I looked at my watch and I knew my time to leave the office had come. It was 3AM this morning, my alarm had gone off reminding me that It was time to wake up. But look at me, I was there seated,curdled by the office chair. The polyvinyl leather had become warmer as the rest of the room became cold. My legs crossed, my hands on my chin with the middle figure hanging in a manner suggesting I was in the deepest of thoughts at that odd hour. No, I was not thinking of jumping off the 17th floor. First because this was not as high as Pricewaterscoopers building in Nairobi. Second, because my thoughts at that time had nothing to do with my own life challenges and thirdly just to quench your curiosity because I was busy trying to beat a deadline. Oh! Was I?
I still cannot fathom what I was doing in the office yesterday until that time, as a matter of fact I don’t remember having a gun on my head being forced to remain at the office as others left. All I know is that as I write this, I am on bandages, my head is well covered with enough cotton and my eyes having enough space to see a computer screen. My back was is mine as I can plainly put it. From this bed which I believe is a hospital bed, I am pure living example of a man who has cheated death worse still on the eve of Mashujaa Day. The person who brought me here is my Shujaa, that’s for you to judge dear reader. Is this Jaramogi Oginga Odinga hospital or Aghakan? I don’t know. Well the nurse here is looking at me (lugubriously) as I use my shaky fingures to press the keys on her mini laptop I borrowed just to let this story go out. Well she’s beautiful, I mean her heart. I will type her story another day on my own laptop. I dont know where my ride or die back pack is..
Where I work, the offices, are located at the second tallest building in the City of Kisumu. This building is one of the most secure places, actually I could work the whole night having the assurance that no mungiki, or those stray bullets or, wait! by the way insecurity in Kisumu was, is, can, for a fact does put a curfew on workaholics like me. Perhaps the residents of Kisumu would understand me better. One would want to get home before certain times if you stay in particular areas which I am certain you don’t. Maybe you don’t belong to that populace.
As I stood up from my chair yesterday, oh no today morning, I stretched just to be sure or perhaps just to confirm my muscles still had an idea of moving around. (I had been on one position for a long time) I had sat there for hours like a zombie working myself to death because I knew today would be a holiday. Is it? or it’s another working weekend disguised as a holiday. This was the third time a holiday was playing a trick on me. The first time I had gone to work knowing I would get compensated for my holiday, till today I still wish I never went to work. The second time, I was actually enjoying the holiday at the comfort of my house when I received an emergency call from the office only to end up working that day. The third time goes without say. Here I am narrating my predicament perhaps which you got time to read because its a holiday. Maybe you are seated on your white leather recently acquired sofa sets imported from Dubai.
Yesterday, no today morning, asI walked through the door, fear gripped me instantly. In fact, my left eye was shaking. This was one of those feelings you do not want to have especially after the stories that filled the air on Thursday last week of a man who was shot at Mambo Leo by thugs on the loose, this was 8:00 PM my people! 8:00 PM jokisumo! And here I was at 3:00 AM in the morning. In fact I had never been as afraid to go home as yesterday no today morning. ‘What else would keep me here?’ I asked myself. I locked the door and marched on like one defiant Bobby Wine headed to a death trap by one Museveni. I even forgot that my own neighbor had come home with machete wounds on his head three days ago and that if it was not for my other neighbors’ car, we wouldn’t have managed to take him to hospital in time.
As I got off the lift, I watched as the security guard enjoyed his sleep on his now warm seat. I’m not sure he was dreaming because he was saying something but incoherently so I concluded he was dreaming maybe that Uhuru was awarding him for being ‘A Shujaa’ indeed he was, no pun intended. Perhaps he was telling me ‘omera idhing’adi idhi Kanye sani’ Premonitions have a way of dealing with me. Anyway, I crossed over to bank street however unsure of what or how I was going to get home. I did not have my car with me, that old thing had broken its own clutch! I didn’t do it! It had been so very faithful to me however for three years now. The cold was real so I rushed and found myself at the Guardian booking near some very loud club. I am not sure I was running, but I had a deep sigh as there were people seated along the street, some standing and others I cant tell what they were upto only the street urchins were fighting to get my attention. The club was busier than any place I ever knew,this was a perfect example of mixed use of streets, in the day this place would be a different place, after all its a holiday.
I found my way in between the mammoth of young and old people alike whose primary reason of seating in that cold drinking and yapping was for pleasure. I sported two boda boda men across Oginga Odinga avenue opposite family bank near roof top and I decided to approach to find my way home. Normally I would call a Mondo but yesterday that luxury could not be tolerated. After Uhuru’s economy decided to swallow us a boda boda was convenient I believed. We quickly agreed on the cost and off we went.
No sooner had we navigated the roundabout at Oilibya near the former Catholic University of Eastern Africa than the drama started. Actually, it was partly afro cinema mixed with some Indian element but the better part was an American action movie. I am confidently saying this because I escaped and Shujaad to be able to share this with you today.
I heard a sharp pain on my right arm which came as a shock and a real shock to me. I saw someone holding something that looked like a gun to me. The clothes looked like the other boda boda man we had left behind. Only this time he was not the rider but being ridden by someone else, perhaps his accomplice. That gun might have been a toy gun or a real one that lacked bullets. I am sure because from yesterday to today I have no bullet wound save for machete wounds. Wait! the guy had a short machete, when I saw it, I knew the source of my pain. My white shirt on one side was all covered in blood. As my back pack embraced me tightly from behind, I felt a little secure at least we had signed a for better for worse agreement with it.
I asked my guy to speed up because we were not going to stop to face these two men. What did they want? My laptop or my life? No time to get answers. The only way was to move faster than them. In a blink of an eye we were speeding past Hotel Vunduba, on the left side I saw this Neon Evangelism church and I almost jumped off the motorbike just to seek refuge there. Then something happened, my guy was now slowing down because of the bumps. Those who prefer tom Mboya estate road know that there are many of them. Each time that happened I was in for a slash, my whole side was wounded. I kept praying my neck wouldn’t fall prey of the hungry machete. My good friend the back pack was actually watching my back. I think if I did not have my bag, two things would have happened, either these two men would not have followed me or my back would-be all-in stitches now.
Our assailants were not just two men, my instincts told me, you wont believe the third guy was this guy my guy! The one who was supposed to get me home on his bike! At this time, I did not even think he would be one of them. So, he acted my guy for quite some time, he could win an oscar award. I did not let him know that I already knew on whose side he was. We managed to leave our adversaries at a safe distance. We were flying, we flew actually that’s when the bumps stopped existing for us. I was beginning to lose grip of my guy, I almost fell so he had to slow down. This exposed me to more danger. The two guys were experienced, one time we lost them, the other they were slashing me. They knew once I lost blood, I would become weak and fall. I lost a lot of blood but I did not fall, there was a guardian angel holding me and keeping me going.
Now I realized our movie was almost coming to an end when my guy said he was out of fuel. Of course, it would end in a way I dreaded. The dailies would read; ‘A young man attacked and killed at Tom Mboya estate on the eve of Mashujaa Day’ no maybe ‘Breaking news! Two robbers disguised as boda boda operators hit and killed by a young man in self defence’ I attended a Karate class once it 1980 by the way. At this time we had flown past Golden Elites Academy and we knew there was a petrol station just ahead, we arrived at the National Oil petrol station. The petrol station attendant asked me what had happened to me, before I could answer, I felt very dizzy and blacked out.
What happened thereafter, I do not remember, until now i have very many unanswered quesitons. All I have been told is that the good Samaritan (MY SHUJAA) transported me to the Kondele Police station which is not far from the Petrol Station. The police then brought me here. I still do not know which hospital this is here in Kondele. My guy was arrested and might probably be in police custody for allegedly trying to rob me in the company of the other two. The others are still at large. I am stuck here in Kondele and I am not going to work today! (click enter, the nurse takes the mini laptop)
Happy Mashujaa day from me and the nurse!
End of Part 1