As soon as I got a glimpse of the outskirts of the city, I knew there was something different about it. For a reason or two I kept staring outside like a villager who had just caught sight of a fortress. Three years I had been away and not once had I felt the feeling of belonging like I just did. For those of us who grew up in Nairobi or are still living in the city, we understand the hustle and bustle that goes on, somehow there is always something going on.
Nairobi as we know it, is a city filled with an organized confused lot of people moving around in different directions. Those in a hurry, those who look lost and stranded and those walking around in groups or pairs making meaningless conversation of what is and what isn’t. Then there is the lot of suspicious looking people waiting around on the confused lot to make one wrong move to their advantage.
Somehow, I could relate to the lost and the confused. Even though I was born and raised in Nairobi, I spent the better part of my academic years in boarding schools located in the western part of Kenya. With all the back and forth traveling in and out of Nairobi, I never really got a hang of the city. With the plenty of construction projects going on and the sight of new buildings, I felt lost.
For a minute, I took my time to admire the beautiful people of Nairobi and their impeccable taste of fashion. Everyone with their own taste and preferences. From the women with the nicely done make up to those with exaggerated colors on both their faces and hair. From those with decent attires to those whose clothes barely cover the beginning of their thighs. At some point I admired the simplicity of the man in a khaki trouser and a long-sleeved shirt concerned with nothing else other than the need to catch a bus home before the unforgiving hours of curfew time.
I made my way to Moi Avenue to catch an Embassava bus home. As I retraced my steps down the barely familiar path, I wore my earphones and put on some music. After all, what is a good walk without the company of good music?
It wasn’t long before I spotted a bus, I got in. I went straight ahead and took a seat next to an open window. In my head, I wanted to experience every inch of beauty the city had to offer on the drive home. As soon as I got settled down, I decided to send a message to my dad informing him of my safe arrival into the city. As I carefully chose the words to express my excitement on the message, I heard a distant knock on the window through the ear phones which I then took off ready to get a glimpse of who was trying to reach out to me. No sooner had I turned than I felt my phone slip through my fingers. Alas! I had just been robbed.
Most people barely seemed amused by the situation. They understood what life in the city was like. That’s when I realized that the city had just extended its hand towards me for a handshake. WELCOME TO NAIROBI: THE CITY OF THE SUN. So how about we pop a bottle of champagne 🥂.