The story of me and my friend spending a scary but funny night inside a Nairobi Jail cell
This his hilarious account most of which happened in Swahili including the poop plot
From housemates to inmates
Y’know what, If you don’t find Nairobi intriguing you need to find a new life because one morning, fote fae minutes after waking up, I found myself baking up on my balcony with a guy I had never met all my life. A few days later, Lebo and I had become brothers in apartment.
One day, Lebo and I hadn’t seen each other in a while and were both looking forward to meeting at a party or dunda. So it was of course good times bumping into him staring at a screen during Hip Hop Karaoke at The Backyard last week.
Good vibes I said. Too much booze in my head and Lebo won’t stop telling me about what’s been happening since we didn’t hang. At one point standing by the main entrance, kedo five mamiz filed out, some wearing dark sunglasses and looking super pissed at 2am. In my mind I just heard Bitch Berra Have My Money!
Oblivious, we start to wander towards Oilibya, lost in our banter.
The last thing I see is cops roughing up two gentlemen. My natural night running juices tell me to fall back and absorb into the dark but the dood wants to boss it. Ati “si this is the same spot, outside Kwik Fit that I got cops to drop me home from a few months ago”, I lied to myself “Westy cops are gentlemen.” He! The next thing I know, I’m sitting in a police van watching Lebo get turned inside-out for “possible drugs”.
They drive along the main street, picking sane, sober and innocent people who are going about their legal business. Most are going home from work, there’s a waitress, and she calls someone and calmly says, wamenishika tena. “The bus left me so I was waiting for a bodaboda” A strong guy tries to resist the illegal arrest, he fights, he gets seriously hurt. One office is bleeding. Now he’s in more shit “for assaulting an office on duty.”
At the main Westy matatu stage outside The Mall, a small crowd scatters as the van approaches. A man is thrown in a few minutes later. He’s overdressed in heavy jackets, shiny brow moving about from the direction of the pleading voice.
Mimi sasa ni mtu wa bodaboda hapa nimefanya nini? Mtu atachukua pikipiki yangu bwana I’m just a bodaboda guy, what have I done? Someone will take my motorbike man!
Ati bu mutu wa bodaboda? Mimi ni dereva hapa Jacaranda, nilikuwa nangoja staff kwa gari ya kazi wakanibeba. Huh, bodaboda? I’m a driver at Jacaranda, was waiting for Staff in the company car and here I am. Meanwhile, one of the cops is following us. Riding this guy’s bike without police uniform, ID or any riding gear. And I’m just like ghai, theez are mungiki!
Blood, sweat and a little bit of alcohol since Lebo and I are quite sober now.
The last stop yields two gentlemen. We would later learn that they were father and son trying to get home at 3am after leaving their critically ill wife and mother at the Avenue Hospital just next door to the police station. And in the morning, the OCS still punished them to clean around the station before release.
At dawn, the real OGs who had been snoring right next to the overflowing toilets filled a blue jug with shit and tried to attempt a breakaway. Plan was that they’d splash some shit on the door, we’d all cry for help then when cops open, they’d splash more shit on them and this would be the time to avalanche out. I honestly thought it was a good idea but it all got ruined when some guy started yelling way too early before any shit was even splashed. So the OGs being too high and paranoid, got distracted and instead of going on with the plan, actually started shouting back at the man that he had a knife in cell. WTF GUYS!
But maybe that wasn’t even the plan because at the same time, there was an OG ransacking everyone, taking anything he found valuable. I saw that, I buried my money under my balls bro. Lebo fidgeted and I thought he had it sorted until this guy came and tried to jack his iphone cable. He managed to keep it but not his money. The OG would later ask a clerk at the court if they take South African Rand. But they don’t, so he bullied more inmates and got his bail paid.
What’s annoying is that this was a pure fund-drive by some greedy top guy because besides a few thousands they got on spot, the cops never actually asked for money until the OCS came at around 9am and declared a 5K bail or court.
Yours truly went to court, leaving Lebo as his name had been omitted from those going to court. A pleasant ride through the streets I know so well. I closed my eyes at the Museum Hill flyover and just felt the streets as we went until City Hall Way. These streets can be precious, just lack your freedom for a few hours.
The plain clothed cop asked us the offence we wanted to be charged under and since there was no reason to be here in the first place I shouted “minor offence!” Eeehh! Tuwekee tumakosa tudogotudogoMkubwa, sisi tulikuwa tunatoka kazi tu bwana! “Yeah, just give us minor offence Sir, we were only leaving work”, everyone kinda murmurs in agreement. The cop smiles and as the door clanks open, that’s the first question they ask.
Suddenly all feels much better.
Whatever charges they press against you, just accept and move on. Ukikataa utaenda remand for fourteen days!
After 1000th warning of the dire consequences that follow should your phone ring during court session, court eventually rolls into session. One by one, groups of offenders go into the dock and have their charges read except this one super suspect whose crime was so rare they came solo.
”…caught in Luthuli Avenue with intent to engage in prostitution…true or false? True!…fine of 500 Shillings…NEXT!
I wish I was her, or at least with her because I felt like I had gone through so much in 12hrs to be among some 15 people “reported to have littered by means of dumping cigarette butts in Westlands…true or false…FALSE…true…you each pay a fine of 500 shillings…NEXT!”
While Ronjey rode off into the sunset…….or court
I was still stuck in the jail cell with the innocent first timers. The whole time no one bothered to speak in English so by my best guess I was in there on account of not speaking Swahili!
Eventually after the serious offender head to court the main guy, OCS officer in charge of the station I guess. Demands my passport and looks at it very interestingly and nods at the female guard who starts shoving back into the poop cell …at this point I start protesting and I’m told I have to many passport stamps. I’m like WTF?!!!! Apparently Africans who travels to other African states are TERRORISTS …… so back to the cell for me
After about an hour and “anti terrorist team” vetting : read 10k bribe I was released and the charge was “Idling and Negligence”
Fucken moral of the story cops are shit and don’t get into a police van in kenya without a valid and legal reasons.