|picture by soniamag.com|
“We are approaching the Tsavo National Park, on your right is the Tsavo East National Park and on your left is the Tsavo West National Park. Tsavo is nearly 22,000km2, being the largest national park in Kenya.” The SGR hostess is heard, explaining history as we cross the Tsavo. I stare at the screen we are now travelling at 100km/h; Nairobi seems so far today. The screen indicates that its 32° outside, days are getting hotter, “the two lions of Tsavo, were responsible for the deaths of a number of construction workers on the Kenya-Uganda Railway between March and December 1898, they claimed over 135 lives and were killed by Lieutenant- Colonel John Henry Patterson,” she continues. I recall our primary GHC which was later called Social Studies tell our class that the lions were magical preventing invasion by colonialists.
I think about colonialism and where our country Kenya is at now, I mumble a word I commonly heard amongst the residents of Chaani, Migadini as they complained of few officials in the current government registration process, Huduma Number, “Ukoloni Mambo Leo”. The journey was quiet the cabin that had four strangers, wait the two ladies, call them X and Y seemed to be close, relatives I assume the man next to me Z was always on call, but right now everyone stared outside at the vast land.
“You know how they can decongest Nairobi, they should bring all these housing schemes here in between Emali and Athi River that will do the trick," Man Z breaks the silence. I nod.
“Mimi sioni nikikubali hio 1.5%, that’s too much, we have so much important needs, see where this new projects that don’t involve the Mawananchi have resulted to. Give a child a laptop or give them, a cure for jiggers, give the common mwananchi a job or tax them for a housing project? Lady X argues. Lady X hair is fully grey, her hands shake as she talks, her tone is indisputably in anger.
“Aunty,” calls out Lady Y, now I affirm their relation. “I can’t have my first pay slip taxed this brutally, we have so much money missing in so many government scandals, why add more? Mimi I’d love to see those who are corrupt dealt with before I toa a single bob to this falling nation. Fact ni we should go benchmark Zimbabwe, see the poverty levels because that’s where we are heading,” I chuckle staring at her, she speaks with so much vibrancy. “Is there hope for us?” she continues.
“Well, our new generation of youth leaders will improve this situation, I have no trust in some of this ones mentioned every day in corruption cases,” Man Z adds on.
“There was this young man who joined with strength to reform after one year of being radical, he died out. If you can’t beat them join them. Once you are in the system you become part of the system. They might pretend to be part of the solution but come in with some political vendetta,” Lady X says.
“You know yesterday some group took to the streets of Nairobi, on corruption but it ended before noon,” I tell them.
“Do you think Kenya will ever be like Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt? Are we organised enough, we break down people on Twitter but take no action, I wish we’d have mighty brains that would hack the system.” We all laugh. Lady Y goes on, “Those guys coordinated and led to the fall of oppressive systems, we should be like them, or nothing will change.”
“This time we should elect, a new leader, someone visionary,” Man Z says. “Hakuna cha mtu wetu, this time we should be more united to make a difference.”
“Sasa tu keti tungoje 2022 ama and the common man is miserable, is there no hope for us, who will fight for us,” Lady X ends the conversation, everyone looks back at the vast land but this time with thought and each having the sad expression on their faces.
Nobody speaks till the end of the journey, in my mind I think of the tale of Robin hood who stole from the wealthy to feed the less fortunate, I wonder who will be our Robin.
“Welcome to the Nairobi Terminus, we thank you for choosing to travel with us.”