Radio Avenue II

radioavenueThe minority, the ruling class at present, has the press under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them – Albert Einstein (1879-1955) –German-bornU.S. physicist.

Several months ago I took you on a journey along Radio Avenue, that famous road which all of us drive, walk or crawl upon almost each day of our lives. We passed by Classicway and Idhaa. I hope you still remember the stupidities which you heard at the latter and your impressions of the former. I also hope that you have played your part to remedy the damage that is inflicted upon the fabric society on a daily basis by the likes of MK2. We should all play our part in rebelling against this sort of nonsense and condemning this type of people, and all the perverted men and depraved women who gather around them at the bus-stops encouraging their inanities. No sane man or woman would be able to survive around them even for a few minutes; no wonder “D” with all her beautiful ideas about femininity was kicked out of Classicway; and “TN’ had to resign from the same stop when he realised that his convictions were not in congruency with those of his employer. But these are stories for another day.

Today we take a stroll through Easylab and Kona Mbaya. We will first walk to Easylab since it is closer to where we stay and then to Kona, where only the brave dare to tread.

I remember Easylab from the days of my youth. In those days we used to refer to it by another name, now long-forgotten. Like all other bus-stops, there were all sorts of clowns there in the morning. They always made us laugh and anytime we passed by there, there was always a big temptation to skip school for the day. This temptation was only overcome by the thought of the teacher’s cane landing on your backside. Saturdays were my favourite days at the stop before it became Easylab. I would wake up early just to go there and listen to the wonderful Swahili lessons we referred to as Changamka. These professionals would gather there, taking a break from the weekly routines to discuss the beauty of our national language. Only God knows the lasting effect all this had on me. But that was before the kanjo chased out these people and rented out the bus-stop to others who gave it the current name.

At first, the new look Easylab wasn’t that bad. True, the topics the new clowns considered were monotonous and, in my opinion, a bit boring. The jokes weren’t nearly half as funny as the previous ones… but they were ok. That was until one of my neighbours, thinking he was a very funny fellow in the neighbourhood we grew up in, decided to join them. “M”, as we shall call him, brought in a completely new perspective to the discussions. He would get to the bus-stop very early in the morning and try to gather as many people as possible around himself. Despite being a man mature in age, his choices of jokes and topics of discussions revealed him to be immature in character. His topics of discussion were almost similar to those at Classicway, but maybe not with the same rawness. I always ask myself which stage of his life he skipped and is now trying to make up for in his old age.

Generally, however, Easylab is a good place to chill and enjoy some good blues. You can relax there and meet your friends while enjoying a cold beer. It is the preferred hang-out joint by most of the mature crowd, that is, after M has made all his noise, tired his mouth, and left.

Some distance from Easylab, lies Kona Mbaya. This is a stop where very few people dare to pass by. Whenever the bus drives past there, the passengers instinctively roll up their windows lest they lose their valuables to the vagrants idling on the outside. Or is it for fear of being seen by their acquaintances and being identified with the lower levels of society, the so-called wanati? The driver will only stop if it is really necessary. Some drivers avoid the route altogether. Little wonder there are very few Kenyans who know of its existence. Kona Mbaya is relatively new compared to the other stops and, as you can tell from its name, it’s near a slum. This explains the leprous avoidance it is accorded by some people.

It came about as the result of a perceived need for a stop where the average mgenge could voice his concerns, since it was thought that the likes of Classicway, Easylab and Cap-It-All were only there to propagate the propaganda of the rich. Heck, Cap-It-All is considered to be a stop for only the rich with a certain level of class. I’ve been there several times and I must admit I was shocked to see Cayenne matatus! But we deviate… we were considering Kona Mbaya.

As I was saying, Kona Mbaya was created to promote the welfare of the common youth. This explains the widespread use of sheng’ among the people gathered there and the discussion of everyday life in the ghetto, all this interspersed by reggae and underground music. The idea was good, I must admit, until crime rates began increasing at this particular stop and the level of morality and sanity dropped drastically.  I used to visit Kona once in a while since I’ve always believed we have something in common, but one day I was shocked to find a group of young men and women I had grown up with speaking about the “C word” as they called it. They promoted it and made it look like if you are a young jamaa or shore out there and don’t use contraceptives, you are abnormal.

I tried to reason with them asking them what happened to abstinence and fidelity. They immediately turned against me accusing me of propagating extinct ideas which belong to a bunch of old men and women who don’t want the “yuts” to enjoy the things the older generation is enjoying. I was roughly handled by the very people I considered my friends and warned never again to return to Kona if I valued my life. I’ve never gone back there, but each day I see people my age who come from the place looking like grandparents after being beaten by life and realizing that sensual pleasures are not the answer to their problems. I’ve seen girls much younger than myself nursing small babies, and I’ve seen many potential doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers and accountants throw their dreams out of the window as they put into practice the things they hear at Kona Mbaya and other such bus-stops around the country.

In all these madness one wonders where the authorities are and what they are doing to prevent the nation’s future leaders from wasting themselves. The answer is that this same government is promoting the C campaign by encouraging people to plan their families. The gava imports the contraceptives and distributes them free-of-charge to the ‘needy’ Kenyans; millions of dollars are forked out each year by the developed nations to ensure that this poison is fed to the world’s hungry. Someone has to put a stop to all these, but the question is who?

I’m exhausted. These trips always drain my emotions and leave me feeling bitter. I think we will stop here for today and walk back home using the chochoros and avoiding the major bus-stops. What I really need now is some peace of mind and a good night’s sleep.

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