In Nairobi, anybody can be a thief. You literally do not know who to run away from or who to run to. When you are lost and decide to ask for someone’s help, the person will guide you but to place where he/she can follow you and rob your belonging. How funny is that? And you told this person that you are new to the area and you need help. That is being inhumane, right?
Yesterday after my lectures at around 4:15pm, I was walking along Banda street to make an order for a certain birthday cake with two of my classmates. Just before we could get there, we came across a man who looked so worried. He stopped us and asked if we could help. This man told us that he is from Meru,Maua and was new to Nairobi. He came to pick some cash that he had won with Lotto. He also said that he could not communicate easily with the ‘manager’ because he does not understand English. He was so good at acting that we offered to help him.
He gave his phone to one of my friends to speak to the ‘manager’ to direct us on what to do to help him pick his two hundred thousand from Nation Center along Kimathi street. I had started smelling a rat from the word go because he was carrying a ticket and these tickets are common with most Nairobi thieves. The ‘manager’ asked the three of us to come to their office so that he divides the two hundred into our three bags for us to take them to him as he waited somewhere.
Before going for his money, we were asked to assure the man that we don’t get away with the money. I smiled at one of my friends who was also feeling the same way I was feeling about the situation. According to him,we were to leave our ID cards with him, though he didn’t mean that,but we turned this down. He was acting like he was freaking out completely. Worried enough you can do nothing but believe.
At this point,my humanity struck me from within. I took his phone and asked the manager if we could come with the man and he sends someone else to pick him from the door. He said that the man is being followed by a certain taxi owner who wants to steal his money. It’s good if we left him somewhere with our phones and pick his money and take them to him. I told him instead of our phones,one of us will remain with him somewhere as we the rest go pick the money. This also,they refused completely.
Here,we were too sharp for them to get into their ‘nice trap’. Then one of my two friends, offered to leave him with her ID card and for my ID,we were to use it as a gate pass to Nation Centre. She was still in the dark. As we took out the card,the man said,”sitaki”. He had earlier asked us to go with Damaris’ phone ,may be because it was smaller. The man was eyeing my phone in particular because it was bigger.
When he said,”sitaki”,I took a step back and I was like,”eti hautaki? unataka tuache simu zetu?”.At this,he said yes confidently. The I said loudly, “mimi sikupatii simu yangu,we ni mwizi”. By this time,he had started walking away making his way through the crowd. My heart was beating so fast. I was nervous and freaky. I thought this guy had stolen from me though I knew he didn’t. I was feeling so insecure.
We laughed our lungs out and carried on. Imagine how long they took to plan all these. The so said manager was another thief who might be sitted somewhere implementing their filthy plan. If I was alone,I wouldn’t have even stopped but am sure some else will. That’s why the government instruct us to walk in groups. Two heads work better than one and three works best.
This is making it hard for people who need help to get it. Do not trust anyone around the city,CBD in particular. They are smarter than you my brother. They are smarter than you think you are my sister. Take care of yourself and what you have. Don’t fail to help people but before you do it, question your instinct and where you are. I felt this one is worth sharing because it’s my own experience.