This past week alone.
I have watched someone draw a gun and point it at someone’s head simply because he was asked to stop hooting at a zebra crossing. This past week alone, I have watched someone slap someone so hard simply because he moved the guy’s phone to create room for an extra plate of nyama choma that had arrived late to the table.
Last week, someone triggered the security alarm in an office somewhere in this city, and instead of apologizing for accidentally tripping on the panic button, he told the backup security team that rushed in to go idle themselves elsewhere away from his office. The other guy I came across this week is the guy who burnt his fuse over the phone after his guest stood him up for five minutes somewhere in some dingy restaurant fit for an owl’s bedroom. There is this street kid who hanged on some passers-by coat yesterday for loose change, only for the guy to adjust his gait and kung-fu kick him across the road. It was an awkward land for the poor lad, I trust he did not suffer any fractures as a result.
People are increasingly getting angrier in this city. I don’t know whether it is the heat wave currently melting our brains, or it is the sewage water being supplied to us in those blue tanks, or whether it is the plastic Chinese fish currently flooding our markets. Whatever it is, the city of Nairobi is increasingly becoming ‘unfriendlier’, and people are slowly transforming into ferocious beasts.
The worst part is that you never know what someone is carrying when they pick a fight with you. You get drunk in a club and you begin to mock the guy fumbling washed-out lines on some girl next table, and before you know it the guy comes at you with a sub-machine-gun and he isn’t joking one bit.
You show someone the middle finger in traffic only for him to pack in-front of your car, block your way, and fly a hot slap on your cheeks dislocating your mandibles in the process; and before you uproot the gear-lever to hit his head with in retaliation, he rearranges your upper jaw again, right in front of your girlfriend sitting in the co-driver’s seat.
Refrain from any unnecessary show of machismo in this city, if you can avoid it, good people. Kenny Rodgers was right in that track my father loved to hear down in Jimo village when we were young.
Sometimes you don’t have to fight, to be man.
By G O