Many nights, I find myself standing right here on the balcony looking out at the city lights in the horizon as vehicles zoom past the highway close by. Men and women hurrying home at 3am. My heart is full of doubt and fear thus trying to sleep is a futile exercise. Instead, I came over to bask in the moonlight as the cold, silent Nairobi breeze blows gently over my bare skin while my head is plagued with heavy thoughts.
Most kids had their fathers teach them how to ride bicycles, play soccer or drive. As a child, my father taughtme how to buy, sell and manage my money before my teens. I have sold second-hand clothes, farm produce, veterinary supplies, and by my 18th birthday, I was overseeing a project with about 10 people working under me. That has got to be the hardest thing I have ever done.
My eyes were white, my face glowing and skin so smooth. There was a twinkle in my eyes and a spring in my gait. I was a pretty freshman girl with the whole world before me. I had just landed a role on MTV Base Shuga 2 TV series, was modelling for Strut It Africa and was running a growing show on campus radio. My life was perfect.I think a lot of people were jealous of me. Who wouldn’t be? I was talented, smart and one of the hottest girls on campus, and on top of that I was making my own money.
I just turned twenty-five. I have been on earth for a freaking quarter century, can you believe that? It just feels like a few months ago I was the youngest in everything I did and suddenly I’m agemates with Prof. Dumbledore. Now, exactly 7 days to my birthday I was hit by a car while crossing a junction. As life flashed before my eyes two questions stuck in my head “What have you achieved with your life?” and “If you were to die today would you be happy with how you’ve lived your life?”
It’s a Friday night at the end of the month, having been paid, you are out with a friend in a club having drinks. You are not really good at dancing so you wait until you are too tipsy to give a hoot before you hit the dance floor. While nursing your drink you scan around the club. Your eyes land on a table at the corner. It’s occupied by a beefy guy and three beauties.
You settle on one of them. There is something different about her. She is not only stunning but also has this aura around her like she is some sort of royalty. She takes a sip of the red wine before her then flashes you an enchanting smile. You smile back like you are possessed and lift your glass in her direction like they do it in the movies.
February 13th, 2008, a stocky man walks into the room full of bleary students for evening classes in a high school located on the slopes of Taita Hills. The man goes by the name Samuel, the most revered boarding master and business teacher in the entire province. It’s claimed that he knew all the business principles by heart that the only reason he carried the voluminous books to class was to confirm whether indeed the authors got them right.
Samuel loved his short-sleeved shirts, baggy trousers, and shoes with huge soles perhaps to appear taller. He set down books on the table and looked into the crowd particularly at one young boy with huge ears seating right at the center of the room.
In the event you are kidnapped and thrown into a dungeon for months till you lose the sense of time then released in Nairobi, you won’t need a calendar to tell which day it is. If people on the streets repeatedly and unapologetically bump into you and have this distant and sad look in their eyes then it’s probably on a Monday in the middle of the month. If the streets are filled with animated, well-dressed and radiant looking Nairobians then it’s most likely a Friday just after payday.
Today happens to be a Friday and the entire city is alive , lots of people milling about on the streets making plans for the night, however, you are in town for a different mission. A mission so sensitive and risky that the probability of the whole operation going south is close to one. How did I get here?