On my back was a kitenge backpack that had one strap running from my left shoulder, across my chest and round back. I was excited and nervous. I was deliriously happy, giddy even. The tales I had heard in the days, months and years preceding this moment were about to become as real as the threats socialites pose to our teenage daughters. My forehead and armpits were clammy. My hands were drenched and every once in a while I trembled in exhilaration. My mind couldn’t at all visualize what I was about to experience.

My spotless sport shoes were as untainted as they felt comfortable. The blue khaki trousers were freshly ironed and the line that formed at their front was proof enough of mother’s prowess in ironing the art. She had insisted on the color since according to her it wasn’t too screaming but a statement color (whatever that means). She knew best. She had travelled the world over so she had the right to have an opinion.

Earlier on, as she and my brother had waved goodbye, I was thrust into an arena of independence and much demand from fellow clansmen. The daladala soon picked up momentum and in no time they were out of sight.  Feelings of nostalgia clouded my memory and tears welled up in my eyes as the realization of what I was leaving behind clumped down my conscience like a judge’s gavel sentencing a career criminal to a life of infinite hopelessness. On me were all my savings and everything I owned. I believed that dawn had just broken and my decision was for the betterment of not only my life but also that of my mother and my siblings.

As the trees sped by and the winds’ velocity increased with every acceleration, I neared a land so unfamiliar yet too common. It was a land whose marvelous beauty was always on the lips of all that had had an opportunity to step foot in it. It was the Canaan to everyone from Kamuyu to Kyulu. Those that had been there were regarded in a new kind of ‘cool’ and I desperately longed for an entry to the club. This was my opportunity to sit in the table of men and converse in the ways of the wise.

The green was soon replaced by the barren rocks of escarpment walls and as the sun embraced the horizon hills in the great Rift my mind drifted off and the excitement, nervousness and apprehension forced my eyes shut.

I woke up to some commotion, later to realize that we had entered the land of opportunities. The light emanating from floodlights lining the city streets blinded my groggy eyes as I tried to focus on the skyscrapers that continued all the way to the heavens. I felt small and insignificant. No one could notice me in the middle of all this awesomeness. The streets were full despite the fact that it was 6 in the morning.

Horns hooted, turnboys screamed, street lights changed, men and women shoved and pushed…

I stepped out of the vehicle into the cool welcome air of opportunity and endless prospects. I felt ready for the hustle. I was geared up to making it big in this city that swallowed some unapologetic-ally. I started jostling and pushing, headed towards the direction that everyone else was headed to. I had no idea where I was but my English teacher had at one time told me that the majority were never wrong. So there was no way that this great multitude of people were headed nowhere. So I followed. And walked. Turned corners and streets. Bumped into thin and thick women. Tall and short who weren’t short of curse words.

I was finally here. Confused but beaming in excitement. My insides were trembling, my head in a spin. A journey of a thousand miles, through shadows in valleys had ended up in this beautiful sight of a city. A feeling of belonging engulfed my being as I watched the endless skyscrapers disappear into the skies. Everywhere smelt of opportunity. Every person that passed by me looked accomplished except a few that had blue bottles stuck to their noses.

Mother had warned me about those. They carry human excreta with them when robbing you, I remembered her cautious words. Some have syringes full of HIV+ blood that they inject into your system if you don’t empty your pockets into their over anxious filthy hands, she had continued. All I had was my conscience and hope so I would try to avoid that caliber of city dwellers at all costs.

All around me ears were covered in large handsets as business deals were struck, as people asked for directions or as public coffers were being emptied… All this in the busy streets. I was surrounded by an aura of determination, a want and a desire to make the next buck and I liked it.

I whipped out my 348 years old Motorola mobile phone and dialed…

First ring…
Second ring…
Third ring….
Fourth ring….

I was about to hang up when the phone was picked from the other end…

“I am here..” I beamed into the mouthpiece…



4 responses to “Here…

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