#GovernmentOfSafaricom Episode1

So, I am walking along Waiyaki Way down from Muthangari Drive after a rather up-and-down kind of day. It is so relieving to finally see the matatus that I shall be boarding off from the messy hustle and bustle of the city that used to be in the sun before it overwhelmed and swallowed the sun. As I wait for the guy holding the portable “GO” sign at the pedestrian crossing point opposite the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) to flip it into “STOP” for me to cross, a thought occurs to me – I blog and I never know when I will need a photo of the place I am about to cross including Waiyaki Way or an uphill on a highway. So, I take out my Zero 5 Pro (yeah, I’m no iPhoner) with the intention of taking a photo and I can cross. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a rollercoaster of a nonsensical show of might and flaunting of the name of a corporate bigwig…

Just as I am about to cross, a guy from behind asks, “Boss, nimeona ukipiga picha hapo… hebu nizione…” I look at the civilian-clothed guy and he is holding some walkie talkie – they use these as intimidation tools, as I experienced a while back from some rogue make-pretend cops in Nairobi who were claiming that I had purchased a second-hand PC without paying VAT… as if VAT collection is the consumer’s responsibility (Nigerian woman rolling her eyes on my behalf coupled with a lengthy, Afrosinema characteristic, mscheeeeeeeeeeeeeeew). Anyhow, I show the guy the two photos and he insists that we must, “Enda juu” (loosely: go up) because I have taken a photo of the Safaricom House. I ask him who he is and he says, “Mi naitwa Dennis na mimi ni security wa Safaricom” (My name is Dennis and I am a Safaricom security [officer]). I asked the guy whether there is anything in the photo showing that I had the intention of taking the Safaricom House building when, from where I was, more than half of it was covered by a billboard of some alcohol brand. He insists, “Sasa nitakushika nikupeleke huko juu” (Now I will arrest you and take up there [implying Safaricom House]). I tell him to show me his badge and he says he doesn’t have it with him.

At this point, I tell him he has no arresting powers to which he responds, “Wacha niite mtu ako na uniform anaweza kukushika” (Let me call someone in uniform who can arrest you). He places his walkie talkie around his mouth and bluffs some roger-roger-tango-90-fifty-55-come-blurry-SWAT gibberish – By the way, why don’t these guys just say “hello” like normal Luhyas do wakituma salamu on Mulembe nusu ya kuonana…? Or is their intention merely to match up advocates with their herewith hereunto wheretoforthwith mathogothanio makorokoro flabbergasting onomatopoeia of schematic suvoir dire habeas corpus nolo contendere PLO CJ AG DPP plaintiff mens rea stare decisis…? (Note: This is not meant to be understood; if you did, see me after this!) Back to the Dennis guy, he asks me to wait until someone comes and I told him not to hold or touch me at any point. I cross the road and the fury with which he is rotating those nipple-like knobs on his black intimidator AKA walkie talkie, I can tell he is getting impatient with the tens of thousands of militiamen he has summoned.

I spot a super metro (matatu) and I… [Continued here]