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George Iregi - From bus driver to midwife in a matter of minutes
By Chebet Vanessa | Updated Aug 26, 2018 at 12:19 EAT
George Kariuki Iregi standing next to his bus

A Nairobi bus driver helped a woman in labour deliver a bouncing baby boy in his bus

George Iregi is a common bus driver who went out of his way to help a lady he barely knew give birth

If there is one place many Kenyan men dread going, it is certainly the delivery room. The deafening screams from mothers battling childbirth pains would make any man shake like a leaf.

But one man deserves honour.

The morning of Wednesday, April 4 was a usual one for George Kariuki Iregi, a driver on the Githurai – Nairobi route. He drives a bus owned by 44 Company. He woke up early so he could start his morning shift as was his custom. His conductor, Richard, joined him and they started their first "squad" at 5 am.

Among the commuters was a female passenger, Philomena Mbithi, who was heavily pregnant.

For Iregi and his conductor, there was nothing unusual about the female passenger. Speaking to UReport, he narrated how he went from being a regular bus driver to a midwife.

"She started complaining of pain around Drive Inn area but my conductor and I never realised how grave the situation was," said Iregi as he slowly started to explain how his day at work went.

He went on, "When we got to Allsops, the pain was too much even the passengers felt uncomfortable so I had to rush. She kept on saying 'the baby is coming'."

Iregi further narrates how his conductor played a crucial part in calming the woman down. She was moments away from screaming at the top of her voice. He had to drive fast.

"When we got to town, not a single passenger stayed with the struggling lady. They all left. My conductor and I were left with the lady who was being accompanied by a small girl, possibly her relative. She was not her daughter," said Iregi, revealing what happened when they got to the CBD.

Frantic search for a taxi

Knowing that he could at least do something, he tried to look for a taxi so that the expectant woman could be driven to a hospital but he could not find one. 

He then decided to drive the lady himself, of course with the conductor by

his side.

"I just decided to take her back to Roysambu and seek help since everyone left the bus immediately we got to town," he continued.

On their way back, the woman kept screaming, prompting Iregi to forget about the speed limit. He had to get to Roysambu in time.

When he got to Roysambu, the situation was the same - no one wanted to help the woman. He says his conductor tried to look for help, begging the 'mamas' around to assist the woman but they refused.

"When we got to Roysambu, my conductor immediately got off the bus and ran towards a group of ladies asking for help, but they didn't seem bothered, “said Iregi.

The pregnant woman was also struggling to alight while screaming on top of her voice. This is when the worst almost happened.

Baby's head has crowned

Iregi told of how he saw the head of the baby popping out from between the lady's legs, almost falling on the tarmac.

He said he had to gather enough strength and carry the lady back into the bus and deliver the baby himself.

"When the head popped out I helped the lady push the baby. I told her to hold the baby, closed the door and rushed her and baby boy to Neema hospital. I also called her husband who was in Narok and later followed up to ensure baby and mum are okay," recalls Iregi.

After the doctors took over, he went back to his day job, happy that he had just saved two lives on a day he thought all he would do was drive his bus.

Iregi's heroics didn't go unnoticed. Social media was abuzz with the story. Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko pledged to reward him. 

Bonfire adventures, a local travel company rewarded Iregi and his conductor a fully paid 3 days holiday in Diani.

A heart of service

Apparently, this is not the first time Iregi has gone out of his way to help.

Reuben Nguchu is a beneficiary of Ireri's kindness. Nguchu who uses a wheelchair told of how Iregi calls him every morning to reserve a seat for him on the bus.

"Indeed this driver is full of compassion and humanity. I must say that my travel to the workplace in CBD is made easier by this driver, at exactly 6 in the morning he must call me via the phone and reserve a seat for me same case in the evening.I mostly thank him for taking me home right at my doorstep especially during rainy periods. He is like a brother to me and he is full of love to persons living with disabilities in 44 route," wrote Nguchu on Facebook.

George Iregi and Richard, the whole country thanks you for your bravery and courage. We salute you!

There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself. Sometimes it involves moving from your comfort zone and daring to be different.

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