If you went to a high school that sits at the heart of a typical village then you will agree with me that the chances of sharing a class with a white kid are NIL. It’s a windy Friday evening; you are rushing to the bus stage as fast as your thin legs “could” carry you.Primary school was lit.You cannot actually describe this act as walking because your feet are literally floating and wading.
You are floating so fast such that you don’t even have the time to stop and purchase minji or tomatoes from the twilight hawkers. By the way, those twilight tomatoes are tomatoes that have hit menopause. If you haven’t wasted your mullah on them, don’t try.
Other than being exhausted from the day’s activities, your body is experiencing an earthquake that would rate 5.2 on the Richter. (Read cramps).You feel like you want to strip naked and enjoy the evening breeze but then these kinds of thoughts could secure you a safe night at the Central Police Station.
You get to the bus stage, and as usual, there’s a crowd. Let me tell you something about my Ma3 route. We don’t line up whenever there is a shortage of matatus. We crowd, wait for the next matatu and when it arrives, it’s you against the world. Woe unto you if you travelled from up country with three live chickens, a 50-kilogram gunia mzigo and an army of tired lito shudren who are threatening to four-wheel on you.
Fridays come with the warming thoughts of rest after a week of hustle and bustle. While most people would prefer “Friday noise”, I love my Fridays quiet and serene. Good thing matatus that ply my route don’t play deafening music. It’s usually more of Country Road and less of Kamatia Chini. So the mat arrives, and you and your hand bag get yourselves a seat behind the driver. For the next five minutes, you feel so beaten that you don’t even know whether the person seated beside you is a man or a woman because your head is scattered…whatever Nigerians mean by this phrase. You’re profusely sweating from the pushing and pulling by your fellow commuters. I am pretty sure there are women who have lost their wigs in this battle.
A few minutes after settling in you get a musical ‘hi’ from your neighbor. You turn facing her direction and there’s nothing familiar about her, so you take it that she is just being a good neighbor. She has blonde hair, sorry, a blonde tired-looking weave that appears to have cost her an arm and a leg. She meets you with a smile and despite all the earth tremors and the fatigue, you smile back and say hello. You’re being human. You then log into your WhatsApp to check how many blue ticks haven’t been responded to and to show the ninjas who only remember you on Friday that hupendi ujinga. Then the good neighbor goes again;
“Kwani you don’t remember me?”
You hesitate for 5 seconds pretending to try to remember while at the back of your mind you know pretty well that you’ve never seen this Gringo before.
She goes again… “I’m Shanelle from high school”
The name Shanelle rings a bell, but it looks like it changed owners. You’re tempted to ask what happened but then again you know what happened. She used to look like the black keys on a keyboard but now she looks like the white ones. You go red with embarrassment for not being able to remember your former schoolmate and consequently you both spend the rest of your journey in awkward silence, afraid you’ll say something wrong.
Note to self; if you choose to leave us for another race, and you meet someone who used to know you in the other life, kindly introduce yourself before you subject them to such kind of embarrassment.