Dune; True Story pt3

“Ni elfu tatu mia tano tu brathe!” That statement had me weak kabisa, how or where was I going to produce that kind of money? There wasn’t no turning back now, but I had to find a way to shake off Moha, nikamshow nategea kutumiwa doh kwa mpesa, wrong move because that seemed to stoke more interest for me in him.
We got to Tawakal booking office, he told the guy behind the counter, who seemed like a permanent fixture on a recliner seat to book me a seat on the bus. I naively asked “na bus iko wapi?” Moha showed me a toothles grin with green slime and told me “iko kwa njia karibu itafika tu” I believed him. Now the task to get money was in my albeit too empty hands and as the swahili… Had I known how vain my actions would be I would rather have bought a tin bowl, got myself a nice strategic corner and started begging. I called everyone who was anyone on my phonebook, after every call my long held fears were confirmed that no one cared for me. Moha naye hakua akiniacha, after amepata new client na kumfiksha booking office, ndo huyo, “Pesa hazijaingia brathe?” I had to move, nikaingia kwa cafe nikakula githeri.
After a long day of walking around aimlesly, it got dark and chilly. I had to find somewhere a bit cozy to rest, nikapata Moha, looks like alikua amefikisha target ya siku. Akaniuliza itakuaje, nikamdungia ati uko kwenye nilikua nangoja pesa itoke ni ocha na juu ni usiku sasa mpesa zimefungwa. Ilikua kitu saa mbili usiku by then, Moha akani uliza uko na shilingi gapi, I showed him all I had, he saw more; my Samsung galaxy pocket and power bank. Moha akaniuliza kama naeza uza phone nipate pesa ya gari, mimi nikakubali, I was now willing to try anything, there was no going back. Moha took me to a baite in some shop that seemed a bit short on space, I wondered how the owner was able to turn in there or even sit. Moha introduced me to the shopkeeper then told him we had some stuff to sell, I showed him the"burungo", baite akadinda, he wasn’t interested. Kumbe it was a facade of how to do con business, after some begging from Moha, Baite gave one hard chew to his taksin, looked into the distance and without flinching gave what was to him an irresistible offer, 850 for both items! I nearly swallowed my tongue in disbelief, how dare he! Not wanting to seem coy nikajaribu ku bargain upward, but wapi, baite was dead serious na amekwama, we gave up though Moha was for it, maybe ilikua ni deal.
After our ordeal with Baite, I was spent, Moha the took me to some empty, dingy looking room with some muslims sitted cross-legged on a mat on the floor as if in meditation , told me to wait a bit. As I was waiting Moha was talking to some skinny black dude in a robe/ kanzu in some coarse language.The skinny dude kept nodding while looking at me and not saying much, they both then approached me, Moha doing the talking skinny guy did the head nodding, “Sasa brathe uyu ni conductor wa Mecca bus na amekubali kukubeba alafu mpesa iki ingia utamlipia mbele, utampatia tu I.D yako ukimlipa atakurudishia, sasa mpatie ile ulikua nayo”. Without thinking I gave the guy my six hundred shillings and as I was handing him my I.D aka kataa akisema yeye kama Mwislamu ata chukua tu neno la mdomo. As we were coming out I asked Moha of Tawakal and when we were to leave akaniambia iko garage na kutoka ni saa sita ya usiku ama kesho!
Moha the took me to a funny looking fellow called gorilla with prayer beads in the hand,Gorilla asked me why I wanted to go to Mandera yet people were running away citing al kebab, I told him it was conviction to go serve the marginalised. Akacheka na kunifungulia Bus ya Mecca na kuniambia ni ingie nika pumzike ndani, though they weren’t allowing anyone else in. Uko ndani ya bus nikapata view ya building ilikua na ma Lanyes ka wote wamejianika tu, nika regret mbona sina doh. I then had no otherwise but to call my Mother and lie that nlikua nmekosa doh ya rent, anitumie 5k, my mother never disapoints akaniambia nitegee hadi morning. Kidogo nikajipata nimedoze.
Niliamshwa kitu saa nne usiku na conductor akaniambia ni shuke, hawa ruhusu watu ndani ya gari na anataka kuanza kingiza watu. So I got down, people started getting in as tickets were verified, nikajua leo nimepatikana but after everyone was in Gorilla came and after talking to the one verifying tickets I was allowed in with instructions to get to the back. Saa sita ikafika, dereva akaingia na kujaribu kuwasha gari ika kataa ikabidi kila mtu ashuke tuskume huku wakisema “Bismillahi” ikawaka finally. The vitu kwa carrier zikafungwa vizuri, mwendo tulianza kitu saa tisa asubuhi.
It was a relief to finally realize tha my dreams to get to Mandera had materialized. I recall getting out of Nairobi supper highway with that board that shows placenames and some funny codes and it was like living a movie, though it wasn’t very comfortable uko nyuma. I fell asleep then woke up at dawn, we were in some very dry region and thought to myself, “lazima tumekaribia Mandera” only to be told hapo ni Ukambani, my hopes got deflated, I decided to sleep.
I got jolted from my sleep when the bus stopped and I got so happy to see that I had been sent money via mpesa, my joy overflowed when I looked outside and saw so many women in buibuis and men in Kanzus with dyed beards, bas huku ndo Mandera I grabbed my bag to alight like almost everyone else was doing only to meet the conductor at the door akaniulizanaenda wapi nikamwambia nimefika, akaniuliza “huendi mandera tena?” Nikam uliza kwani tuko wapi, akacheka akaniambi ni Garissa haha. I’ve never felt more stupid in my life! Nikashuka anyway kuwithdraw pesa, Was hungry but there wasn’t going to be any money left after paying for my fare so nika kausha I was going to receive more cash from mum huko mbele, and mandera wasn’t any farther I hoped kumbe I was in for a rude shock.
Hii story imekua ndefu sana acha nipunge hewa…