Wednesday, January 19, 2022



a water fight is not necessarily a fun activity…


It is a little sad that the flu bringing cold July-August season had to overlap with Covid. One cannot even have flu in peace anymore. Recently, I was in a matatu and the urge to cough began building up. When I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I let it out. The lady I was seated next to moved farthest away from me.

She then removed a small bottle of sanitizer from her bag, cleaned up her hands and readjusted her mask. There was a threat in the area and if it were up to her she would have sprayed the whole matatu. She had to do everything possible to ensure that she wasn’t going to pick up Covid from a matatu and take it home with her. I don’t deny that i was a little offended though. Being on the other side of the table isn’t fun.

It has been raining so much, that the soil in these areas cannot take anymore. The ground is beginning to vomit water. The earth is dump. Picture those sad montages they use in the movies during funeral scenes. Except in Kenya, funerals happen in the day light. And there has to be an introduction of all who were related to the deceased; a tradition I think is cumbersome and unnecessary.

I digress.

Adjacent to the river in the car wash area is a man pacing around, worry written all over his face. His name is Baba Kip and he is momentarily staring at the river. Around the point where they say there’s a deep hole. A total of five children and two adults have sank into that hole. Only four bodies were found and when they were, they looked nothing like human bodies.

The very water that they used in their houses to bathe, do the dishes and flush the toilet feasted into their bodies and inflated them like you would to balloons. One would be forgiven for thinking that those bodies would explode any minute. I would rather be die of a gun shot than by drowning. Drowning has to be the slowest type of painful deaths.

Baba Kip left the house immediately after the call ended. As he stormed out of the door to his car, he met his wife coming back from the garden with leaves of kales held against her bosom with both hands.

“Baba Kip what’s wrong?” she had asked, noticing the terror on his face.

“A police officer just called. He said that the probox sank!”

“Sank?! Where?”

“Chemasiet… I need to go.”

“Can I come with you?”

Before he could answer, he was taking the Bluebird that his wife loves and was soon out of sight. He drove as fast as he could, hooting lika a maniac and sending boda boda riders scampering for unsure safety. In fifteen minutes, he was at the scene.

He found Mweno, the probox driver in a trance. When he saw his boss, he lowered his head and in a low tone, began speaking as if in monologue. “Boss, nilikuwa nataka tu kureverse gar ikioshwa alaafu nikaskia paap! Kabla nijue, gari hiyoooo.

“Are you the owner?” the police officer who had probably been the one on the phone asked.

“What happened here?” like every other Kenyan, he chose to answer a question with a question.


Mkubwa, your driver was reversing the car closer into the water for the convenience of the boys who were washing it up. He must have hit something then lost control to the strength of the water. The water hurled it away into that spot (pointing to a still spot in the water) and it began sinking. He was lucky enough to be able to struggle out of the car and swim away.”

“What do you mean?!”

“Pole sana. The waters are very strong at the moment since the bodies have filled up. Three swimmers have gone in to try to locate it. I am sure it will be found.”

Jeso Kristo!” he had exclaimed.

“We understand how hard this could be, we suggest that you go home and get some rest if possible.”

“No, I will stay. Until it is dug out. I want to see it with my own eyes.”

“Are you sure?” the officer asked.

He first hesitated before saying yes. Then he began pacing around the car wash, and momentarily giving the river glances, exactly where they had said it sank. He silently hoped that it would somehow come floating up like dead fish do. But that was an impossibility. The plantain he had had for lunch began to disagree with his tummy when it hit him that he had not gotten insurance yet for the vehicle. The plans to do so were underway, but not yet completed. ‘Would they agree to cover it anyway?’ he had thought to himself.

The probox was finally located deep in the hole and pulled out by a crater after three whole long days of waiting and watching.

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  1. That’s a lifetime business investment that got sunk like a flush to the toilets.


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