Diary of a Kenyan Uber driver: You can’t disrespect me and hope I won’t get angry
11th April 2018
Wa, is it Happy New Year or “wapi ngeta” new year? That Nai CBD has once again become a well-paying 24/7 sacco for kauzis reminds me of the 90s when wearing a ngepa was the equivalent of advertising your smartphone is available for immediate and violent divorce between it and your ear; and Gill House was a massage parlour which specialized in applying stiff elbows laced with wood to necks, uninvited, from behind.
Regarding the ngepa, I kumbuka once chilling to dandia a nganya to take me and other wadundajis to Carni when Carni was the ish; when a forko jembe tried to grab my ngepa from inside that mat; fortunately, my reaction time was faster than trump’s tweets and I prevented a non-consensual separation between it and my afro.
Unfortunately, I had to remove it and beba it as if it was a collection bag ya sadaka for the rest of the night, nkt! However, in Dec, I was dandiwad by two kauzis in bodas at masaa ya jajuok in Zimma as I staggered to my cager and they took the kawa stuff: mulika (really? In 2017?) a camera, mem card and a k. But, phew, they left my njumus paray paray. Later, I wondered why they needed two bodas for a gig as easy as plagiarism.
It’s the same mwezi I carried an angry client from Karen to ungwaro. A fellow dere had dissed his call after learning of his destination; fearing for his safety.
The former was mad that the latter had presumed wakaaji wa ungwaro sio watu (“Kwani ni wanyama wanaishi huko?”) and he said he would prove to me that wazitos also lived in ungwaro. He did that by showing me all the buses and mats parked by the road leading to his makao; saying none of them ever lost a spare tyre or a side mirror or a tenje to itchy fingers.
His parting shot was that majambazi can also ambush you in those hoods that bear signs such as “matatus are not allowed on this road”/”this is a low-density, controlled neighbourhood.”
Weeks earlier, I had bebad some waresh from the same location as that angry jamaa; destination oyole. I have visited Kayole, aka “UK” as caligraph jones baptized it, I think it was in 2015; to visit a mzae who wanted to skizia me kuhusu briquettes and their earning magnetism.
I kumbukad two things about that route. One, in the mat, some warembos sat on the laps of some dudes; and I didn’t hear a complaint from nderitu njoka of maendelo ya wanaume. Second, to go back to tao, you need to take the mat until the end of the mtaa because it doesn’t use the same roadback.
Anyhoo, these waresh had taken depressants that alcoblow was made for. They began arguing in-house about the best route I should take: Jogoo Road, Nyayo stadi, bypass. The one who shouted the loudest won and bypass it was. I was taking directions like I was in driving school, so I wasn’t jazzed when we toklezead at the lang’ata-KWS section and we had to a take a u-turn to face Nyayo.
One of them mentioned there would be a deficit in malipo coz I had missed the turn that toklezeas nje ya the former HQ club.
When you hear that the unga ya discount is a temporary thing, being told that your earnings will be sliced, without arbitration or mediation; is kahawa tungu, mwanangu.
I replied that I had voluntarily given up my right to refuse the destination on safety grounds. The depressants came into effect and “This motherfucker” was uttered.
That did it, I was gonna rudisha them kule walitoka, but this time using the galleria route. Things got more intense coz they were unfamiliar with that road; and calls began being made. “Unajua karao yoyote Karen. We have a cab guy hatujui anatupeleka wapi.” “Please hurry up, hata hatuongeleshi, ni wazimu.” Nearing one of those petis along Karen Road, they threatened to ruka nje ile design the recce guards leap from their limos when the orezo’s motorcade reaches its destination.
I dondoad them at that peti, and I jitoad; escorted by banged doors and matusi whose content can be packaged as a refresher course for the likes of moses kuria and miguna squared.