The Public Transport madness…….
When it comes to discipline, as Kenyans, we score negative. We expect someone to police us, to be there and observe us in order that we do the right thing. We do not respect the traffic lights, for instance, therefore a Police Officer has to be deployed to the roads to control us. We then pay for both the lights and the police officer – and then we complain about heavy taxes by the state. Impunity has crept into the society such that everyone wants to do what he/she pleases with no consideration for the other’s feelings. We are constantly in a hurry, we overlap, we even use the pedestrians’ footpaths, we hoot to the driver in front of us if he/she stops when the lights turn red. We no longer respect the zebra-crossings, hell; we no longer respect any road signs. As pedestrians we cross the highway instead of using the footbridges, acts which have caused deaths. We throw garbage anywhere and everywhere even when the dustbin is within our reach – and then we uproot the dustbins and sell them as scrap.
Lack of discipline has made the state to come up with stringent rules, laws, regulations and whatever name you might call them. So here we are today, where driving is/will never be the same again, especially if you think about the consequences of indiscipline, or impatience, or arrogance. For those of us who are yet to obtain a four-wheeled locomotive, walking in town would need some caution especially when crossing the roads, problem is, you have to cross at least a road in town. Therefore when one part of the affected parties goes on strike, am concerned. Does it mean that they want the status quo to be maintained? The indiscipline to continue? The arrogance and lack of respect for one another to persist? The uncontrolled fatalities on our roads to continue due to reckless and drunk driving?
There used to be organized public transport when we were growing up. Who recalls the ‘Megarider’ by Kenya Bus Service? It was so efficient, even though most of the times I found myself standing in order to give my seat to an older person. And standing in that bus was allowed, it was legal: in fact the bus had a label indicating the maximum number it could carry both seated and standing. Am not sure what happened some years after. Well, the Late Hon. Michuki brought some sanity but this ended immediately he left the Transport Ministry. The situation has become uncontainable ever since. An efficient, modern, electric, wide coverage rail transport system would easily solve the madness in the public transport in our country; am just thinking.
And despite the strike (mentioned above), we all found ourselves at the Carnivore to shake a leg during the Mulembe night on 30th Nov 2012; notwithstanding how we arrived at the venue. I remember the car we boarded from Railways to Carnivore was an old Toyota which was shaking literally all the way (The only available matatu on the stage was charging exorbitant fare, as if the route had grown longer overnight). I guess the owner took advantage of the situation and brought his old car out just to get some few coins so as to at least buy the door lock – the driver had to come out and open one of the passenger doors from outside. Quite hilarious especially when he has to use both hands; one inside and the other on the outside. But we thanked God for that. Luhya music is very entertaining and interesting; and am not saying this because I have vested interests. You only have to shake one part of your body; the shoulders, which makes it easier to dance.
Good music, in my opinion, is that which gets into your bone marrow and takes you to cloud nine. This is what happened when the band played ‘Makuru’ and ‘Mukangala’. The crowd went into frenzy, the mood changed, even the lights blinked, and the shaking was uncontrollable. Sweat dripped freely and wiping it made no significant significance. I loved it, the dancing that is. And when I looked at the faces of the revelers, they were all happy, both males and females, old and not so old, young and not so young, single and those accompanied. And the rain stayed put in the clouds, so the partying was not interrupted until dawn. Thing to appreciate is that we all love our culture, matatu strike or not, and we dance and enjoy ourselves because hey, we love life, we enjoy life and we cherish every moment of our life/lives. And that is something worth writing home about.
The only word I got out of the event was ‘Indumbu’; and you can ask one of them what that means.
Well, am not sure whether I need a car right now, probably in the near future.