Lisa’s story: Wachana na huyo ni Malaya

I was driving home from work one evening. Traffic was extremely bad moving at a snails pace and it was starting to get dark.

I had gotten into a four way intersection and everything was back to back, we were all basically fighting to get past in whatever direction. Suddenly there was a matatu on my right side as I was trying to cut me off to get past the intersection before me. I decided not to be scared. After all if he hit me he was the one going to pay and since I wasn’t getting anywhere any time soon i could risk it.

Suddenly my wheel wasn’t moving. He had hit me! Just A little but enough to lock my wheel in. The ‘makanga’ suddenly shot out to help me get out of it so we could all get moving again. ‘kata pande yako upite'(turn the wheel to left so you can pass) he was saying to me. I decided to just be stupid and yelled out. ‘Mimi sisongi. Kwani hakuwa akiniona?'(I am not moving. Was he not seeing me the whole time?).

A small crowd was now forming to see why traffic wasn’t moving any longer. Immediately after I had responded he turned around and shouted at the driver ‘wachana na huyo ni malaya tu!we rudi nyuma aaende'(Leave her alone. She is just a prostitute. Reverse a little so she can pass). Everyone was now laughing.

He reversed a little and I drove off first to the slow moving traffic everyone still snickering. Just because I didn’t allow them to bully me on the road I was a prostitute? I have right of way? How does holding my own make me a prostitute?

I drove off a little more knowledgeable of how the mind of a harasser must work.At least I got my way.