In the middle of last year, I made a very funny rule to myself. That I will never ever use Matatu’s or buses in Nairobi town. Now that was ridiculous given I love long road trips, but on realising the deadly mistake I had made, I made an exception – unless it’s long distance buses which specifically have V. I.P seats.
Now this rule reminds me of the time in 2015 year when I so much wanted to be a vegan, I loved Ariana Grande so much I wanted to copy her in everything, and then I changed my mind the moment I realised Sausages were in the category of non-vegan, and I just can’t live without them. I can eat them the whole day.
Back to my story. I know by that first paragraph you are now judging Me, thinking I am a spoilt brat, who thinks so highly of herself and who feels entitled. I know by now all you probably think about me is that I am very inconsiderate that majority of the Kenyans cannot afford private means, and that majority of them thank God daily they can afford buses.
But before you judge me listen to me. I was not exactly born town, I was born in the village and I first boarded a vehicle and both a motorbike the same day, in form one. I have never really fancied cars Or aeroplanes, my favourite means of transport is the motorbike.
I am not exactly a proud person, well, of course unless you are chasing after me 😂
This decision came when I was undertaking my attachment, I get tired very easily sometimes, and using public means, in Kenya,was so hectic in the morning. I would wake up very early, and by now all of you should know I love Sleeping in the morning so waking up at 6 A.M was very early for me. By the end of the day I would be so tired from the hooting, the stuffed buses and matatus, the congestion in town, seeing how many people were hopeless and being unable to help all of them, feeling as if I was ungrateful to God for getting depressed of my hand yet he had given me so much, the endless thoughts on what was it I could do to help those in the streets killed me. And nothing works me up than seeing someone suffer and I am not in a position to help. It can make me insane.
The fatigue and my thoughts got the best of Me and by the fourth day of my attachement, I got home very very sick. I didn’t want to talk to anybody, I felt so worn out.
Actually, on that day I told mum how I thought God was so unfair because he let’s evil people succeed and righteous, (only that I couldn’t say myself) suffer. Well, this led to a long lecture from her of how God had been faithful to me and I should be the last one to blame utter such words. She is a sweet lady but not when you cross the line of God. But I felt so frustrated the only one I could blame was God.
On the same day, I had read a daily verse from the Bible which stated children of the righteous never suffered or went to the streets. Now given my life, I felt God was trying to tell me I was suffering because of my parents mistakes. And I felt fed up with everything. Including the Bible.
Why would a God who is merciful let all those people in the streets suffer and let some people stink with faith.? My little faith was not enough to sustain me.
The following days, I was given a vehicle or called for an Uber and I was so relieved. I knew I had no much money but the little money I had could afford private taxes and Ubers whenever I wanted to. I will pick personal comfort anytime, something I picked from mum. What’s the point of saving so much and you are frustrated. It was not worth struggling.
But then it was at time where I met one young man, whose father, a businessman, seemed to have it all. He was supposed to live life at a fast line, his father knew he was and provided everything he could but still the boy lived an average life. I got curious and I striked a conversation with him. I wanted to find out why he opted to live his life differently given he is the only child.
And his answer got me. He told me his high school best friend wanted to drop out after form four due to lack of his fees. According to him his father, is very generous with his family but not entirely with the poor so his father could not approve of the friendship Or agree to help his best friend.
He secured his place in an university in but since he could not leave his best friend behind he went to the school and explained his best friend woes and luckily the school offered to give him partial scholarship. He knew his best friend couldn’t even afford a meal there, so he made a lifetime decision. That he was not going to be flying so that the fair can be enough for him and his best friend, on road…Jesus! He also decided that he was going to cut his expenses and pocket money to Cater for his best friend’s school fees and upkeep. He told me at first it was so hard, given he is used to the high end life, he would get migraine and headache but he eventually got used to it.
On a parting shot he told me, ‘a lot of
People put value on what Others think of them so much, such that they invest in anything visible to people to think they are doing great. When I stopped using planes and private means, I felt I embarrassed, Like people who knew me could think my father had gone broke or something worse, but after I gave a thought of my best friend and how He has been there for me, I realized human perceptions don’t matter. And when you have God, you don’t need human validation. As long as I am happy and my best friend is happy, I am willing to live this type of life.’
Well, the young man’s words hit me like catastrophe, given I had just decided to quit public transport. I felt like he was reading my mind, like God was using him to remind Me ‘Brightstar, don’t be too proud, the Lord loves it when you are humble’
And I also realized that other than not knowing town, I was also ashamed of being packed like potatoes In a matatu. I wanted class, I wanted space and I wanted to look cool, I wanted to keep on looking classy Like majority of the people I knew. But all that didn’t matter, all I needed was God’s approval.
I am still yet to know town and I rely on maps, and those guides, but my perception from that conversation changed. And today, every time I am going somewhere and I am given 3000 for Uber, I now try to to use Matatu’s because I know too well I have friends who would appreciate the 2700 I will have saved. I know too well, I don’t need that uber for my friends validation when some people are really suffering from hunger.
Of course I am still yet to fully start using Matatus, most of the times I end up In Ubers still despite my resolutions not to, but I am trying to learn. And today I used an Uber to a long distance place, but came back home with Matatu, of course I got Lost in town and i had to rely on a good Samaritan for directions but I am proud of myself and the little I saved. On arriving home Mum asked why I looked so tired, I am yet to explain my little secret😁 Maybe Someday I will…
What ways would you save and help someone? Think about it. You don’t need much to impact the world. Just a selfless heart.