In my everyday life in Nairobi, I face some of the most nauseating, obnoxious habits of people who make walking on the streets a recurring nightmare.
I selected some of the interesting people I meet on the streets, who may make you think twice about your trip to town.
- The Failed Multitasker
This goes out to those annoying human species who get too fascinated on their phones that they forget that their ability to multitask is almost close to zero. So as you are trying to make way on the Nairobi congested paths, there’s always this one guy who walks so slowly because he is trying to catch up with the latest news on the whatsapp group, that he completely forgot to walk.
Dear Pedestrian, multitasking is not for you, There are benches available to sit and go through your social media.
2. The Spitter
Now these are the people whom I would say are just savage. As they masquerade themselves among civilized human beings, they blow their cover of impunity by just spitting right in the middle of the road, path or pavement.
For heavens sake, no one needs to see how corroded your insides are, so kindly leave them inside.
3. The Hitman
This is the champ that passes you and makes sure that he or she hits you with all their might, either with their arm, fist or shoulder. What gives? Can’t we all walk in peace without being so physical? These guys hit you so hard, you almost feel like they left with a piece of your shoulder/arm with them. The annoying thing is that some after hitting you look back and smile. But why?
4. The Lost Guy
“Excuse me, do you know how to get from Ruiru from here?” I do not have any qualms with people asking for directions, I also do ask for directions.However, there are people who ask for directions then ask for bus fare. In this Nairobi, resources are very scarce due to the rural to urban migration, so you have to get one service either the bus fare or the directions not both. That’s greedy!
5. The Beggar
The beggars are back, and they are large in numbers. Theres one whose an Arab guy, he will tell you stories of how he and his brother have slept hungry and how he wants to go back to school and study but his parents died and he will plead the pity out of you until you give him some money. The next one looks ruggedy and scary, if you do not give him what he wants, he will utter a few threats your way. We also have kids and mothers who look more drunk than needy and will plead the money out of you. The kids don’t beg anymore, they demand you to give them that 10 bob and every time they see you walk out of a restaurant or supermarket with a drink, they automatically believe that you do not need it, and that you should hand it out to them.
Dear Beggar, the juice/soda that I bought is for my intake, if I choose to share well and good but remember it is mine.
6. The Tout
These are the matatu tout who grab your hand in a bid to lure you to their matatu whether or not you are going in their direction. If you shove them off, they will loudly hurl some insults your way. “Wacha maringo! hata hautoshi mboga!”
Lakini I didn’t know we were making Ugali, I would have carried more mboga! Anyway, to each his own stew!
7. The Whisperer
These are men who are either too creepy or somehow shy and would rather wait for you to pass them then they decide to whisper a greeting or compliment or comment your way.”Na wewe ni mrembo!” “Hiyo dress yako ni tamu!””Sasa Karembo!”
Dear By-stander, Say hi confidently, it is attractive! whispering after a lady that has passed is very creepy.
8. Kamukunji guys
In the life of a pedestrian in Nairobi, you are always in a hurry moving from A to B. However, there are certain people who form kamukunjis in the middle of town and totally block your way through, hence you may be forced to cross the road to the other side and back just to avoid the human traffic caused by unconcerned humans who have made random circle to discuss politics, current affairs and who should be the new governor which is still politics.
I honestly think these people should be invited to parliament, at least their opinions will be put to good use.
9. Angry Hawker
I respect the hustle, I wouldn’t want to harm or ruin anybody’s hustle, that wouldn’t be very nice of me, would it? These guys get so angry if you spend time looking for something you would like but you don’t find then walk away. Now this particular hawker, will make it his business to tell you off and probably chase you away for wasting his time.
Maybe tomorrow I may get something but after that ordeal I don’t think I will stop to look again. No thanks!
10. The Snail Movers
These are the people, when everyone is in a certain pace trying to make their way to God knows where, these people walk in a snail-like pace and cause you the discomfort of having to trail after them. Its never one person you can walk past, its always a group of two or three friends who walk at their luxury and literally block the whole pathway.
Dear Snail movers, kindly take your walks to a more suitable environment, It may be at the nature walks at the KWS or take a walk from Uhuru park to Central park or even visit Arboretum but do not clog the paths and force us to your snail pace yet we getting late for business.
11. The Preacher
These people mostly talk about the end is nigh. They really shout to the point of loosing their voices and they all sound the same. It is annoying despite the fact that they are preachers. The shouting bit especially. I just chose to walk very far away and maintain my space.
Anyway, these preachers are the true spirit of a calling. They wake up everyday to preach to a non listening audience and that’s what you call determination.
12. The Emergency Brake
I honestly wish humans had indicators to show you they are going right, left or even going to take a halt. At times, you are so caught up in your own thoughts and business that you don’t realize that the person in front of you is going suddenly stop. So you end up busting into someone’s back and almost toppling over, if the human is short.
Someone should come up with human indicators to show which direction they are moving to next and if they are taking a halt. Saves me the emergency brake, as I avoid stumbling into someone’s backpack or sweaty shirt. Peeeeew!
Which person have you come across?