A middle-aged woman was last Monday unceremoniously forced out of a Kawangware-bound matatu because of a stench wafting from her body. The woman, only known as Akello, boarded a matatu at Railways bus stop with a luggage of fresh fish headed to her base in Kawangware, where she plies her trade.
Signs that all might not be well with her began long before the journey started. Immediately she boarded the matatu and planted herself next to a certain female passenger, she began twisting her nose disgustingly and moved to an unoccupied seat.
It didn’t take long before another commuter boarded the matatu and sat next to her. Interesting, the passenger, too, felt the same fetid and moved elsewhere. It happened again and again until all the seats were occupied. Last to crawl into the matatu was an aging man, who perhaps due to his diminishing sense of smell, didn’t notice it.
The matatu left the stage with each of the passengers looking at each other suspiciously. Meanwhile, Akello sat pretty as if nothing was happening. The going got tougher and along Valley Road, some passenger began complaining of a strong unpleasant smell of fresh fish in the matatu.
They informed the conductor about the stench. In return, the conductor told them the smell was of fish on the carrier of the matatu. But the passengers insisted the smell was wafting from within the matatu. The conductor attempted to play it down by ignoring them.
“Money has blocked your nose and you cannot feel the bad fresh fish stench eh,” one of the passengers scoffed at the conductor. When the matatu got to Argwings Kodhek Road, a female passenger started vomiting.
The passengers shouted at the driver to stop the matatu. However, it was not established whether or not the throwing up was due to the stench, but all the passengers maintained it was the cause. “Unaona sasa! Hio samaki yako ndio inasababisha (look at that! That fishy smell is responsible),” said one woman.
Passengers taunted and yelled at the conductor to throw Akello out. “As you trade in fish, make sure you fumigate yourself to avoid this kind of embarrassment,” a passenger urged her.
As the conductor pondered over the issue of throwing Akello out of the matatu, other passengers got angry and demanded a refund of their fare to use alternative means. The conductor had no choice. He instead refunded Akello’s fare and asked her to alight. “Mama ukumbuke kuoga. Na uoshe nguo ata kama ni mwosho mmoja tu. Ona hii aibu (ma’am, make sure you take a shower and clean your clothes to save yourself such embarrassment),” the conductor told her.
The passengers boarded the matatu and warned the conductor to always do a spot check of passengers’ cleanliness other than just checking for grenades.
Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.