Just about the time you get to the junction at Bahati that separates those willing to go to Solai and those about to move to Bahati and beyond, the pressure changes and the scent of something very familiar fill your nostrils. Nostalgia kicks in and all you want to do is tell everyone in that Matatu that you were born here, you grew up here, and puberty happened to you in this place, you even had your very first sexual encounter within this region, and there is nowhere you know better than Nakuru. Then, of course, you turn to the person next to you and notice that she are busy playing Candy Crush and do not even give a shit, so you keep your calm.
Both my sisters studied in this region, both in Bahati Girls, so this junction is very familiar, I never missed any visiting day. Visiting Day meant good food and good drinks like Christmas; I would have been a buffoon to miss any. Last week when I got to this junction traveling from Nyeri to home for the weekend, what was at this conversant junction was a rude shock. A new encounter that sent me into a frenzy of anger and unanswered questions. We had hit a traffic solid wall.
Kids from the Nairobi are used to traffic. I have friends who plan all their schedules an hour early because of traffic in Nairobi such that it becomes part of them their entire lives, – to be one hour early. Us, people from other places than Nairobi, we do not appreciate traffic delays. We frown when we hear that politicians are having rallies at Afraha Stadium because we know that that is an ordeal that will throw us off our plans and probably waste thirty minutes that we would never be able to recover. We hate guests, and it is not about the guest that makes us hate them it is because we like order and fast flowing traffic.
I closed the book I was rather enjoying, Blackass by Igoni Barrett courtesy of Kate Njenga. A magnificent book and it is true what they always say about African Literature, once you go African you can never go back. Blackass is a book I would recommend anyone to read. I digress.
Our driver parks the vehicle beside the road like everyone had done and we begin the wait. I was not sure who we were waiting for because the roads had been cleared but it wouldn’t require a bachelor of science degree to figure out that it was either the president or some egocentric politician who was headed to our town. The wait was uncomfortable; we had been seated in the same matatu for three hours and my ass threw in all sort of complaints about my weight. But an ant has no duty to quarrel with a boot, so we all held on to the shreds of peace we had.
It was not long until someone in the matatu casually exclaimed that ‘The Prophet of God’ was on route to town that was the reason for all the commotion. Immediately the matatu doors flew open, and people started sweeping the roads and singing praise songs to God. The Prophet Doctor, Awour was the reason for all the fuss.
Now, let me confess something, I am not a religious person. I try, but I am not, Actually I do not. I am not an evolutionist either; I appreciate Darwin’s work as a scientist, but I see a lot of stupidity in his theories. Truth be said, I do not care much about where we came from really, I am just here to serve my time and go. I appreciate however religious people, I have been on that side of life too. Therefore I know their antics is to preach to me whenever I throw in comments that differ from the good book. However, I have read the good book, and I can tell you a great deal about it. I also know religion is as important to a government as much as a budget because religion stands for order and allegiance to a supreme being who punishes the evil.
There are things I do not appreciate, one is switching on the T.V and discovering that the person who made me wait beside a road for thirty minutes because he has an escort is busy filling up the airwaves selling hope to the needy and recruiting multitudes to a lifetime of voluntary slavery. I know that I waste a lot of time on the T.V. I watch stupid shows like Young and Hungry. Am I proud of it? No. Do I know if Gaby will ever date the guy that is always hitting on her? No. Do I watch the show because Gaby is entirely hot and blonde? Yes. So, I am not a person who constantly has a full plate of activities, but I would like to have the choice when and when not to waste my time.
Dr. Awour signifies everything that is wrong with our society today. Yes, I know there is Facebook too but this time I am particular. This generation, all the young people move to the city and big towns to grab opportunities and grab a piece of the large pie we call life. What we do not pay attention to is the population we leave behind, the hundreds that never got to high school or those that quit high school half way in the village, the thousands of our parents with very little education and all they do is plant a few crops, harvest and feed then repeat. The old, who have no one to take care of them and slowly poverty gets to them, and they live one day at a time never knowing when their kids in Nairobi will come back. This is the population that have become devastated with life and therefore it is not a surprise that when a Dr. Awour appears selling false hope and healing poverty and disabilities like he has the almighty on speed dial, the entire flock, flocks behind him and exalts him to a place only God should be.
I do not have anything against Dr. Awour except stopping me beside a road. In fact, I admire his hustle. Many live to eighty years and beyond with neither an escort nor such a bushy beard. I appreciate that a man got to hustle and bring food to the table, buy like three Range Rovers and use an entire floor of Merica Hotel anytime he is in town. What I do not understand is the hundreds that spend the night outside the same hotel hoping for a miracle to be bestowed upon them because the prophet of the gods is in town. What my very intelligent brain cannot fathom is those sweeping the tarmac for his ‘holiness’ vehicles to pass through.
Life is tough, hope and faith are what makes the days go smooth and the future look brighter. I might be an ignorant clown behind a laptop, but my eyesight is clear enough to point out our mistakes. Hundreds of you are in the cities and in big towns having a good time with a five-figure salary at each end of the month forgetting the people we know and left in the village. I have been keeping tabs on them so I will tell you what they are doing, they are in Nakuru streets singing Hallelujah and celebrating an early second coming. They are spending a sleepless cold night in the fields in flocks waiting for a miracle from a mean God who will only bless them if they stay awake all night, cold and hungry. They are blinded, not physically but by a baboon beard guy claiming to have God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a Whats App group.
The very sight of this desperation hurts me like a bullet. It is better when the callous Al-Shabab terminates life because they do not torture them first and play with their sores then feed them to the mongrels scavenging in the dumpsites. We cannot ban the imprudent prophet from appearing on our airwaves because he has the money to pay for it, we cannot even ban him from gathering people by the thousands to Nakuru in a court of law because the only lawyer I know is Magunga and he kind of quit law for blogging, so we have no hope on that field. What we can do however is visit those we left at home, not even to give them money as much as see them and spend time with them such that they do not go to Dr. Awour charades and deceit gatherings. We can call home and find out how they are doing because I might not believe in God but my belief lies with the people, with each an every one of you. My faith is in humanity.
That is about all for a weekend in Nakuru. Otherwise, you guys are doing okay?
Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri