Imara Daima has the most violent mosquitoes in Kenya and Rongai. If they were human beings, and Kenyans for that matter, they will be Gor Mahia fans, just after a fair defeat by AFC Leopards. They are noisy. They are quarrelsome. They are physically strong. They can tear your mosquito net and before you know it, they are having their open market day on your crotch. And who told the mosquitoes that the ear is an erogenous spot? Must they make that fatal dance around it, arousing you from your slumber?
In my bedroom, they have a street bash every Monday and Thursday as from 2 am to 7 am. The drink me with impunity. I know this because the following day when I wake up with dreadful vengeance and reach out to burst them, they splash all blood on me. A ‘hangovad’ mosquito can be carelessly lazy.
Back to the age-old question, ‘why did Noah allow these things into the ark?’ What is the ecological value of mosquitoes? If we eliminated them, are their some environment ramifications that we will have to contend with?
As I’m writing two, I have unsuccessfully swatted two mosquitoes, really quick ones, involved in air combat. Their maneuvers are impressive. I can see two of them wondering, when I will tuck in and they come hunting. The bastards! Another one has comfortably latched itself on the upper side of my injured elbow, coveting, salivating and smelling the wet wound. This is what George Carlin would consider high risk behaviour of insects such flies and mosquitoes. Recklessly suicidal. They have cost me a Plasma TV worth Sh 63,000. I will spare you the details.
Before, I moved to Imara (pronounced as I-`maara), I had asked my lady boss, what is it like to live in Imara Daima. She told me, it is not the best place, given the mosquitoes and the frequent power outages. I should have listened. As I edit this, consider this; power went off at around 8 am. Came back at 1.59 pm. Went off at 2.02pm. Came back at 3.02pm. Disappeared for a few minutes. And came back at 4.53pm. Bado haijaenda? I’m frankly surprised.
See Imara is one of those forgettable neighbourhoods. It is sandwiched between the overpriced South B and the vast concrete slums that that are Embakasi. Below Imara are the infamous Mukuru slums. Between South B and Imara, along Mombasa Road are the corporate behemoths that define Mombasa Road.
It is a fairly decent estate, although quite overpriced given the poor quality of life there. For starters, the several estates that can stake claim to be within Imara and its environs, have no supermarkets of their own. Or a mall that you can hang out on a weekend. The nearest reasonable supermarket, is Nakumatt Embakasi at Cabanas, a few kilometres away. The Tuskies Enterprise Road and around Mombasa Road are for quickie shopping; besides they are plain too far. May be Capital Centre.
Nothing reminds one that Imara Daima is a shitty place than the public means of transport to the estate. There are two alternatively for exclusive access to the estate. All of them are 14-seater matatus. The first category operates from Bus Station. They were given the last spot, closest to the public toilets and the smoking zone, just so you know. They are old. All of them are KA-something. They are dirty, rickety with a radio tuned to four stations at the same time.Te loudest station of the four stations struggling ot be heard like women in an open-air market, will tell you from which community the driver comes from.
The other alternative is at Commercial, where the notorious Embasavvas pick their passengers to Pipeline and Embakasi. For no apparent reason whatsoever, they charge Ksh 100 to Imara. It doesn’t matter the time; in the morning, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, evening, at night, midnight, 3 in the morning, 6 in the morning. I mean it is Ksh 20 to Rongai in extreme off-peak times, a whole time zone away from Nairobi. It is Ksh 10 to Githurai during the off-peak period when you board a Paradiso. What makes these matatus so special? The ones that use the Bus Station as the picking point also determine the fare on their whims, albeit slightly cheaper, when it is not raining.
The sleaze balls, mostly Kisiis and Kiuks who are the the touts are as greedy as starved spotted hyenas. They are a study of what untamed greedy can do. I have ever heard two of them pray in my mother-tongue that it rains so that they can charge passengers Ksh 100. They must have been Kisiis from Nyamira County.
Every evening, there is a standoff at the stage. The matatu crew always want Ksh 80-100 or 150-200(for those at Commercial) when it rains for the 11-minute ride when there is no traffic. No any other route in Nairobi with touts and drivers who wield so much power. Boy, do I loathe them? They are the reason a car has overtaken a house in my priorities. They are a clear example of what happens when we use our bottoms to think. Even when there are no people at the stage or when everyone has refused to board, they will insist soo soo soo. If only I had a gun?
The other alternative is to use Embasavvas that often pass through Imara or when not passing through, alight along Mombasa Road and walk the rest of the distance to Imara. But the Embasavva crew are just as stupid. No route has the matatu crew so endowed with so much stupidity than the Embakasi bound matatus, or is it just me who encounters their suicidal folly daily?
Back to Imara Daima. If there is one thing that has me raging mad are the frequent power outages in Imara Daima. When I lived in Umoja, I can hardly remember four ‘blackouts’ in a span of three years. But in Imara, since I started counting, we are on the 6557th black out in just over four months. I mean, there is an appalling disregard of the estate that even the business people have had enough.
I’m persuaded by the conspiracy that Kenya Power employees often occasion blackouts to justify overtime payments. And in Imara Daima, they have the friendliest estate, where no one raises complaints. It is either that, or gross incompetence that explain the outages. As soon as the clouds gather or the weatherman says it is going to drizzle, the power automatically goes off. Some say that the outages are occasioned by the slum dwellers with their illegal connections, but my persistent and impassioned pleas have not received any formal communication from Kenya Power.
Just about every day, I’m late to work because I wake up, stepping into the bathroom and as soon as I’m done and I want to press a shirt, it is gone. Or I press a shirt, and as soon as I step into the bathroom, it is gone. Or I’m typing or reading on the laptop and without any warning, darkness engulfs me. It is so predictable that when you have uninterrupted power for more than 12 hours you feel like calling Kenya Power and ask them, whether there is something wrong.
I recently saw this joke twitter: “Yes IT expert, I’d really love to unplug my laptop for a healthy battery, you see, the way the power in this country is set up…”
I no longer make any plans with electricity in mind. I make sure that my laptop is permanently plugged in, screw the battery life. And it seems, I have to start pressing all my weekly clothes at once.
Another bad thing with Imara is that if you opt to walk up to Mombasa Road in order to board a matatu, you have the task of crossing the highway. It is a demanding task. You wonder why off all the qualifications during the tendering process to construct roads, why do they ignore common sense? I mean it is common sense that the roads must be crossed at specific points along Mombasa Road. At BelleVue, Airtell Centre, Standard Group, GM, Imara Daima. There are designated bus stages in these spots but for you to cross from one side of the road to another, you are at the mercy of the speeding motorists.
Now, the education and the economic system, always favour motorists. The reason we have bigger roads and smaller sidewalks, sometimes non-existent. That means daily, I can waste up to 30 minutes daily while crossing the road to and from work, given the speeding motorists have never stopped for the pedestrians to cross, even if they were a thousand of them.
See why I hate this estate so much!
The estate is like that very average chick who for no apparent reason absolutely sleeps with everyone at school, college, work place, neighbourhood. Anywhere. OK, may be to boost her self-esteem. And given she is quiet, nobody has ever called her a hoe. Ameficha game, albeit it is common knowledge. Kenya Power screws Imara. Public transport shags Imara. Housing is a tad exaggerated, essentially, Imara residents get laid by landlords every month. Shop and grocery owners equally overestimate the potential of residents and have overpriced stuff, sexing residents pretty much badly. We are the hoes of mosquitoes. We even serve in their bars. I will move out of this sh*thole.
Rongai sounds ideal. The border police are friendly lately. And no visa fee after the East Africa thingy was ratified. It will be cheaper, I just have to wake up at 3 a.m in order to get to work in time as the two Pauls I know who stay there survive.