Kanairo the green city in the sun. Once upon a time, during rush hour there were these mats that ferried people to and from various estates. Yeah I know they still do, nowadays they call them nganyas or maybe shebeteng has a newer word that I’m not privy to. So you are wondering what’s this tale, right? A long time ago before the Michuki rules; Michuki was that colonial DC who hailed from Kangema and who became a formidable force in the government during Mzee Moi’s rule and most definitely during the Rainbow coalition days. This is the guy who managed to bring sanity to the transport industry and also the dealt ruthlessly with the defunct Mūngīkī sect.
Before these public transport reforms, these mats would fuel people like thurakus, ‘ants.’ No sooner had the seats filled than one tout would go behind and start arranging those standing between the seats. Another conductor would be left behind to come collecting fare from the poor travellers. If a bus stopped to pick more passengers, Chris Brown’s, ‘tell me how it’s to be with no air,’ would play in slow motion. Not the song though, but the situation of near suffocation. Sweaty people all around, stepping on you, pick pockets looking for unsuspecting pockets, no space to turn around just holding onto the metal for dear life.
I don’t know who decided that the mats plying Eastleigh were to have numbers 6 and 9 but I think this dude should be taken to court and face the music. And by the way how old were you when you realized it was Eastleigh and not Isirii? Mimi I only realized while sweeping the house and came across a book my brother had used while at Eastleigh high school.
So Asusena and I be in the green city in the sun at night enjoying the neon lights trying to remove the kienyeji pro max in us in the hopes of becoming socialites, so that when we go back to the slopes we can ‘tesa mehn.’ We should have heeded when our old man told us that girls should go back home with chicken, ‘mūirītu agīrīire kūingīrania nyūmba na ngūkū.’ Old men are wise like that. So we see this mat bearing number tisa mgongoni, sorry hapo kwa dash board and we eagerly hop. We endure the ‘no air’ bit only to realize after paying that we are actually on the wrong route and between us and poverty we only had 20 bob which we’d already remitted to the conductor. Kumbe we boarded no. 6 instead of 9. Masaibu ya ndugu Jero haya. Now even alighting was an issue since you had to snake your way through the standing batallion,though we managed to alight at Mlango Kubwa and gulped air in handfuls. I still don’t know why that place is called that way. Anyways we had to stay true to Sammy Mūraya’s mama Kīwinja, ‘thiī na magūrū, thiī by foot.’ It was route 11 to Pangani and then to Kariokoor. The good Lord watched over us we didn’t encounter the ngeta people. I think they were still brainstorming their criminal minds. For now lemmi see if this croc ride is gonna take me home. Country roads take me home. Kanairo iliniweza.


Published by Nyar Kaheti

Born and raised on the picturesque slopes of Mt Kenya, Nyar Kaheti is your girl next door vibe kind of girl. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and listening to country music among other things.

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