By Shem Mukalo
Members of the public were earlier today treated to an adrenaline pumping and heart-fluttering drama along Racecourse road in Nairobi.
A young woman who had arrived in Nairobberry, sorry I meant Nairobi, probably in her mid-twenties, caused quite a stir along the busy road after falling victim to the antics of some professional con-artists who were quick to capitalize on her wide-eyed naivety.
The rush-hour spectacle,which attracted a sizeable multitude of people on their way to their respective work stations,bore the hallmarks of a Nigerian blockbuster or Kenya’s prank program ‘Naswa’.
It was not a prank program in the shooting nor was the ‘bootiful’ beauty a character in some Nigerian movie as I gathered.The situation unfolding right before my eyes was real!
Her tormentors(con-men) had already vanished into thin air after milking her dry ,nowhere to be seen;probably flaunting their con credentials in another part of town.I guess the reprobates were now smiling themselves stupid after effortlessly making cash and ensuring that they had ushered their unsuspecting victim into Nairobi in style.
She sobbed hysterically,jumped up and down,occasionally rolling herself over onto the nearby road that was flowing with traffic,threatening to kill herself.
No amount of pampering from solicitous members of the public succeeded in placating her hysteria.Her histrionics,described by some members of the swelling crowd of people milling around her as unwarranted,culminated into a heavy traffic jam along the stretch causing commuters and other road users great distress.
A SUV chauffeur taking his boss to some crucial meeting ,in a fit of mounting fury, threatened to run her over.”Toka kwa barabara ama nitakuua,”said the angry driver.(In English;Get out if the road or I’ll run you over)
As if to underscore that he was not bluffing,the driver ,like a bull on fire, jerked the fuel-guzzler forward bringing it to a screeching halt just inches in-front of the lady.
But the stubborn damsel in distress would not budge, ”Niue,nataka kukufa.Pesa yangu,” she cried, (Translation;kill me,I want to die.My money).
An old man,probably an octogenarian but strong for his age,concerned that the situation was getting out of hand pulled her from her prostrate position and took her to safety amid her strong resistance.In the process of resisting,she kicked the man in his private area but he stood his ground and demonstrated manly resolve in saving an effeminate being from her own antics.
”Tulia msichana,wacha kulia.Niambie shida ni nini.Mimi ni kama baba yako.”the man implored with fatherly affection.(English;Come down young girl.Tell me what the problem is.Am like your father).
She gave in and finally opened up to him,explaining amid sobs that she had been conned 20,000 shillings by some men. She gave them all her money hoping the cash would quadruple if she accurately identified a card bearing underneath an equine symbol or to put it simply the head of a horse amidst three cards.That was not to be.
The three cards were mixed in a confusing manner and the hapless lady failed to make that crucial identification. That was the genesis of her travails.Her disclosure stirred impassioned debate whether her woes were self-imposed or just an unlucky incident involving an ignorant lady.
He (the old man) took her into his arms and rubbed her shoulders as if saying,”Come down my daughter all will be al-right. He then took her to his car which had been parked some few meters away. As the car disappeared into the distance,I smiled counting my lucky stars that I had just stumbled upon a scintillating story.
I remembered sometime back my encounter with con-men who sold me a ”CLASSY PHONE”. I later realized,albeit belatedly,that the ”Classy Phone” was nothing but a mass of mud but that is a story for another day…..