Two weeks ago, I was scheduled for a meeting in the city and toyed with idea of waking up early as opposed to travelling on a weekend. Yet I would have had enough time to rest and recoup from fatigue of a 3 hour journey on not so cosy seats. Am one those guys who shudder the notion of a sleep over in a friend’s house. I hate bothering people. I dislike inconveniencing souls. Am never that congenial. Is it just me who detests the idea of spending a long night in a ‘relas’ apartment. No pun intended. Am just saying.
So, after much deliberations with my intuition, I resolved to wake up early on that very cold morning. Nowadays the temperatures are too low in the morning and too high during the day. Taps almost dry after streams were strangulated by the scorching sun and lots of heat. Anyway, as fate would have it, I was late. Terribly late. The matatu delayed to fill to capacity on time, it being a Monday. I agonised on what would transpire on the other end when I arrived behindhand. Luckily, I was meeting easy lads. I was smart enough to inform them I’d be late even before I commenced the journey.
My experience with a ‘nduthi’ guy was inevitable. I urgently needed to be on the other side of town as soon as I would. The chap I approached didn’t have an extra helmet, not that I needed one. Am familiar to hygiene issues people whine about. But this being Nairobi, where cops and county askaris do impromptu nabs, I had few options. Forgive me for living far away from the city. Belatedly, I don’t understand why I entertained such thoughts. Nairobi is a city where everybody is always in a hurry, even when its not necessary with cops too frustrated to enforce what’s basic. But was I any different? I exploited mediocrity of a lawless city! Am just a man. Anyway, I was in my destination within no time but after enduring two gruesome minutes.
I was shoved from left to right by the many meanders we made, missing a pedestrian or two if its not a side mirror and halting with emergency breaks. The unperturbed rider seemingly skilled in riding with utter impunity, didn’t even warn me what I was poised for. My trebling hands held firmly on the bars beneath. I feared for my bag which was not used to all this madness. We wedged along narrow streets between car lanes in brisk speed, once in a while bumping to souls in equal hurry. We streaked through congested allies, startling strollers with deafening speed and unnecessary hooting. Momentarily, I felt horrendous.
For heaven’s sake why is the economic and financial hub of East and Central Africa juggling and slowly accepting the use of boda boda means of transport in Nairobi, in 2015? For how long will Nairobi residents stomach Kidero’s empty promises two years down the line. Traffic is becoming worse by the day as talk shop recur on how to unlock the riddle of Nairobi traffic. Annually Nairobi loses sh.85 billion on cost of time squandered in traffic. The idea of County and National government freezing P.S.V licences is not only knee jerk but myopic and self centered. Private cars occupy over 70% of Nairobi roads.
Expanding the roads, doing away with roundabouts and cowboy contractors will save Nairobi. A case in point are people who work or dwell in Upper Hill. They’ve had to bear with bad roads and dust in this strategic hub of Nairobi, for close to 4 years now, sadly due to slow progress of road construction. Government needs to take charge of transport in Nairobi to convince motorists to leave their cars at home. Otherwise will be left with no choice of opting for the reckless nduthi guys who only care about money and time. Nai ni ya nani? Muthoni D.Q ask them.