#UberChronicles (December Edition)
“Stolen from Africa, brought to America
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival….”
I actually had vowed that the late Bob Nesta Marley’s Buffalo Soldier was going to be the tune to break the virginity of my new Honda Fit speakers.
And at 10:13pm Friday it came true.
I have so many reasons to celebrate. UNESCO being one of them. The Johnnies have finally added reggae music to their global cultural heritage list.
However, as I had revealed to VOA during a radio interview, the motive is hidden. It won’t take long before the rabbit is pulled out of the hat. Soon the reggae sacrament will go global. Legalization.
I was nervous wondering who was going to be my first client. Lo and behold, it was a damsel by the name of Nkirote.
‘She must be from Chogoria’ I whispered to myself when I saw her request come through.
I picker her from Parklands. She was headed to Uhuru gardens where King Kaka was launching his album #EastlandoRoyalty.
“Do you think that local artists have been deleting their songs from their YouTube channels to later claim that the Films Board is on their neck?” I decided to prick her brains.
I saw her nod in agreement although her eyes didn’t leave her Techno phone. Must have been some serious chat or maybe a date going bad. She never spoke a word after that. Paid my dues and left the car.
Fellow Kenyans, we as taxi drivers need company. Sitting in that car with your mouth shut for hours is no joke. Kindly consider engaging us. Even if it means asking our opinions on if it is right to say City or Cirry. Kenyatta or Kenyarra.
Reminds me of some Somali male species I ferried from Kilimanjaro Food Court (Somalis prefer using the initials KFC) to Pangani. He kept using sign language to direct me to his crib. I actually assumed he was deaf and even used my fingers to indicate to him that he needed to part with Ksh 550. He gave me Ksh 600 and left.
“ISKORIS!” he finally spoke as he banged the door. (Iskoris is a Somali word for STUPID. It is always said in capital letters. Try it. Its free! ISKORIS
11:05pm I got a request from a Loice who was heading to NextGen Mall and wanted to be picked from Lang’ata.
On arriving at Otiende, she told me to pick her at the shopping center before heading to her house where she promised to take 3 minutes max to apply make-up and we leave.
Since she had some cartoon box with her, I decided to help her ferry it to her crib. She stays in an SQ. It was so small that we couldn’t fit into it the two of us. On the wall she had hanged few clothes and one could be forgiven for assuming it was a boutique.
Someone don’t mention the decent housing crap under the Big 4 Agenda. Issa scum!
She picked her make up kit and we were off to Blend, the club at NextGen. I make few coins and while at the basement I decide to take my medication. Healing of the nation.
I spray myself mildly as I turn on my Uber App once again. We have a serge at the mall. More than 7 requests. Patel’s goes through.
“Twende Mugoya hapo stage”. The passenger is high on tamboo (that indian drug they put below the tongue). He is smiling sheepishly all along.
12:15am It is December! I tell myself aloud. My favorite month because 3 years ago, a time like this, I was one-month shy being called a dad.
From Mugoya I drive to Oil Libya for some cold Coke. Another request to Fairways in South ‘Sea’. The road is pathetic! I feel for the locals. Actually, you cannot doge a pothole, you only choose the most convenient one to enter.
By half past midnight, I had made a cool Ksh 2,300. This new automobile must be my lucky charm. I thought to myself.
“Wanaume huwa mnataka nini?” asks Halimo, a Somali Kenyan who from her prior phone conversation I presumed she was in a serious argument with the boyfriend.
Don’t ask me how I knew she is not married. Men can tell from the face of a woman. A married one is always glowing unlike the unmarried who have to conceal their faces with concealers aka make-up.
From her ranting, I could tell she was either in her first relationship or something. I kept smiling. Feeling sorry for the dude being cursed.
I actually don’t miss dating at all. Come to think of it. Whatever some of us went through! Dating women in their early 20’s is an unpaid internship. Taabu tupu!
We are headed to Majengo, she doesn’t know the exact location where the ‘fiancé’ is. On reaching Mpambe in California, Halimo shouts I stop. She has spotted the lost sheep. She asks me not to leave.
A serious argument ensues between the two love birds. I can see them from my wind screen.
They both take the back seat as the man shouts to his boys that he is coming back in a jiffy. The argument continues as we head to their crib.
Halimo is mad that the boyfriend chews till late and she is threatening to dump him. The dude seems confused. I am not sure if it is the handas or reality. He can’t choose between the damsel and khat.
I go straight to my flash disk and play Etana’s Weakness in me. I did it purposely. They all go silent. Talk of the power of Reggae music. The message is always in the music and the music in the message.
I see them hug. Etana’s song puts you back, a note at a time.
“Hiyo ngoma mzuri wallah brathe” the now calmed dude finally speaks to me. Upon arriving, I notice Halimo has been crying albeit silently all along.
“Love just like a mistake, never make it twice, do it six to seven times just to be sure” I advise them sounding like a grown ass love doctor.
1:49am Am dropping some white woman from Yaya Centre to Kileleshwa. She has some serious shopping with her. I bet they are those type who take Xmass seriously.
We end the trip after traversing hundreds of neatly tree lined boulevards.
“This must be a new car you have right here” She speaks as we offload her shopping.
“Yeah, this is my first day on the road with it. Imported it from SBT Japan and it was delivered to me from Mombasa as a parcel via Coast Bus” I decide to lie. A white lie to a white woman. It is December anyway!
She laughs so hard and offers me a glass of wine which she says is 18 years old. I gladly accept, in return I puff a pass and pass some to her. Gustavo never disappoints! She liked it.
So fast were the effects that she started dancing to no song.
“Come on my Uber guy, tell me a fairy tale before you go” She says as she hands me 15 USD.
“Did you know Kiambu town was originally called Kiamosquito until independence when it was changed to Kiambu?” I ask in a soft voice.
“No. I didn’t. Why?” She asks as I hold my upcoming laughter.
“Kiambu was named after a colonialist called Kia who was bitten by a female mosquito, got infected by malaria and died 3 days later. The locals mourned Kia and later changed the name of there are to KIAMBU (Kia + Mbu)”.
She hugs me so tightly amid my derisive laughter of a hungry hyena.