Last week I found myself getting back to the house quite late. Every day I got home, I took a look at the clock, and every time the hour hand would always be way past 9. It almost seemed like a routine and to be honest I am not a big fan of routine – a colleague of mine tells me that it’s one of the best ways to remain mysterious in Nairobi; no one can ever plan your kidnap!
My being late to get home wasn’t from the fact that I had a huge bag of heavy workload, quite the contrary; I was having it quite easy at the office but I chose to spend my after hours catching up with friends and loved ones.
I caught the bus quite late that Wednesday night and to make matters worse, the only seat vacant was at the very tail of the bus. Those of you with experience in riding the crazy Eastlands matatus in the back seat know why I say matters were worse. Back there is where you’ll get a taste of every single pothole and bump on the road and once in a while get the not so yummy feel of a pavement or walk path. Your major concern however is the weight/size of those that will sit next to you because if not lucky, you might end up sitting on the very edge of your seat with no allowance to lean back leaving you with this terrible back ache once you alight.
I didn’t have a choice, I had to sit at the very back bench since it was getting late and I needed to get home. But as I sat, I noticed that behind me was a lady carrying a child on her back. With the little space between the seats, it was a great struggle for her to get all the way to the back. And there I thought to myself, all gentlemen must have gotten home very early today because no one, even the young ladies bothered to offer her their much comfortable seats. Nevertheless, she did make it, she managed to get the baby off her back to her front side and squeezed in with us back benchers. Almost instantly, there was this very awful smell, very much disturbing and quite chocking. It was a cocktail of all smells unpleasant; sweat, rotten cabbage, booze, the sewage, spoilt milk, compost manure and other miscellaneous uncomfortable smells.
At this point you needed no rocket scientist to deduce just how irritated we felt, because our faces could tell it all. In my mind I was wondering whether it were possible for me to hold my breath for just 20 minutes. Just for those minutes it would take to get home and I started entertaining the possibility of that impossibility. Oh well ‘….. weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning…’ so I had to try an adapt to this smelly welly environment. I turned and took another look at her, and at that very moment, I felt sad yet all so proud. My mind just flooded with images and thoughts of her life story and daily struggles;
Beautiful Anela so young and innocent, growing up in a too abusive household,
Never to get a taste of love but to constantly get fists and major blows,
Her heart swelling up with much hate never a smile her mouth to hold.
Her education ended way too soon of which no one seemed to care much,
Never managed to get a well paying job, just merchandise to sell on the streets
The struggle was never ending her life just seemed too harsh.
All she got was a plate full of rejection with relationship nightmares on the side,
Never even getting close to landing the prince charming of her life’s fairy tale,
But deadly promises and lies that took all her joy and pride.
Before she knew it, she was living just for the sake until she made her first mistake,
That fella had promised her heaven but hell he took her as she broke the news
She chose not to see it as a burden but as a second chance for her to take.
Her body carried this rare treasure that daily transformed her swollen heart,
A new found feeling giving her hope to now dream and live again.She saw a new world filled with chances, full of acceptance and void of all the hurt.
It was as though Anela had wings to fly; she could touch the beauty in the skies and marvel at the beauty of this world.
This was more than a precious gift, it was her second chance to life. And when the gift finally stepped into life, she knew her life would turn around. A turn to a new road and a journey worth every step.
This truly is a gift from above and even if today Anela struggles, she is filled with hope for a better tomorrow. No one can take these feelings and gift from her, she has tied them round her heart and they keep her moving forward.
And that is why I am sad but all so proud of this beautiful queen. Sad because she struggles to survive, with her little bundle of joy looking up to her as she fights life’s battles. But also proud that she chose to keep her gift even when they all thought of it as a burden. It is life and it’s worth the keep.