After K.C.P.E I lost one of my best friends to mob justice. 15 year old Stanley Githaiga, brutally murdered in cold blood, for allegedly engaging in shop lifting. The specifics I’m not privy, but the story goes that he was seen running from the scene of crime and that was enough. Verdict=Guilty. Sentence= Death by stoning. The reality is had to accommodate, he had dreams, his mother’s son, the only hope of a family that didn’t have so much going for them. But the mob is always right. Street justice, on the spot. No judge. No juror. Just crazy blood thirsty crack heads descending on a fellow human being.
Depending on which side of the equation you are on, your opinion on street justice shifts dramatically, but then there’s a time when we all share similar ideals. So that the question becomes like Christ would say, “He that has not sinned cast thee the first stone!”
Christine was going to meet someone on that fateful Friday. Like everyone else, she had her act right and dressed the part. She had an option of putting on that long red dress her boyfriend got her for valentines, but then they were no longer together, and it was not Valentine’s Day. If the stars shone that night, this one could be a keeper, so she wanted to impress him. She went for that black skirt, and a matching top. A little cleavage and some thigh was enough for the first date. Would she like him?… Would he like her? Time would tell. After all she had done her part.
Dinner was at 6pm. She left early… avoid traffic and all.
“Tao chwani, Town salasa, commercial 60bob, Ambassador 40bob” the usual touting at the Pipeline stage went on. She listened again then decided to take the “commercial 60bob” option. She liked the Embassava Buses, they are cleaner and comfortable and expensive. She took the last back seat, took out her phone. No messages!
“David! Hope you’re still coming” she thought
The thought of him bailing was unthinkable, he sounded mature, surely he couldn’t bail. The Conductor came for the fare, she handed him a hundred shillings. He winked, she ignored it. He went on to other passengers. She was a humble person and in a normal day she’d extend some half smile to such touts, or pretend to laugh, but today her moods bordered between anxiety and fear, some sick feeling that could not leave her stomach!
The conductor came back, handed her back her change, but this time his hand lingered on hers, she pulled back and sneered! Embarrassed the conductor left.
They arrived. Accra road, the usual Embassava den! The passengers got out, in a hurry. She was in no hurry. It was 4pm, way before her blind date. She stood up, straightened her skirt, then made for the door. The tout was there, staring, head to toe and back. She was used to this. They all starred whether you’re wearing a sack or veil. She got to the door.
The conductor said something, incoherent. (They never make sense. Never! Don’t have anything to say, they become tongue tied after saying “Hi” ….fricking idiots. ) she looked at him. He stared back. Confused like crap, he wouldn’t say anything. She didn’t have time for this, so she made as if to move, then he grabbed her hand. A firm hard grip, then repeated that thing he had NOT said earlier, she was now exasperated. Not today, she thought, not now, please. She looked at him and the words could not form fast enough, he was smiling, exposing those crooked-not-there-anymore-brown-teeth.
She wanted to slap him, but her mother had taught her better. She struggled to free herself. When she did, she was breathless and couldn’t resist giving him a piece of her mind. She called him a worthless ass#$#$#$. And that was her first mistake?
She had lowered herself to his level, and now he was about to beat her with experiences. He started… the insults coming in quick succession; it was amazing how he had turned from a verbally mute fool to a vocal insult stud. The crowd was gathering, majority touts, they immediately took his side, he was turned from offender to victim, the victim of these Nairobi girls who think they are queens, these girls who think all touts are dirty low lives, victim of sexual temptation from scantily dressed shameless girls, a victim, a victim, a victim. So much that he actually believed it.
Christine was now surrounded by a crowd of angry mob. Touts and jobless pricks happy enough to welcome this diversion from their boring lives. They came in numbers. She was trapped, and now she was the mute, she was in a spiral, everything so blurred yet very real, just a few minute she was a victim of sexual harassment, now she was the offender and of what exactly? Was she supposed to let him touch her to his fill? Was she supposed to stand there a play nice? Is it bad to stand up for yourself?
She was lost in her own thought, she didn’t here them shout! Whore! she didn’t hear them say ‘vua’ she only heard them descend on her, tearing through her top, her skirt along with everything else. With blind eye and ears to her cries and pleas, they violated an innocent girl, whose only mistake was?
…..the truth is just as you watched in that video clip doing rounds on social media.
Me… I’ve just created an alibi for this woman. This story is purely fiction as the victim’s name thereof.
The truth is she was not stripped for her dress code. (in my opinion) this was the work of an angry tout who wouldn’t get his way.
But let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that it was about morality, let’s say it was about indecent dressing. Well decency is very dear to me. But so is respect, and in a country where there’s virtually all kind of evil, descent dressing should be the least of our worries. Again stripping as a solution ‘is grossly ignorant”, like my beautiful friend Susan puts it.
So to our dear Touts and all clueless conductors out there, YOU SUCK!! (Alright lemme try that again) …to all those brain-starved sons-of-….. Okay, I give up.
Anyway my heart goes out to you, lovely lady who encountered this violation and humiliation. May you find consolation and may your pain be bearable.