of foodstuffs for them.

The long awaited day

Anyway, the long awaited day is here! Your mother wakes you up at 4.30 am. Unknown to her, you actually weren’t asleep. You just came back to that ‘saiga’ a few minutes to from your neighbor’s house, after  visiting Moraa, a form one student, who happens to be your village girlfriend. Immediately you took supper and left to sleep, you left to go and bid your village girlfriend bye. And she told you not to forget her, “… don’t be confused by the red ones in Nairobi, they might be sick”, that she will be waiting for you to come back with a present for her, she won’t even talk to any other boy because you are the Stevo (the simple boy) of her heart. I tell you it’s a long night of signing MOUs.

So you wake up, take a cold shower (unaoga hapo nje ya nyumba) . You then head to your parents’ house and your mother has already cooked Ugali ya wimbi, managu and tea for you. Once you’re done, she prays for journey mercies na mitego ya mwovu shetani ikuondokee during your safari and stay. Your father hasn’t fully recovered from yesterday’s heavy drinking, so he groans from his bed something that sounds like a warning and safe journey wish.

The boda-boda guy you alerted last night arrives in time and ties your luggage on his machine. Your mother squeezes several crumbled notes from her savings from selling milk, bananas and avocados into your hand , reminding you that that is all she had. (Mothers are special). You jump onto the boda-boda and off you go. You get to the bus stop and you are in time to catch the bus.

Social media

At Narok you alight during the stop and grab Ugali Matumbo halafu unateremsha na mahindi choma. you also buy njugu karanga to keep you busy till you get to Nairobi.
You are not on Facebook of course . Your mother had to forfeit her mulika mwizi for you to contact your brother when you arrive or incase the money won’t be enough you at least have a device to call her ndo aombe kwa chama akutumie. Because you took her phone, then it means you will call your dad who most likely will be off.

Thank God that never happens. So you get to Nairobi, your brother tells you he is on his way to town na ameshikwa na jam. That is every Nairobian’s excuse. so you stand at Afya centre for the next 3 hours guarding your luggage like a lioness does to her cubs. Those trolley guys give up asking you “boss mpaka wapi?”.

Nairobi Jam

Big brother finally shows up. He apologizes, “Pole kwa kukuweka sana. Najua umechoka. Home kukoje, kunanyesha?” and all those pleasantries. He then says, najua umechoka na unaskia njaa so he leads you to a cafe where ladies wearing handkerchiefs instead of skirts bring the menu but because a big brother doesn’t want to get embarrassed, he orders ugali beef for you and black current.
He chooses passion fruit for himself. Unagonga hiyo kitu kama militia and you leave for the stage with him. You board a noisy bus to Rongai where the music playing occasionally stops and you hear ” even your mother loves dj kalonje.” In his house you get served tea and bread waiting for rice and ndengu.
When you finally ask for the direction to the toilet, you expect him to lead you downstairs to a pit latrine somewhere in the compound but he instead points to a door along the corridor. Kijana ya ushago unaingia pale unaacha ant-hill karibu ijaze hako kakitu bana.

After 30 minutes, he goes to the toilet and flashes it. He then tells you, ” ukijaribu kuflash ikatae, unachota maji hapa kwa bafu unamwaga.” kumbe you never even flashed…
That is the beginning of a long holiday of learning Nairobi things my friend.

………. Keep it here for second part……….

By: Abuga Lawrence, a Communication Public Relations Graduate from Moi University

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