I have always tried to avoid the notion of believing too much in the omens (as they are called), say, when a rat crosses your path from the left to the right, sijui this or that will happen lest you cancel the trip or when you bite your lip, someone is talking about you, etc.
But sometimes, old habits die hard and surely, they do catch up with us. What I am trying to say is that, being superstitious can at times be good but not necessarily always!
One day in mid-2002, one evening as I was driving to town, as was the norm, I stopped at one Taxi stand because there was a lady who had waved me down to give her a lift. The lifts phenomenon has greatly changed these days.
Maybe so many people have become rich such that, they no longer ask for lifts or the lifts have become so hazardous that many prefer to avoid them or better still, maybe the public transport system has improved or a combination of all of the above! Whichever way you approach it, the result might end up being the same.
This reminds me of a common story in Nairobi. That, the former Head of State aka Baba Moi, was being driven around town, he lamented to his chauffeur, “how come Kenyans have become so rich after my regime is out of power?”, the Chauffeur asks him, “why do you say so boss?” In response, the old statesman answers that, “during my days in power, there were almost no cars on the road, now, the roads are jammed!” Little did he know that, the roads were always cleared nearly half an hour before his motorcade drove by!
Never mind, it is the villagers’ habit to always go around in circles. As I was saying, I gave a lady a lift, no bad intention whatsoever. As a matter of fact, she boarded from somewhere in Kimihurura just near the then Commune Kacyiru offices.
She asked me as to where I was going and I told her that I was heading to Gikondo, lucky for her, she happened to be going to Gikondo too! Since it was already night, she begged me to drop her off up hill in the main Kigondo township. No problem I said; to be precise, I stopped at the present day MEREZ Petrol station and she got off and began making an alarm. “Wampaye amafaranga yanjye” (give me my money)? I wondered what she was talking about; I told her that she hadn’t paid me any money because I wasn’t a Taximan! In response, she began yelling on top of her voice that, “Uyu mugabo tuvuye kuryamana, yanze kumpa amafaranga yanjye” (I have just slept with this guy and he has refused to pay me).
The then “Gendarmerie” (police) were instantly on the spot, one of them demanded that I step out of the car and he quickly handcuffed me. As they were about to rush me off, another elderly gendarmerie approached me and told me to pay up my bill before things get rough for me. I requested the guy to step aside with me so that I could negotiate in private and he agreed. Out of the public domain, I asked to show him something to which he agreed.
Guess what? In no time, the hunter was the hunted! The lady began shouting that, “abahaye ruswa” (he has bribed you! The handcuffs changed hands, from me to her, a typical Me2U!
As you well know, It was hardly a month after I had had my “nyakatsi demolished” (circumcised), how on earth could I have had the guts to do what this woman was accusing me of having done? The mere thought of that action would bring cold chills down my spine and a bloody situation where the nyakatsi once stood! As a matter of fact, I was “Saved by the Knife” that demolished my nyakatsi!
After the officer had narrated the story to the crowd, the lady accepted that she was trying to obtain money from me by false pretense and that, she did so because she had children to take care of and that, she had no job, blah, blah, blah!