By Kura Kipkura
En route from ‘Sisibo’ (64) to Kitale aboard this seven seater human carrier. I’m, as usual, seated immediately behind the driver just in case of a crash, i be a beneficiary of the driver’s selfish last minutes maneuvers to save his life first.
As we set off, the space is full of life , steaming with conversations.
Two parroty boys at the backseats emmiting eucalyptus scented perfume are talking of girls, alcohol, some movie with a forgetably strange name and how MKU Kitale Campus tops the list of the most fascinating academic destinations in the region (sic).
Two older men seated besides me are discussing a garage investment they are possibly co- owning, the driver is mannerlessly taking over a tete-a-tete at the front as i remain loyal to my newspaper.
It doesn’t take long before everything is interestingly hushed down to a pin-drop silence. I take a break from the pen art to confirm what has happened to hearty conversations that could only be interrupted by a passing devil.
My eyes shift from the Invisibly racing maize plantations outside to the speed meter, now at the 120th mark and back to all and sundry in the car. Everybody is in a panic/prayer mode.
I close my newspaper and like he was waiting for it, the next guy borrows it perhaps to ease his fears. I fumble and luckily get hold of some dusty seat belt on the sides on my seat, fasten them and take a deep breath. On seeing that, the man with my paper too looks for his safety straps, fastens and returns my paper without a word.
Everybody follows suit as the driver, oblivious of the sudden graveyard silence paddles the accelerator with the zeal of an ISIS suicide bomber. I decide to read some humor section of the paper to avoid the scary thoughts.
Thirty minutes later and in God’s wish, we safely land in Kitale, a supposedly one hour drive distance covered in fatal adrenaline pumping 30 minutes!
The passengers alight one by one, each gives the driver a cold stare, never say a word and then leaves.
As i read along the dying lines of Ted Malanda’s magic, ”mboss, hapa ndio kitale” the drivers high pitched heavily accented voice rings. ‘Oh!’ i pretend i didn’t know after realizing i am the only one remaining, i get out, just like my fellow lucky passengers, give him the same cold stare and walk away humming a praise and worship tune. Anyway, a hard earned 200 bob is not worth 30 minutes. Kenyan Driver, please spare our lives, tumia speed governor ‘Murechu’.