If only These Nairobi Buses, Trees and Walls Could Speak.
I alighted at the Nairobi Koja terminus after what seemed to be a ride of the century to me. Having attended a seminar along Limuru Road and hastening to meet another individual in town, I had taken the next vehicle that came along in the terminus. It was a bus; the real definition of a bus. I have noticed that there is always an over experienced bus in certainly every Nairobi route. For this particular route, the bus I boarded this day was the granny of them all. The bus literally dragged itself along the road due to prime age challenges.
I was seated on the fourth row and I could feel how far the guys at the tail end longed to catch up with us. The bus couldn’t speed much because any time the driver tried to, it could swerve on the road like the drunken master in the Jackie Chan Movie we used to watch in those days. Its movement along the road epitomized the song of Christian Negro soldiers singing the hymn ‘I am pressing on the upward way’ charged by the hope of arriving home soon; the promised home full of freedom and religious liberty.
This bus had seen centuries come and go. Drivers came and went but it remained. New roads were created and still it was there not only to witness but also do the maiden tour. Its conductors had swung on it and left because it is there to stay. I wondered that day how people talked about it every morning they saw it pass by. Some saw it in terms of the drivers they had seen drive it and finally die. The conductors who had managed it while boys and now they had three or four children. Some had rode it to school while they were small virgin girls and today they have been in marriage for over a decade perhaps. This was the bus that had had experience in perhaps all Nairobi routes and had now retired home. Home to mean the Banana to Koja route.
Once I alighted the experience of the bus, I passed by a small street in downtown Nairobi as I walked towards my destination. The place was stinking like hell. People had used the walls and corners here for short and long calls respectively. You can easily choke if you can’t manage to hold your breath for some time on this stretch. This walls too have seen generations come and go and they are still strong.
As a matter of fact, these walls know some individuals better than most of us. They can tell how painful it is for them to withstand the odor from all men that stand there to irrigate them. These walls have the same experiences as the trees that you see standing lonely in this expansive town. If only they could talk. They could tell you how many pairs of shoes some individuals have. These trees know far too well how many pairs of clothes some individuals have too because these people have made it a daily habit to visit the trees for calls of nature.
Like there is a certain wall along Jogoo road and another tree in Eastlands still where individuals urinate every passing moment until the irrigation is always flowing you could mistake it to a bust sewage pipe. At times you get people as though they have queued for the call of nature on these walls and trees. And then you wonder does it happen by chance or it is an addiction.
It could be about 11:00 a.m and you go asking for Onyi, the guy who is always at this particular spot carrying people’s luggage for a small pay. Then all of a sudden you eavesdrop the conversation between his friends go like, “Hii si ndio masaa ya Onyi kuwa base?” (Is this not Onyi’s time to relieve himself at our spot?) And the other guy answers, “Nimetoka huko sahii, by now anamalizia) (I have just left there, he should be finishing up by now). They then turn to you and request you to wait for a short moment.
For the lovers of cigarettes (Smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health), they may hang around these walls and trees as they await for the next person to come along because they are convinced he could be carrying a match box.
To others it is a place of socializing. These favorite walls and tree spots are places of meetups. The familiar faces meet here often and the next question they are asking each other is how they have been lost for quite some time simply because they have never met here in the past one week. As a matter of fact, not seeing some individuals on this spots even in a day is a sure sign these people travelled upcountry or are unwell. That is how much these walls mean to these, mostly, men.
It has been overly sunny for the last couple of months in this town and so has been the rising stinking from these corners, trees and walls. It is high time we fasted and prayed for rains to come and drain away the excesses from these innate things. At least we can pass by those places without some individuals cursing others or throwing up.
And to my fellow men, it is a call that we should learn to zip up and relieve ourselves appropriately. If we were created to fall for bushes, it should be used only when it is very necessary like when traveling upcountry and you’re in the stretch between towns where there is more vegetation than homes. But overwhelming a few trees and walls in this town with our burdens is injustice to them and should stop.
Let me be healthy because someone cared not to relieve themselves carelessly. Not me alone, but you and our families and even descendants. I talked on behalf of these trees and walls and I know theirs could have been a more hilarious but though tale. If only they could speak!
Copyright @ 2019.