MEMORIES NEVER LOST: My encounter with Nairobi’s crooks

By Sylviah Nyanchama

My student life in the University of Nairobi (UoN) has been both exciting and challenging.

On 20th January 2020, I joined the University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Production.

I was overwhelmed with enthusiasm and excitement since it was my first time to live in the city.

I couldn’t handle the joy of being ‘free’ from my parents and teachers’ supervision.

I was contented that I was responsible for my own life as an adult in the University. I was ready to face the world.

The serene environment, the tall and magnificent buildings, beautiful and handsome youngsters and the pavements around me couldn’t stop stealing my attention.

I had not seen this before in the village and being my first time exposure to this breathtaking environment made me believe that indeed, I was in “A world class University.”

Days flew so quickly and I familiarised myself with the city.

On 30th March 2021, I decided to take a leisurely walk around the Central Business District (CBD) and buy some snacks.

I was alone and calm.

After some minutes a medium-sized man joined me and he requested me to direct him to some place but I didn’t get the name clearly.

Before I could figure out what to do, another man joined us and interrupted our conversation.

I was now with two male strangers who were up to mischief that I could not fathom.

The former requested the latter to show him the direction to Afya Centre. This is a popular building in the city.

The man who had joined us was so quick to help, and we kept moving.

“I am a seer and I have seen everything about your life,” the first man told me.

“I would like to help you, young girl. There is danger ahead of you. Allow me to pray for you so that we cast out the danger,” he said.

The other man seconded him. I had been trapped!

The ‘seer’ asked me to give out everything I had to the other man and continue walking ahead as he prayed for me.

He claimed that, “prayers work when you free.”

I did as instructed.

As per the instructions, I was to continue walking without looking back for five minutes as he prayed then come back for my items.

I did as instructed and after about five minutes I had reached at the Kenya National Archives.

I stopped and guess what?

I looked back and the two men were nowhere to be seen!

They had vanished with my bag, phone, money and laptop!

I tried running around while looking for them but it was too late for me; they had vanished.

Everyone else around me was busy minding their business.

Nobody seemed to bother that I was in trouble and lend me attention.

I saw darkness ahead of me. I cried helplessly and wished to scream in the loudest voice but nobody was ready to listen.

As I came to my senses, I remembered that I was not in my village of Kisii but Nairobi, now also known as Kanairo especially in social media circles.

I could hear a voice from within. It was at this time that I wished my parents were around to cry to.

I was so devastated. I couldn’t attend my classes for days. Worse yet, I had to go hungry for days and there was nobody to lean on.

I regretted the freedom I had jubilated about earlier; maybe if I were with my mother such a thing couldn’t have happened.

Indeed it was a humbling experience.

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