Beware of the noose around our necks
Last mileNo one has spoken about the service providers. The people across the counter who habitually delay and/or withhold GOK services until money exchanges hands. Is NIIMS the network key that will unlock a better work ethic? We shall see.
Sweat-drenchedI knew that if I turned in, the gate wouldn’t be opened in time. So I whizzed past. Seconds later, I thought about making a U-turn and heading back to the main road, but I didn’t fancy my chances on the lonely two-kilometre stretch. With a whirlwind of fragmented thoughts hurtling through my head, I turned on onto a secluded lane, knowing that I had run out of options. The driver turned as well. The road was dark and wooded and through my rear-view I saw him/her slow down. They backed off my rear a little and stalled mid-road. Something told me that they were unfamiliar with these new surroundings. And just like that, after many sweat-drenched minutes of doubting my gut, I decided to make a real play for my life. I raced to the next turning – a dusty, pitch dark, cul-de-sac – sped to the bend in the road, put off the car, and turned off the lights. I sat there terrified, with my heart jumping out of my chest, watching to see if headlights would appear behind me. I contemplated leaving the car and jumping over a gate, but turns out I’m more afraid of ‘mbwa kali’ than some random car-person. After a while, when no lights appeared, I figured the driver had retreated. With my knuckles rapping against each other like drums, I called for help. There was no sign of the miserable offender when they reached me. Ever since, I’ve been extra vigilant about my personal security. I’m not as carefree as I used to be. There’s fragility to my existence that wasn’t there before. And also a deep gratitude for life. So deep that speaking truth to power began to feel like a detail. For a moment there, the only thing that mattered was the quantity of my days. It wasn’t long though, before the mediocrity that passes for good governance in this country gave me a voice again. Don’t know about you, but I’ll take quality of life over quantity any day of the week. Ms Masiga is Peace and Security Editor, The Conversation Africa
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