By Farida Muka
I chewed the gum hard and noisily as I waited for my friend Mercy at our favourite meeting place outside Afya Centre before proceeding to college. As evening class students we had a lot of time to "kill" before getting to class. As I waited dutifully for my friend to arrive, a man walked towards me and greeted me.
My mother always told me to be polite to people so I responded. The man, who introduced himself as Mwangi, then asked me if I knew Gertrude Hospital. He explained that a doctor from the US was coming to perform a brain surgery on a ten-year-old boy.
stranger in town
I had only lived in Nairobi for a few months and therefore did not know where the hospital was. I sympathised with the man since he informed me the boy was his nephew and that he had carried Sh100,000 which was the initial payment for the operation.
Just before I was through telling him how touched I was by his humane gesture, another man approached us also looking for the same hospital. What a coincidence, I thought.
The man who introduced himself as Mutua said he was going there to see a friend. Since the two were headed to the same place, I begged to leave. But Mwangi engaged me in a talk. He told me he was a singer with a church choir whose name I forgot. He even sang me some of the songs they sing in their choir.
At this point, I was scanning the surrounding for my friend in vain. After a couple of songs Mutua offered to buy us some snacks. I declined the offer. My plea that he allows me to go to class fell on deaf ears.
I looked at my phone to check the time and to my surprise I was already half an hour late for classes. I thought Mercy was probably not coming.
Mwangi, who had also introduced himself as a pastor, told me God had showed him a dark cloud hanging over my head. He said this called for immediate prayers since my neighbours were after me and had cast a spell on me to fail academically and have a troubled marriage later in life.
He scared me even more when he mentioned that I had been bewitched and that I would never have children of my own.