My alarm goes off at 5am. See, I’m an early bird who’d rather report to camp even while it’s still dark — where half the time there’s no particular reason for it. Okay, fine, I lie.
Truth is, mahali hii Kenya imefika haina haja ya alarm, mtu ata amshwa tu na shida zake, na kama vidole, pia mashida hazitoshani! Wengine ni landlord, wengine majirani na wengi ni mabibi zao! We’ll look more into that at another forum.
But just so you know, personally, I prefer counting my problems one by one in the car, at the camp as opposed to my bed that is before men arrive. It is also here that I consult with the gods requesting them to remove from my path anything clad in blue uniform and a white cap, or a yellow coat with clumping tools at hand, or the sight of a breakdown for that matter.
It works at sometimes, but other times, oh well!
It’s 11am. I’m sitting in the car with my windows down. Save for one assignment to town that I happened upon first thing after reporting this morning, there’s nothing really to write home about. The day is easy.
The camp is full with everyone present. Men are huddled together doing the usual; insulting each other for all manner of reasons. Going by the comments flying about, the subject is politics. Always a thin thread that one, you must tread very carefully, else, you are most likely to step on landmines.
Joho, aka Sultan 001 has the Son of Jomo in a panic attack going nuts demanding to know “kama yeye ni bibi yake!” Such sentiments can only be fodder for quarters like ours. The language being used by these men is too colourful that it has my autocorrect in disarray!
I’m perusing through a newspaper a few days old. It captures the details of what the men are fussing about. But that isn’t what captures my attention, no. It’s something else. Something closer to home. Taxi drivers. See, we are always making headlines but for all the wrong reasons, I wonder what it could be this time! I delve into the topic with interest.
It’s a woman ranting about how she had been carried by a “rather dirty car whose driver also looked quite uncivilised and unkempt with uncut hair generally portraying the picture of a suspect!” Those words touch a raw nerve and don’t sit well with me or any other taxi driver for the record. We held a meeting and arrived at one conclusion — it’s pure malice. Call it hate speech.
To that end, we, the affected, do hereby issue the general public with the following notice: While the wider society endeavour to brand operators as “uncivilised” “unkempt” and “suspect,” we of the taxi fraternity do hereby distance ourselves from such sentiments and further wish to clarify that such remarks are derogatory and in bad light whose sole objective is to tarnish the names of individuals, camps, and by extension, the industry as a whole.
To the best of our knowledge, suspect is for criminals which we are not. Civility is our last name, and on matters grooming, we are well kempt with all hairs cut to size; head, face, chest, and otherwise, all areas ungazetted! Be warned accordingly.