Sunday was a splendid day, too good like a taste of Bahamas or Maasai Mara. We went on our activities of relaxation on a weekend preparing to start a new week in Kenyan soil, full of everything negative, from inhumane politicians, soaring prices of essential commodities, plummeting currency value to deaths resulting from avoidable tragedies. The sun was so inviting, the breeze so welcoming too.
My name is Musa and I live in Horeb slum. This has been my home for a while now after I left home to start my own life, as a man. Life in this slum can be harsh but we try to be of our best behavior so as to enjoy the best this life offers. We eat to live because the luxuriant lifestyle of the environs never found its way here. As it’s said poverty and riches live side by side. We live near an oil refinery. That fact hasn’t made us laugh straight to the bank like our Middle-Eastern brothers, no.
If I say I slept as an infant, I’d be so deceitful, as babies are good at waking others up in the dead of night to feed. I slept like a corpse, though I dreamt I had struck gold and constructed decent houses for affordable rental apartments to alleviate slum Horeb’s living condition.
Monday was the same ole Monday, with its blue outfit. But as all Mondays end well, this didn’t. In fact, it had a silver suitcase on its right hand ferrying terror to Horeb.
Petroleum odor engulfed the residence. A blessing in disguise, we thought. The jerry-cans intended for water, we took them with delight showing on our visages to fetch a little so we could vend for that day’s dough. Oh! If only we would have recalled past incidents of similar acts of stupidity.
No sooner had we fetched enough than a fire started. That good servant come bad master was good at demanding worship. Fueled by the river of, well, fuel it caught us wrong path of living. Our tin-made houses were not able to withstand the inferno. We ran as fast as bullets, fueled by adrenaline. I saw some of my neighbors roasting to death. Oh! May future wife was also perished in front of me. I felt weak, a wuss I was. She was sprint with me but decided to jump in to the river to escape, only to be ignited by the fellow wearing fire who also dived in to put out the fire
The inferno caused wanton destruction. Horeb was annihilated. Scores of my neighbors, lifeless, some are recuperating at various hospitals. We, the survivors, sheltered contemplating what to do and where to head next. I have a feeling the Promised Land is at the horizon…
Blame game. This always occurs after a tragedy. Who are to blame, us? The Kenya Pipeline Company? The government? The politicians? The NGOs? Who?
We were warned of the dangers of making that place our home, the politicians and NGOs urged us to stay put and wait for compensation which the government was adamant to relocate us. Who’s to blame now?
Am going back home or move to a smaller town with affordable housing and leave Nairobi to its owners…
That’s it… or almost. Always take care…