Maisha ya Nairobi – Part III

Hey people! It’s been a day yeah? Haha, I know it’s been sometime. Sorry for the silence. You know, it’s advisable to recharge and that’s precisely what I was doing while I was away. I trust y’all have been well. You have, yes?

Okay, I don’t know why I never posted this earlier, so do not ask. I want to believe this is the best time for it. Probably why it took me this long to finally get some sort of inspiration from the experience.

Yesterday, for reasons I can’t explain, I happened to remember an incident from 2012. I cannot quite recall the exact date or month but am certain of the year because I had just completed Secondary School. And so, my life, as they had said, was in the hands of the cruel world.

The streets of Nairobi were new to me. Like I had mentioned on Part I of ‘Maisha ya Nairobi’, where I grew up, visiting Nairobi town was occasional. Mark you, the occasions were once in a year and sometimes, even that once had never for another name. By the time I was clearing Form Four, the only place I was familiar with in town, was TimesTower. And bytheway, that is because I used to see it from a matatu during the occasions we went town. This was also the case for most of the kids I grew up with, although some benefited to get their way thoroughly through the streets because they were privileged to enroll into Secondary Schools outside Nairobi. That way, they had to go through town on their way to and from school. Me on the flip side, my school was along Ngong Road, actually it was and still is in Dagoretti Constituency. (Back then it was just Dagoretti. No South nor North. Hii! I must be very old..hehe) This girl was born and brought and schooled in Dagoretti, wololo! I should get married elsewhere for a change yawa!

As I was saying earlier before I went off the tangent, 2012 came and I was learning my ways through town. This particular day came back to my mind as I was flashing back to my experiences in the City because it was my first encounter with a con. As I was walking along Mama Ngina street, (I just learnt the other day that that is Mama Ngina Street, lol.) just outside the 20th Century, before I could crossed the road towards Jubilee Insurance, I bumped into this fine man. He must have been in his late thirties or early forties. From his face I could tell.

“Hey!” He said.

From his body language, I could tell he wanted me to stop and converse. And so I did.

“Would you know any Cooperative Bank around here?”
“OK! Is this guy being serious right now? This fine guy is a in a SUIT!” I thought. That’s a full statement by itself. I mean, a man in an English Suit, well fitting for that matter and in his early forties maybe, should know better than a naive high school leaver. But again, I brushed it off. “May be he’s new in town too.” I justified.

“I do not know any around here sir.”
“OK thank you anyway.”
“You’re welcome.” And I started off.

I had hardly made my third step, when he reached to me again and said, by the way, my Company is recruiting young boys and girls, preferably form four leavers, for Accounts training, after which they’re guaranteed employment, if not in the Company, a good recommendation to other companies.”

“Is the training free or at a fee?” I asked.
“It’s absolutely free. It’s sort of a youth empowerment program, fully funded by the Company.”
“Hhmm, what a good deal!” I thought to myself.
“Are you a form four leaver?”
“Well, yes.”
“Would you be interested in the program?”
“Of course yes.” Who wouldn’t be interested?
“OK, follow me. Our offices are here.” He said pointing 20th Century.

When we got to the entranced, he stopped. Holding his chin, he said. “Sasa hapa huwezi ingia bila ID.” (You can’t go in without your ID) Wait, now that am talking about it, how did he even come to the conclusion that I did not have my ID? I do not recall saying so or even him asking whether I had it. Saitan!
“Ok, What we’ll do though, since I really want to help you, I’ll call my boss, know which room he’s in, as we speak, then I’ll leave you here and get the application forms for you to fill. Sawa?”
“What the devil on earth is wrong with this guy? How could he not know where to find his boss? Whose boss never has a specified room anyway? What kind of a boss would that be?” I thought. But then, whom am I to question here? What do I know? Furthermore, am just a form four leaver. And so I just said sawa. To his suggestion.

The son of this cruel world took out his gadget and made it look like he was up to making a call while heading towards the entrance. Before I could lose sight of him into the building, he came back. “Madam simu yangu imeisha charge, siulete yako nipige nayo…” I suddenly felt things in my stomach. That is normally how my intuition talks to me when things are not about to be all colorful. I could immediately tell there was something fishy about this son. “Yangu haina airtime.” I said. “Leta nikanunue pale, nipige, alafu nikuletee.” He said pointing to an imaginary shop. I couldn’t see it but apparently there was a shop where he was pointing at. “Let’s go together, top up, call him, then you can proceed and find me here.”
“OK, msichana ni kama huniamini. Fanya hivi, simama hapa kando ya hii gari ni yangu.” He said pointing at one of the cars parked right outside the Building. By now, I was already certain this son is after something unpleasant. So I decided, since am just a form four leaver, I have all the time to play along his game. “Nipatie funguo nikungojee ndani ya gari badala ya kusimama hapa.”

I think he ran out of time. This is his occupation after all, and so, if he wasted more time or ‘prey’ that was not willing to become dinner, he just might have ultimately lost potential dinner. He looked me with hidden rage.

“Sasa wewe inaonekana hutaki kazi. Hii yetu inatakanga uaminifu. Unajua tutakua tukikuaminia pesa yetu? Lakini sasa kama huwezi niamini na simu yako, hata sisi hatuezi tukakuamini.” Ama? He uttered.
“Enyewe mimi ni kama sitaki kazi. Wacha tu niende.”

That is how I would have lost my Nokia 6210. You remember those Nokia slides? That was one of the luxurious phones among my squad back then. Haha! I would have gone craze.
Luckily, my intuition saved me from the jaws of a pathetic con.

Most people, have fallen naively into these kinds tricks and worse. People have lost money, phones, laptops etc into the pockets of such psychology manipulators (conmen/women)
These sons ‘up’ their game every passing day. Some are prophets. They will come asking to pray with you over your troubles because apparently, their lord has spoken to them about you. Others are lost women seeking directions and before you know it, they’re gone with your all. So many kinds of cons, all kinds of humans.

If you’ve fallen victim, good for you. You have first hand experience. You’ve learnt. If you haven’t, take caution. No one is your friend in town. Bytheway, some of this cons know you even before they meet you. Your very own friends/acquittances set you up. (I have a friend that was set up by a friend) Be careful of such sons. Nairobi is a City of survivors. And survival is of the fittest. It’s a-man-eat-man City.

Take caution!
Kaa rada!


2 thoughts on “Maisha ya Nairobi – Part III

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