So I have been walking tall still considering myself youth and being really proud of it. Yesterday however, the bitter realization that it might no longer be true hit me hard. It was late evening and here I was rushing through the busy Nairobi streets, to get to my bus stop and get a jav real quick. As I walked through, my youthful side wanted to get into that nganya / bumtwaf jav (I bet there is a cooler name for that now). Anyway, I get to the stop and there are a couple of guys waiting, so someone suggests a queue. So queue moves swiftly and in a few minutes I am closer to getting into a jav. The current one is old. I cross my fingers hoping that the guys before me would fill it up. True to my wish they actually do, I stand smiling sheepishly at the next one, it was new and I could hear the music from outside. As I get in, I realize it already has a couple of young guys sitting on the window seats, bobbing their heads to the music. I have to go all the way to the back seat, no worries, I could totally sit on top of the base speaker (if that’s what it’s called). The jav quickly fills up and as I enjoy the music, though a bit loud. I can still hear some dudes chatting (screaming over the really loud music).
We quickly maneuver through the city traffic, go through parklands and soon we are onto another random route I have no idea of. I figure it’s a short cut, but as the number of trees continue to increase, I get a little worried but everyone else seems pretty calm, so I take a chill pill. We get to a place where curiosity creeps in as we realizing we haven’t moved in about five minutes. There is no traffic ahead just some negotiations between the three kanges and some watchies. Yes three kanges. The area is residential and javs are not allowed to pass through. The watchies prove to be hard nuts to crack and the jav has to turn around. A couple of insults are hurled as we go back where we came from. At this point I look keenly at the interior of the jav, it has proper speakers at least six. As if the driver was waiting to catch my attention, he suddenly turns on the lights. In a few seconds, there were so many flashing lights I thought I would get dizzy, or worse still they would short circuit. Oh wait maybe not, let’s assume it’s the disco lights effect. Well, at this point, my ears, eyes and dangling legs, seeing how short I am, were pressing to hold an urgent meeting to figure out how much longer they would have to go through this. A few deep breaths and turning on my youth element, I found a way to cope.
Soon we finally join Waiyaki way at Brookside drive and the traffic is really bad. The honks the driver pressed on were good enough to scare the small car drivers into letting him pass. However, where he found bigger trucks, there was no one to bully so he chose to overlap. This is where I called on Jesus, as the driver maneuvered so close to the drainages, I knew the old age had kicked in as I wanted to scream STOP! Again, the younglings were calm and on their phones, while others were discussing the way they would go back for what we called squadi in my days. I wonder what they call it now. Listening to them was a good distraction, I mean my ears could actually filter the music and pick their voices. A couple of maneuvers here and there and we were onto another escape route. This one was quite good as we passed a couple of posh houses, the Muthangari residence was quite catchy. This was plus to my trip.
Finally we got to what was causing the major snarl up, the transformer that had fallen near Kianda School. I thanked Kenya Power for the time taken to move it as it got me to rethink a couple of things. I began to understand that the youth part was slowly letting go and I was getting to the part where soon one of the kanges, assuming it’s a norm these days, would say “harakisha mathe.” In less than ten minutes, I was alighting. The youth part of me was still arguing that I could probably blame the village for my lack of proper exposure. Wait for it, the younglings who wanted to go for the squadi, found out they had to alight too, as it was not going back to town. As they sadly alighted, it hit me, it’s not where I lived, I had moved to the next phase. Through the thought of short circuiting lights, feeling like my ear drums would burst, I stared at the KBZ jav as it quickly drove off and realized then that truly age had caught up with me. There is nothing wrong with the cool lights, the loud music and the three kanges, probably there is a lot of support required in that job. I walked home slowly, smiling and appreciating the point in my life where I was at that level. My peers from Kikuyu must surely remember Alicia & Ng’ombe. That’s as far as my memory goes.