Madness in our streets

Maybe you’ve seen him. Maybe you’ve not. If you haven’t, I don’t know how you have missed him. He is as conspicuous as an elephant. Not body-wise though, but he makes sure you notice him.

He is short…kinda. He is very dirty. He walks around with one raised arm and a pointed finger, and he makes a lot of noise. He is always shouting at anyone and everyone. I haven’t yet understood what he shouts about but he is definitely very infuriated. Maybe somebody did him, and did him real bad. I really don’t know.

I met him today. Or should I say,he bumped into me today. The first time I saw him, he was walking in the streets poking his fingers on the bosoms of unsuspecting ladies. It was funny at first, then scaring. Maybe he just wanted to attract attention. He did. The wrong kind of attention. People kept staring at him, from a distance.

So, today I heard him. You always hear him before you see him.Shouting, as always. Gesturing frantically and poking his fingers in other people’s faces. I was standing, waiting. But I wasn’t ready for what happened. I made a mistake. I looked at him.

There was a barrier between us, he walked  round and faced me. I didn’t know if I should walk away or keep standing. I didn’t have a reason to walk away anyway. So I stood, just as I had been standing before. He looked at me, and I guess he didn’t like me that much. Before I could make up my mind on whether he liked me or not, he slapped me.

I was shocked, then irritated then angry. I wanted to fish my phone from my big hand bag and call the Chief of police. Only I don’t have his number. So I just stood there nursing my ego and watching his back get lost in the crowd. It wasn’t interesting.Not at all.

I kept thinking about him for a while. I guess that gives him too much credit. How can I, a Nairobi corporate woman, spend a second thinking about a mad man? Thank God they were not murderous thoughts, the Meru in me would have risen.

I just kept wondering why he is allowed to keep walking around, poking people and slapping them with abandon. I kept wondering why the Nairobi city council is so lenient, and why do we have Mathare Mental Hospital if lunatics are still roaming the streets. With impunity.


Somewhere in the Middle…

Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, You’ll find me

Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You’re making me
Somewhere in the middle, You’ll find me

Many times we find ourselves there, somewhere between things. Daily we are faced with challenges and choices; some manageable while others are just like the two edged sword, whichever side you hold you risk getting hurt.

It could be simple, like getting torn between eating in or out, or wondering whether to read for that exam or taking that nap. The solutions here is easy. If you are torn between rehearsing for that presentation or watching that movie, just watch the movie as you decide. And although we may feel ‘stressed’ for a while, in two hours time it mostly is over. But there are times when we are really in between things and the devil and the deep blue sea seems like a joke.

Take Zachary Saitoti for example. The media is all awash with stories of battle and ownership you’d be forgiven to think they are talking about land in Syokimau! I keep wondering what really is going on in Zac’s mind. Does he hate his parents for lying to him if they ever did? Does he hate his new self-confessed ‘parents’ for tuning his world upside down? Does he also wonder with us on who is really telling the truth?

Are the fond memories he had of his father fading slowly each time the media brings up the story of his parentage? Does he wonder what his life would have been like had he not grown up  the son of Saitoti? Does he keep staring at his forehead, wondering if it really looks like that woman on T.V? Oh, as they say, …namfeel!

Of all the things that I will ever face, I hope doubting my parentage will never be one of them. I may not have grown up the daughter of queen Elizabeth, but i’m very much happy and content in being the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fredrick M. Mwamba! Any mother who may be getting ideas about how my ears resemble their last born’s should get busy, and I don’t mean busy talking to the cameras.

It is not just the parentage of Zachary that is in question here, it is that, plus the integrity of the Saitoti’s. And for Zac, that is a big deal. It is bad enough when a parent has to confess to their teenage child that they were adopted; how do you start telling them that they were stolen? Or collected? Or… I don’t want to think about it anymore. I’m getting a headache!

I am neither a children welfare officer nor a lawyer, but I know smells from far. And this one really stinks. It may be sorted eventually, but it might take more than one wash with aerial washing powder. But I really hope Zachary comes out unscathed, and that he will know normalcy again. Soon.

I know most of us will be on Saitoti’s side, we loved him in life and we have respect for the dead, but supposing these two are telling the truth? Supposing Zachary, or Wachira as they claim is really their son? This is going to be one juicy story…it’ll taste like onion juice! or Lemonade. Or Bile. Or a mixture of the three.

On a lighter note though, Zachary should be happy he has three parents fighting for him. Some of us are three parents short. I know there are some who would rather have three parents fighting over them than have none.  Guess your issues always look dismal in the light of what everyone else is facing.

So, this is for Zachary and the whole lot of us who are stuck somewhere in the middle; wear a brave face, cry if you have too, let the locks look more rugged if you must, ask questions, get answers… But as you are somewhere in the middle, whether you turn left or right of center, be sober and be happy. And may these words of Casting Crowns be you prayer day by day:

Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You’re by my side.

Loving me even on these nights when I’m caught in the middle