By Bernard Wainaina
My birthday this year,this month falls on a weekday.
Heck! I don’t like my birthday falling on a weekday-a Tuesday in fact!
What a bore!
So I decided to celebrate on Sunday,two days ahead of the actual date.
I woke up last Sunday morning feeling way
down close to the ground.
Search me out and I could not tell the reason why I was down.
I had no energy at all that morning.
Breakfast tasted lousy, yet I had made it myself.
The house was unusually quiet, yet this is the way it has always been.
I had intentions to go to church but I was questioning the benefits, something
that I normally don’t do.
I even contemplated going back to bed, but I
thought that was a defeatist idea.
So, I pulled down my favourite t-shirt from the closet and a worn out pair of jeans, got into my car and drove out of the compound onto the main road and the question popped
up in my mind;
Where am I going?
I did not know. So I turned towards Magadi road at Rimpa junction and headed to Olepolos, a famous nyama choma joint.
As I negotiated the first sharp bend at corner
baridi, the beautiful landscape dropping into
the Rift Valley came into view.
This view always takes my breath away!
I had to make a stop here.
The view was just out of this world.
The undulating hills in the distance seemed to sway in rhythm with the bending acacia trees responding to the cool breeze sweeping down the valley.
Way beyond the valley, partly hidden in the misty morning vapour, was a silhouette of the mighty Kilimanjaro, wearing his usual white cap of angel white snow.
I have been here many times before but I have never failed to appreciate the beauty of the countryside each time I pass by.
I felt the calming ebb streaming through me like sweet wine from the best grapevines.
This was my country, and I was proud to be a
I drove down to the valley and turned into Olepolos.
There was no car at the parking yard and no activities were going on at the club.
It was too early for the usual revellers. I turned the car and drove towards Isinya, another very scenic drive especially when it is green.
I ended up at the new orly airport.
The best part of being a hobby travel writer is that you can get access to places like this without many hassles, posing to look for news and reviews.
I even got a ride in a single engine four seater Mole plane owned by a friend I had taken to the Amboseli park for fun ride some time ago.
The flight plan took us again towards Lake Magadi.
Looking down at Olepolos from the air was a new experience.
The flat salt pans of Lake Magadi looked
like a pink carpet waiting to be used by dignified Kenyans enjoying their country.
By the time we landed back at orly and proceeded for late lunch, my moods had picked up and I was feeling elated.
The day was still young and I needed more
excitements to make my day whole.
I headed to Ongata Rongai, a growing town that never stops to rest.
I chose a rather budget class restaurant that I had never visited before but its fame had spread far and wide as the “mwananchi” pub
offering the best reggae music in the area.
I sandwiched my car between a broken down
ramshackle and a taxi cab that had lost most parts of its body and replaced them with others from different makes such that you could not make out the original model of the car.
I felt a bit apprehensive leaving my car at that spot.
The car looked lonely and out of place but I reminded myself that I came here willingly and I had nothing to fear.
The pub, as I expected, was full to the brim.
The DJ was belting out the roots reggae vibes with sounds coming through screaming cheap speakers that threatened to blow apart any time.
The stench from urinals was choking, but the revellers seemed undisturbed.
Some were already on the dance floor, while others nodded their heads in perfect synch with the beats.
Someone at the main counter vacated a seat for me.
Not because he had enough, but as a sign of
respect, noting that I was older and new in that place.
As I sipped my first drink of the day, I was smiling.
I was happy.
I was looking at fellow happy Kenyans
regardless of their station in life, enjoying themselves the best way they knew how, just like
I had taken a ride in a plane of a rich Kenyan, enjoying his hard earned money, his way.
Brothers and sisters, we need our beautiful country, and we need every one of us, alive and healthy.
Let us all vote wisely and most important, peacefully in the forthcoming multiple referendums.
We owe it to the posterity of our future generations to hand over this beautiful country in one piece.
“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®