Beware of the predator lurking by the matatu’s window

A couple of days back while in a Lopha Sacco matatu from Parklands, the driver scared off a street thug who almost snatched a passenger’s phone in a traffic snarl-up on Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi. Sometimes people complain and suspect that these thugs liaise with matatu crews to rob passengers, but seeing this driver stop this guy in his tracks before he could unleash terror on an unsuspecting passenger restored my faith in matatu crew.

The driver was keeping a keen eye on the people crossing the road ahead, but noticed a young man, break from the crowd, walk past his window and all the way back. The young fella was just about to slide a window open when the driver startled him with a loud yell warning him not to dare steal from his passengers. With that, he immediately bolted and probably went to prey on other people.

It’s so sad and annoying that we always have to look out because there are always people out there looking to get you. It’s so upsetting and disorienting to lose a phone or other valuables you’ve worked so hard for. It’s really annoying and wrong that we have to talk about how we should avoid being robbed while in transit, but I guess this is a reality that we may not be able to escape from.

There are some streets and routes in Nairobi that are notorious for gruesome attacks that you have to stay alert and vigil when navigating them. Like hawks, there are people who are always ready to make a living off your hustle. You can’t afford to throw caution to the wind. I tend to avoid window seats in matatus for that specific reason.

My other fear is being drugged. I usually imagine a goon trapping me by the window, drugging me and stealing from me or even worse, kidnapping me when I’m unconscious or dazed from whatever substance I’m attacked with. I don’t think this is paranoia because these things happen to people, especially women, and so we don’t have the luxury to be carefree in such spaces. For that reason, I don’t like engaging strangers in a jav. Like they say, stay woke!

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