The Kenya I live in
A country that’s more into taking than giving
A country that’s known for its culture of drinking
For its sandy white beaches and serene landscapes... living
This country I live in
Contrasting... it’s got its pros and its cons
The poor people in slums... and in villas... the dons
Conflicting, isn’t it?
The Kenya I live in
But all that does not really matter as such
And probably will not affect me as much
As the situations and experiences I’ve been through
The stuff you grew up with, is most probably what makes you
Or takes you away
From other stuff like common sense and reality
I drill common sense into my personality
Realness, fairness and equality
Righteousness requires one to dive into the deep end
Of one’s mind
To find out what world it is ‘you’ live in.
James put down the pen, satisfied with what he had written. Poetry gave him a sense of purpose and satisfaction. For twenty years James – tall, slightly muscular and of light brown complexion – had known more pain than joy, but he always had poetry, and knew what role it had played in his life. Poetry was the first thing he had turned to even before the cement on his mother’s headstone had dried. That old friend that was always by his side when needed.
Now, as he took a lengthy drag on a blunt, he thought about the consequences of his actions, not legally; he had stopped caring about the law a long time ago. He was thinking about what he would say to God if he happened to drop dead right there... high.
It helps get over certain stresses and issues.
Rich people have shrinks, we have marijuana, miraa, alcohol, and cigarettes.
It isn’t bad to use drugs, the issue is what you allow those drugs to influence you into doing later on.
There were so many justifications, he’d forgotten which ones were his and which ones he had heard his friends say while on a height. This was how he had chosen to live his life for the moment, a college graduate with a diploma... smoking up in an alley.
Maybe it was the hip hop influence, maybe it was television... though it most probably was the situation he’d grown up in that made him okay with the route he was taking. He knew that some of the decisions he had made weren’t the smartest. He took another drag.
A Peugeot 504 station wagon cruised by, the occupants skirting their eyes across the area. He concealed the blunt... giving one of the Flying Squad officers, who was riding shotgun, an overconfident look. The latter nodded. James knew they had more profitable arrests to make than a couple of young men sharing a stick of marijuana.
James passed the blunt across to the nearest of his colleagues, the usual merry go round, they called it. The other guy received it and casually brought it to his lips. None of them appeared visibly shaken in any way by the policemen that had just driven past. The norm.
A youth that has learned not to care
A youth always ready to dare
And test fate
A youth that has actually almost stopped believing in fate... or destiny for that matter
It was a sunny day, which meant many people were up and about, especially it being noon. The alley they were seated in gradually coming alive with human traffic, some racing past without even a glance in their direction but most – as it was with people in this coastal town of Mombasa – offered a short courteous greeting.
“Salaaam,” They’d reply in chorus, some more enthusiastically than others.
These people would politely ignore the scent of their little secret.
He watched a middle-aged Asian woman dressed in a trouser suit half walk half run past, self-consciously clutching at her handbag, and could almost hear her thoughts as she let out an obvious sigh as soon as she was far enough. He knew what she must be thinking: Phew! I’m glad those kids are someone else’s problem and not mine.
He exchanged a knowing look with Chiraag, who was seated last in their row, and who also happened to be Asian.
They judge before they know you.
If the world would have taken a closer look, it would have seen that despite being unemployed, he was a brilliant artist who made ends meet by drawing portraits and other sorts of pictures for a variety of clients. Abdul, seated to his immediate left, drove a trailer to and from Kampala for a local freight company. Max, on the other hand, worked as a customer care representative with a company in town. As for Chiraag, he owned a spice and curio shop in Old Town. None was either dumb or desperate enough to try and snatch a purse from a middle-aged woman.
“Pssch! The Kenya we live in.” Chiraag spat distastefully, passing James the blunt, who politely declined.
He needed to get home. As he got up, he felt the blood rush from his head and for a few seconds, everything went red against the blare of the sun. He stood there for a moment, allowing his head to adjust as his vision slowly returned.
“Another blackout?”Abdul asked, concerned.
“Ah zi, nihead rush tu.”
“You need to get that checked out man.” Chiraag added, to which Max leant his support.
James slammed fists goodbye with each of his friends before heading out.
They were probably right, he thought to himself as he walked away. The blackouts were becoming more and more frequent lately. It could be serious, but then again it could also be that they were making too much of a fuss over nothing. Anyway, he couldn’t afford to go to hospital at the moment; money was tight and he had bills to pay. He would get around to that whenever he got a few extra shillings.
Though it scared him to admit it, at times death didn’t seem like such a bad option... considering.
He elbowed his way through a group of kids engaged in a heated game of street soccer, smack dab in the middle of the road. Two shoes – that weren’t a matching pair – were arranged parallel to each other, approximately two feet apart on both sides, representing goal posts. So innocent did these twinkly-eyed youngsters seem in their excitement that even the occasional motorist — that happened to drive along this residential street — found himself exercising an impressive amount of patience and tolerance as he waited for them to clear the road. James found them inspiring.
Innocence, like a protective shield
A newborn cub inspects the field
Of grassy savannah and expansive plains
Of breathtaking sunsets and hunting games
To prance around with deer, with little or no fear
Of dollar-eyed poachers, or the Maasai moraan’s spear
A world so divine
That will drastically change
As soon as he matures and grows into a lion
“Goal!” He heard the celebrations behind him as he walked on.
He stepped into his bedsit, which consisted of a room that doubled as a bedroom and a sitting room, a closet-sized kitchen, and a bathroom whose shower and toilet were so tightly placed together that often when he showered water would splash all over the toilet lid. He turned on the tube light and the small space came alive. He preferred this to opening the curtains, because people passing through the alley outside always seemed to be peeking in.
There was one now, he could see the outline of a man’s shadow behind the curtains, idly standing there, engaged in conversation with someone out of view.
James lit a Sportsman and turned on the television, sinking into the mattress on his bed with his back leaning against the wall. The afternoon news was on. He took a lengthy drag of the cigarette.
After a few minutes, he became bored. The television was about the usual politricks; someone important had been busted over some missing funds; two politicians were named alongside him. The face of one of the politicians lit up the screen belting out war cries, swearing innocence and flatly stating that he was willing to go to court over the matter, saying that it was the work of people that had a political vendetta against him. The other politician couldn’t be reached for comment. Then there was a piece with the usual table-tennis of insults between political parties, unpredictable but monotonous. Unpredictable in that alliances seemed to change with every intake of breath, monotonous in that it had been done for as long as James could remember. Same ol’ same ol’.
No wonder media houses would run one or two weird stories. Like the untidy guy being given a public shower by his colleagues — a full package that came complete with a shave and clean change of clothing. Or the funny-talking guy who asked for Chelsea Clinton’s hand in marriage, and made the whole country ask in chorus, ‘WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?’Heh! Heh! He smiled as he remembered that one.
His cell phone rang... once... twice. He took the call.
“Yo, Jemo... vipi?”Alkano greeted in a husky mysterious voice.
“Poa ma’ nigga, what’s up?” He asked, knowing exactly what was up.
“Iko deal ingine.”
“Sawa basi, let me see what I can do, how many?”
“Aaight. We’ll talk,” He said and hung up.
There was another deal, Alkano had said. That got him thinking; Alkano’s phone calls always got him thinking. Because whenever he said deal, it usually translated into risk. The last time a deal had gone down, it had involved driving three times around the block in a minivan with tinted windows as they exchanged nine slabs of hashish for a considerable amount of cash. But the whole time James’ heart was in his throat, suspicious of every move the buyers made and any phone calls they received. So many possibilities played out in his head, a set up conspicuously stood out above the rest, or just the random curious cop car flagging them down. Either way, he couldn’t afford to go to jail. But he needed the money bad, really bad.
It had gone through successfully though, as had the few previous dealings they’d done. But he couldn’t seem to shake off the feeling that his luck was about to run out.
James made a quick call to his supplier.The calls were brief and straight to the point, they weren’t dealing groundnuts after all; somebody could be listening. He needed twenty slabs this time, good quality, the buyer couldn’t be disappointed. The voice on the other side of the line assured him that his stuff was always of high quality. He had a point; none of the buyers had complained yet.
Watch yourself man! The voice in his head warned.
The drugs were picked up from a three bedroom flat deep inside Old Town, at a place called Kibokoni. James believed in working swift and smart. Walk in, pick up the package, pay, stash it in the rented Toyota and head out. No side shows, idle talk, or any distractions whatsoever, eyes firmly on the ball. He had learned that even five unnecessary minutes spent in the wrong place could result in five unnecessary years spent in the wrong place...
The buyer was a white man, to be more specific, he was Italian. Fabio was his name; James didn’t care. The man came alone, smart way to do business, and if James’ assessment was accurate, he was probably some beachfront businessman looking to score some hashish to entertain a couple of friends, or women... or both. He didn’t seem the type that supported his lifestyle by dealing a few slabs. But none of that really mattered to James.
“So... we good?”Alkano asked the Italian, mimicking his broken English, not necessarily to mock him, more to meet him halfway.
“What if I no like the rest of the stuff?” Fabio asked back, as if expecting a guaranteed refund if it proved unsatisfactory.
They were parked by the beach in an area that was virtually deserted, except for a few local children floating around in the shallow of the ocean in inflated car tyre tubes. Usually the ocean’s cool breeze and scent of freedom relaxed James, but not today. He was getting very impatient with this Italian buffoon. Yes the beach was deserted, but then again there was the new Tourist Police Department that had been patrolling the beaches recently, and they’d been known to appear when least expected.
“I’ve given you money... now I want to be sure that all this is same quality.” Fabio was still babbling to Alkano, who was beginning to get irritated by his rudeness.
“You know what?” James cut in from the driver’s seat addressing the guy, who was in the back negotiating with Alkano. “Everything is a risk my friend, so you do this, go home... smoke it all by yourself. If you don’t lose your mind in the process, and it proves unsatisfactory, feel free not to call us... okay?”
At first, Fabio seemed surprised at the outburst, as did Alkano, but then his white features appeared to glow with amusement and a smile began to form on his lips. Then all of a sudden he broke out in hearty guffaws, laughing until tears streamed down his face.
This frustrated James even more.
“I like your sense of humour,” Fabio said, as he patted James on the shoulder, still shaking a little from his fit of laughter.
James made eye contact with him, smiled, while saying under his breath, “We’ll see how much you’ll like it when I stick my foot up your...”
“Aaand we have a deal now, don’t we?” Alkano cut in just in time, shaking Fabio’s hand and helping him load the stash into his Toyota Rav4, parked adjacent to their vehicle. After they were done, the Italian walked over to the driver’s window. James braced himself expecting anything, but something also told him that Fabio was anything but dangerous... he knew dangerous, it wasn’t this guy, in his Hawaii-print shirt, khaki shorts, and open leather sandals. No, it definitely wasn’t this guy.
“You real funny... hope we do business again sometime,” Fabio said smiling, but James noticed a hint of menace in his eyes, as if he were sizing him up. They shook hands.
“Call us, as long as it isn’t to complain.” James replied, giving him an equally insincere smile, in exchange for which he got a forced laugh from Fabio. He didn’t care, it was business, not friendship.
Fabio drove away leaving the two seated in their car for a while splitting the money they’d made. That always lifted their spirits. Then Alkano turned and studied his friend.
“What?” James asked, stashing a wad of notes into his pockets.
“You really need to improve your PR, man.” Alkano said.
“Why? That guy? He isn’t that scary.”
“That’s just the thing, he actually is, a mean dude with a nasty circle of friends.”
James inhaled and let the information sink in.
“Sometimes I think you underestimate people too much.”
“I think I do too.” James replied, starting the car, reversing it, putting it in gear and heading off.
A few metres ahead they passed a white Nissan Sunny saloon car parked on the side of the road. Its occupants had their seats reclined so that only the back of the guy in the driver’s seat could be seen as he made-out with his girlfriend or whoever’s girlfriend it was, it didn’t particularly matter; the upcoming generation had adopted a ‘don’t care’ attitude towards sex — seventeen and eighteen-year-old's going at it like rabbits on Viagra and groundnuts. The driver of the Nissan was probably a teenager who had stolen money from home, rented the car, convinced an equally underage girl to lie to her parents that she was going to watch a movie with her girlfriends or something... and Presto! Here they were, about to make an accidental baby.
“I’m telling you, if you are going to wait for the government to solve your problems for you, you are what we call hopeless, with a capital H.” Max was said passionately, before taking another swig at his Tusker baridi.
“That’s not what I’m saying, I’m talking about the responsibility it has to the people to provide basic things like affordable healthcare, employment...” Chiraag explained. Everyone was drunk by now and this was the third time in twenty minutes that Chiraag had talked about unemployment. But James let it slide; he knew that they were just venting their frustrations, a trend many Kenyans seemed to be taking up lately, getting drunk and complaining about the government.
“Since when did these guys give a damn about responsibilities?” Max banged on the table with his fist as he said this, attracting the attention of a prostitute who was seated at the next table... and that of the bouncer a few feet away.
They were in a bar in town and it was getting dark. After getting paid and it being a Friday, James and Alkano had decided to pick up Chiraag and go for a drink. Max, who had been at work, joined them a few hours later, and now the four of them were headed down the drunken highway... Max seemed to have already taken a wrong turn. Abdul, being Muslim, didn’t drink and rarely accompanied them on such riots. As he looked around though, James realised that despite all the complaining and banging of tables, they were actually a happy lot. People tended to complain too much sometimes; compared to other countries they actually had it pretty good. They were considered one of the fastest developing African countries.
It was a soothingly cosy bar with cool green lighting that made the beer taste even sweeter. A couple of patrons could be seen here and there but it was still too early in the evening for a crowd. Mostly, there were the exceedingly gorgeous working girls who hung around the place hoping to hook-a-john. James found prostitutes to be a waste of time, money, and an unnecessary risk, something he and his friends agreed on.
James returned his attention to the conversation.
“And what about the post election violence?”Alkano, the most sober of the four, was asking.
“What about it?” Max.
“I’m just saying, if these peeps were willing to go to such lengths to attain... or retain power...”
“...and money, isn’t that just self explanatory? We’re led by a bunch of self righteous, opinionated...”
“...foolish and irresponsible fat bellies who we need to watch twenty-four-seven if the past is anything to go by? Sleep with your eyes open and such?” Alkano concluded his sermon, out of breath.
“Preach!” Max yelled.
James drifted away again, remembering the tense days of the poll violence. A feeling of relief always came over him whenever he went back to that time. Relief in that he’d always realise how lucky they were to have come out of it and returned to normalcy. They had been inches away from plunging into an abyss of horror – Kenya had forty two tribes, Rwanda had only two, and look what had happened when they’d fought – he felt a shiver run down his spine. God loved them, for some reason.
It had all happened so fast, one minute people were voting, the next there were the usual claims of ballot rigging – this time though, they were more heated because apparently, the people had tired of being swayed in whichever direction the ‘man at the top’ dictated – and before anyone was prepared, all hell had broken loose. One town after another. James had been following the proceedings in the news and until that moment had thought that it would pass, just Kenyans being Kenyans, a stone thrown here, a car burned there, the norm. But this terror was evolving fast, a fire rapidly growing and threatening to engulf the whole country. There were reports of violent attacks on motorists and civilians in Nairobi by what were assumed first to be gangs of hired hooligans. Then the protests began to appear more and more authentic, the looting started, and a general feeling of anger at an obviously stolen election began to spread as infectiously as the flu. Calls for the results not to be announced could be heard from the disgruntled side of the political divide, who’d seemed to have already made up their minds that they were not going to accept a loss...
In hindsight, it can be seen plain as day that they were just playing politics. But on that day passions were high and emotions were spilling over.
...and they had a majority of the country behind them, teary faces and rock-wielding hands could be seen on the television. The frustration was like an elephant in the room. Then he heard the matatu horns honking frantically outside, right outside, this was a residential street, they never used it unless they were trying to get away from something. One sped past the narrow alley outside his window, leaving a cloud of dust in its wake... BANG! He heard a teargas canister leave the barrel of a gun in the distance... BANG! BANG! He stepped out of his place, apprehension, fear, excitement, a whole rainbow of emotions danced around inside him. What he met outside were blank faces, as if somehow people had realised that the situation had spiralled out of control and had just simply let go. By now his emotions were doing the disco.
Then there were those who’d put on a brave face to disguise the uncertainty they were feeling... namely, Chiraag and Abdul. He’d found them chewing khat in the same alley they’d hung out in for as long as he could remember.
“Now, isn’t that just rude... barging in on our turf like that?” Chiraag commented, as he approached, gesturing as if the dust was choking him to death.
“Naskia downtown kumeharibika mbaya.”Abdul jokingly mentioned how town was immersed in chaos.
“How long do you think it will take them to get to us?Ha! Ha!” said Chiraag.
He sat down and joined his buddies in their state of denial.
“Wacha waje!”Let them come.
Someone else’s problem
Then a comment that Alkano made instantly brought him back.
“As far as I’m concerned, there are only two tribes in this country of ours, that of the rich... and the poor. And so far the former has been doing a wonderful job of playing divide and conquer.”
James pondered this for a minute.
They knocked back a few more rounds before deciding to find a place where they could grab something to eat. A wise decision, they all agreed.
As they drove away, James noticed something in the side-mirror, but blew it off to the wind... he was just being paranoid... and drunk.
The town was busy, as it usually was on a weekend. Bright lights could be seen all around against the backdrop of night. Matatus jumped in and out of the road at random, James hurling insults with every such incident, frustration resulting in his sobriety. Humidity was in the air and on the streets, shops could be seen closing up for the day, as if changing shifts with the numerous bars and nightclubs that were springing to life along Moi Avenue. Streetwalkers crawled out of the concrete to take their places in this drama that was ‘Mombasa By Night’.
Then he saw it again, the same white Nissan Sunny that they had passed as they left the beach earlier. This time he was absolutely sure it was the one, and it was definitely following them. He kept calm and accelerated a little more. Alkano, who was riding shotgun, sensed that something was amiss and turned to his friend giving him a puzzled look.
James gestured discreetly with his eyes toward the side-mirror, so as not to alarm the guys in the back seat. Alkano quickly caught on. Without a word, he strapped on his seatbelt.
“Safety first... huh?” Chiraag slurred from behind them.
“Umm... yeah, something like that.” Alkano said, knowing full well that reality was about to dawn on them with a bang in a few seconds. They exchanged glances with James whose expression said it all. Shit was about to hit the fan! He looked back into the mirror; the Nissan was closing in fast. He shifted up a gear and accelerated.
“Hey, remember... the speed that thrills is the speed that kills.” Chiraag said wagging his finger, as one would to a five year old.
“Oh, you don’t know the half of it.” Alkano said under his breath as he braced himself. James went up another gear, and now people and buildings began to whizz past. By now one could cut the tension in the car with a knife. Only Max snored away, unaware.
“Eh! Jamaa, am I missing something here?” Chiraag had caught on.
“We’re being followed by cops... I think, but it’s all good.” James said matter-of-factly, desperately trying to mask that fact that in his head he was screaming, I AM NOT GOING TO JAIL!.
“What? Cops? Why are we being chased by cops? Alkano, what have you done?” Chiraag was almost in a panic.
“Ummm... it’s actually a question of what we have done.” Alkano replied pointing at both himself and James, who took a sharp left, sending everyone in the car flying to one side.
Max, whose head banged into the window so hard they were afraid it would shatter, woke up wiping drool off his lips. “Whaa... whaa’shapp’nin?” Max asked.
“Oh it’s nothing, we’re just being chased by the cops, go back to sleep,” Chiraag said sarcastically. James almost laughed, but he was too busy trying to manoeuvre the car through the middle of town while doing over eighty kilometres per hour. So far, he was riding on a combination of skill and luck... mostly luck.
James operating solely on instinct, only realised ten minutes later that he was successful in his getaway and relaxed a bit.
He had outdone himself and outrun the police car. They’d been on his tail for most of the two kilometre stretch to the highway but his break had come when they had gotten to the traffic lights at the junction, with the Nyali bridge to the right and a residential area just on the other side of the highway. There were matatus and personal cars zooming past toward the bridge from town. Everyone in the vehicle had frozen at that moment, afraid of the decision they all knew James would probably make given his options. He confirmed their fears, despite not having right of way, James stepped on it. They all held their breath. He said a silent prayer. Dear Almighty, help us out of this situation and I will forever be indebted to you. I will do my best to be a better person...Please! Please! Please!
They shot through the traffic, in an amazing display of luck, and except for some considerable damage to the car as they rammed over the pavement onto the other side of the road, they were okay. The policemen had lacked the guts to pull a similar stunt, and James could see their headlights restrained by the blur of endless vehicles shooting across toward the bridge. Despite being thrown all over the car, everyone still remained quiet; James maintained the same speed. They weren’t out of trouble yet.
But now they could afford to laugh as they recollected their experience. Max had put it best when he said that he’d never in his entire life seen such magnificent driving. At the risk of sounding full of himself, James admitted that he actually had done some pretty magnificent driving, impressively magnificent.
Chiraag decided to kill the buzz though, but for a good reason, to tell it as it was. “That was a rush I admit, but aside from the obvious relief I’m sure we’re all feeling, let’s be real here, we were all very lucky. It could have turned out much worse you know?”
They all sobered up, and weighed the situation realistically. It was still rather tricky; they had to fix the car.
“Max, Chiraag… this is our bad. You two shouldn’t have had to go through that, we got ahead of ourselves with some shady deals and… I guess what I’m trying to say is, sorry for dragging you into this,” James said.
“Yeah, that was totally unnecessary. It will never happen again,” Alkano added, almost ashamed.
“Bygones,” Max said.
Chiraag just nodded.
That was when their headlights came across the raggedy looking woman in tattered clothing; she was bleeding all over and looked as if she’d been to hell and back. In an instant they forgot their troubles and compassion entered their hearts.
What on earth could’ve happened here? James thought as he pulled over. “Excuse me lady, do you need some help?” He asked, as she came closer.
She collapsed just as she got to the car. They jumped out to help her, administering the little first aid they could remember from school, all those years ago. Eventually they managed to revive her, and as they raced her to the nearest hospital with Chiraag and Max holding her in the back seat, she narrated her ordeal to them.
She had been driving home after leaving a family dinner at her sister’s house when her serenity was rudely interrupted by a deafening thud! Followed in quick succession by a couple of bumps, before she knew it she was veering off the road, and not knowing what to make of it all, she slammed on the brakes with all the might she could muster causing the vehicle to skid a few more feet and come to a screeching halt an inch from a brick wall. She watched in horror as two shadowy figures raced towards her from her left and wanted to scream, but her voice failed her. She was so shaken that she watched helplessly – frozen in a state of terror – as the two men, one tall and muscular and the other of medium height and a bit plump, picked her out of the drivers seat, all the while hurling insults at her, and threw her into the back. As the tall guy jumped in beside her raining countless slaps and blows on her, the other started the car and reversed it back onto the road.
Ten minutes later the guy in the back seat was still beating her mercilessly when the driver, who was multi-tasking, going through her purse as he drove, spoke to her in an uncharacteristically pleasant voice, inquiring on her husband’s whereabouts. He smiled menacingly, exposing two missing teeth. He smelt of cheap liquor and cigarettes, and she couldn’t even begin to describe what the other one stank of. She pleaded with them to let her go but only received more slaps for her efforts. And when she asked them to take her money, the driver lost his temper and threatened to kill her for insulting him; she only had seven hundred shillings in her purse. That was when the guy in the back with her drew out a pistol.
The cold of the metal against her skin told her that it wasn’t a toy. Her teeth chattered as she tried in vain to control her trembling. Deepali had never been so scared in her life, she was staring death right in the face, and had no one on her side. Except God, so she said a silent prayer.
Maybe it was all the tears she had cried, the beating they had rained on her, or the fact that she was a lady, but for some reason, they seemed to decide that she was of no value to them. So, as they neared the highway, at a place where there were no streetlights, they slowed the car but didn’t bother to stop, and rudely threw her out. She hit the road hard, but it all happened so fast that she was in a daze as she tumbled along the tarmac.
After a while though, she grew too tired to talk and fell silent.
James was deeply engrossed in thought as he manoeuvred past the other vehicles on the road... he was back to the moment he’d assured God that he would change for the better. After much deliberation with himself, he decided that the only sensible thing to do under the circumstances was to give up using and dealing in any sort of illegal drug whatsoever, it just wasn’t worth it.
Something else was nagging at the back of his mind though; there was something disturbingly familiar about the woman in the back. And then, as he caught Chiraag’s eyes’ in the rear view mirror, it hit him... she was the Asian woman from the alley!
Someone else’s problem? I think not
Unbeknown to us, our life-lines, they seem locked
Together, for the next decade... forever
You can’t chose who you may need in future... whoever
An experienced teacher... a seed in water
That’s the miracle of living... to learn
So choose not individual prosperity
While our legacy is defined by collective decline
Lend a hand, work together... and selflessly throw the next guy a line.
Your problem, if allowed to grow... will eventually become a problem of mine
Someone else’s problem? I think not.
'Someone Else’s Problem' was written by Nigel Obiya.
Copyright © Nigel Obiya 2012.
Nigel Obiya is a hip hop artist, poet, and creative writer, from Kenya who got into writing in high school mainly as a form of self expression through poetry. He later began to write fictional stories and after positive responses from his peers, decided to take it up more seriously. Nigel’s inspiration comes from his experiences as well as society in general, he writes because he feels it is a way to educate and also entertain people and sees it and music as two sides of the same coin. His stories usually aim at mirroring certain traits in society to which most people would relate while he still takes you on a thrilling ride. He remembers meeting a fellow writer once who told him, “If you do this for the money then you’re in it for the wrong reasons, the true reward is knowing that someone somewhere has taken the time to dive into your story when they could be doing anything else.” His influences include Chinua Achebe, Paulo Coelho, and W.B Yeats, among others.