It rains in the city
Sleet drives against the windows
Of the immobile fourty-two seater
And water flows on the tarmac like a river.
We are jam-packed like sardines in the traffic jam.
The conductor is dirty and rude
He laughs as he speaks on the phone
“I am carrying a busload of women alone
Should I take them to town or my home?”
We glare at him but he goes on.
The windows won’t open
It is hot like an oven
We are baking with rage
The idiot catcalls a young girl by the stage
It is obvious she is underage.
“You women are too many these days,” he says
“With your gender and maendeleo and FIDA nonsense
Me I don’t give a damn, I’m poor anyways
The place of a woman is in the kitchen with hens
We are meant to be up and you women down
So why are so many of you headed to town?”
We sit there, late for work and important things
We don’t have the time for this fool
We are close, oh so close to just losing our cool
And the fool pushes us to the limit
He gives incorrect change, comments on our breasts
Insults us and steps on our bags and our feet.
We are mad.
We have had it.
Something is about to explode.
Thunder cracks like gunshots above
A motorcycle backfires
A child in the bus starts to scream and wail
And the driver just turned up the reggae.
We go mad from the heat and the music and screams
We attack the conductor with boots and high heels
We finish him, stuff his corpse under the seats
The reggae beat plays on repeat, on repeat…
Then the feeling passes.
We sit down clutching our purses
The downpour decides to suddenly subside
The traffic clears up, we are moving
The reggae music is still loud and annoying
But some girls in the back seat are grooving.
We alight on the pavements, muddy and flooded
Bend to wash our hands and feet, bloody and dirtied
We cross into taxis, small shops, and back alleys
Disappear, right before their searching eyes.
And the bosom of Nairobi city grants us invisibility.
It rains in Nairobi city.