Kweli hii Nairobi ni shamba ya mawe

By Collins Osanya

Hii Nairobi ni shamba ya mawe aiseh!I board a mathree headed to town. Seated by the window. A lady owning a set of defective eyes like mine takes her place beside me. I avoid her eyes. Her thighs salute mine. My platelets refuse to clot. The vehicle saunters on. Belching passengers and swallowing others. The lady hers her arms folded across her chest. A headmistress in her afterlife. Perhaps. I hum to a tasteful tune. Chewing on tasteless exhausted gum.

Along jogoo road. Caesar begins collecting what belongs to Caesar. I shift my weight to the left and free a hundred shilling note from my trousers right back pocket. The lady sits put. From the corner of my eyes, I see she’s imprisoned a fifty shilling note in her fist. Caesar motions that I pay my tithe, imagining the madam, in her late twenties and I are together. Caesar picks my cash, leaves in huff without collecting the madams fifty shilling note. She sits put. It hits me that I’ve paid for two.

I’m a gentleman. I like to think so. After all, that’s the advantage 8-4-4 has over NEMIS, CDC and STEM. But even then Collins couldn’t allow Mahanda to pay fare for a stranger leave alone a bad mannered lady during these times of gender equity where most are eating from hand to mouth. So Collins summoned Osanya and the trio of us agreed not to let our fifty shilling balance go to waste.

Immediately the ma’three came to a halt. I shot off my seat like one suffering from dysentery and demanded for my balance from Caesar. My oh my! The lady, the one who’d let me ‘pay’ her fare sped past me just as Caesar was asking, ‘hamkuwa wawili? We na ule dem?’

I’m enjoying a warm bottle of fanta as I narrate. Proceeds from my balance has catered for the bill. That madam, my friend, got off the vehicle and vanished like a fart in swathes of the city’s rush hour. Hii ni town kweli! Shamba ya mawe! Hamusini ni pesa mingi! Sana!