As the popular Bensoul and Sauti Sol song “Nairobi” goes “Yule anakupea pia ananipea, sote tunashare!”, (The one who gives you, is the same person who gives me, so we all are sharing) Nairobi is often termed as one big bedroom. This might be the Sodom and Gomorrah of Kenya. Your partner isn’t yours, it’s just your turn. In this city cheating is the norm. Cases of infidelity are always at an all-time high.
It was his first time in Nairobi from Kisii. John had just landed a job opportunity at the Kenya Airport Authorities. He had lived in the county for most of his life so he was anxious about what lay ahead. At the same time, he was excited because of his new beginnings. He had always dreamt of travelling to Nairobi ever since he graduated from Kisii University and this was a dream come true. The word about him going to Nairobi spread like fire. All the neighbours came to bid him goodbye, some brought yams, others brought maize, and so on. They said they had heard items in Nairobi were very pricey and they did not want their son to suffer.
His parents suggested that they throw a farewell party for him. His travelling to Nairobi was a big deal to them. The farewell party date was set, and the news reached every nook and cranny of the village. On the day of the event, their compound was fully packed. Everyone wanted to shake his hand and they all reminded him not to forget about them when he got to the city. Oddly enough some of his foes turned into friends and friends turned into foes.
D-Day had finally arrived. He woke up very early and to his surprise his neighbours had gathered once again to bid him goodbye. They murmured a few prayers and he left. His first stop was at the bus stage. He boarded the Guardian Coach bus that travelled straight to Nairobi. Some of his luggage that included the yams he had carried was put in the boot and he held his bag close to him for he had heard Nairobi was full of thieves. He had been warned not to talk to anyone unless it was his uncle who was supposed to pick him up to the stage. He swore to take this advice to the grave, so when the old lady seated next to him tried to make a conversation he did not speak back but looked out the window trying to put on a serious face.
5 hours later he arrived in Nairobi. The city was busy in contrast to the village. People were staring and he did not see the friendly faces that he was used to in the village. He could see people walking up and down in search of a better living. Everyone seemed to be rushing somewhere.
“What is it with Nairobi people rushing?” he thought to himself.
He had been told to wait at the stage till his uncle picked him up but he had no phone so there was no communication between the two of them. John stood alone holding his bags tightly in his arms. After waiting for about thirty minutes, his uncle appeared. He almost did not recognize him, because he looked sharp and polished, and nicely dressed in a three-piece suit. They greeted each other warmly and proceeded to head home.
Nairobi must be Canaan,” said John, he could not get enough of how everything looked beautiful.
“Yes Nairobi can be the land of milk and butter, like the promised land, only if you are disciplined and know what brought you here,” his uncle said.
He had two more days before he began working. His uncle was kind enough to show him around and enlighten him on the ways of the city. He had a lot to learn, but baby steps they say. So far he had learned about etiquette and the kind of clothes he was supposed to wear to work. His uncle had been kind enough to get him a couple of suits since he had none. His first day at work was draining, he had to learn from scratch since he did not know anything. He found his boss arrogant and most of his colleagues inhospitable. But he had made a vow to himself to stop at nothing to achieve his dreams.
He had asked his uncle to teach him how to type and use a laptop. He was determined to learn, during his free time he would be online learning and doing research. Eventually, he was on the same page as his colleagues. He could now speak fluently and he was good at typing. It was during one of the meetings that he spotted a very beautiful lady. It wasn’t about her clothes or her makeup there was something about this lady that he couldn’t quite put a finger on. She was the epitome of elegance and sophistication, walking with grace like she owned the room. This was the most attractive lady he had ever come across.
Frequently, he would bump into her in the office. He was still gaining the courage to talk to her. When he was confident enough he made his move and asked her out on a date. She seemed interested because she agreed to meet him later that weekend. They went out for coffee at Java and got to know each other. From that day forward, they made it a habit to have coffee together every Friday evening. Their coffee relationship graduated to lunch dates and finally dinner dates. Eventually, they started dating officially. He could not wait to introduce the beautiful lady to his family. It was his first time being this madly in love with a lady.
After 9 months of dating, he was making arrangements for the lady to meet his parents for an introduction. He had to travel to Kisii first to make prior preparations before going back to Nairobi to pick up the lady. John then travelled on one Sunday morning. He had not told his family about his visit, he intended to surprise them. On arrival he found them doing great. After eating and catching up and receiving updates from the village about someone bewitching someone he told them the purpose of his visit. His parents were very curious. But the mum insisted that she must know how to prepare porridge and bananas. The mum proceeded to ask if she could fluently speak in her mother tongue. She could.
He made sure everything was set and travelled back to Nairobi to get his girl. John had tried to call her before but the calls were not going through. He assumed that the calls did not go through because of the bad network service in Kisii. When he arrived in Nairobi, he took a cab to his girlfriend’s place. The girl had been staying in a two-bedroomed apartment in Ruiru. He was excited that his parents were ready to meet her and that they could formalize things. When he got there he knocked on the door a couple of times before it was opened by another man who was in a robe.
“Surely, this must be a mistake,” he thought to himself.
He moved a few steps back just to make sure he was knocking on the right door. He was at the right door.
“Who are you?” the guy in the robe bellowed at him.
He tried to find the words to tell him he was the girl’s boyfriend but he could not. His mouth was dry and he felt like he was going to throw up. It was a tense minute before the girl appeared at the door. When she saw John standing at the door she was shocked. She was not expecting him to be back on that day. The guy in the robe asked the lady who the other guy was, she said he was a colleague from work and proceeded to ask him what he wanted. When he did not reply she went ahead and asked him to leave because he was wasting their time.
He had nothing to say. He felt a sharp pain cut through his chest. John wanted to cry, he wanted to yell but he did not know what to do. He was so heartbroken, not knowing what he was going to tell his parents who were excited to see him bring his future wife home. Later the next day he tried to call her but the calls could not go through, that is when he realized that he had been blocked. He was blocked on all social media platforms. John showed up to work hoping to see her and there she was, acting normal as if nothing had happened.
Then he remembered some advice he had been given a long time ago. One of the rules he was given was to never date a colleague at work unless you are prepared for the awkwardness. If only he had listened, but as we all know, Nairobi and love do not always match. Nairobi they say is the headquarters of the Institute of Character Development.
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