The year was 2000 and it was my first time in the great city of Nairobi . Being a bunch of confused primary school kids who had never left the Kenya Western region to go anywhere, you cant imagine how excited we were to be in Nairobi. I was in the big city with tall buildings for our Music Festivals!
On arrival, we were immediately taken to Pangani Girls High School where we to stayed during the Music Festivals. Very clueless we were about a lot of things since most of us if not all were from very humble families. On normal occasions we could not even afford to buy simple groundnuts on the roadside. But not me this time, my mum gave me some good amount of cash for the trip. It was the first time I ever owned that much money and I could not wait to spend it.
The second day came, we rehearsed our dance routine as our performance was scheduled to be on the 3rd day. Once we were done with the rehearsals, we took a stroll to the Central Business District [CBD] to feed our eyes on the spectacular scenery of the city. We then went to Uchumi Supermarket that was once next to the Nairobi Railway station. I have to admit that with the money I had, I felt like the richest kid in the group and no one could handle my ego. I became a know-it all and literally felt like the Queen Bee of the group.
When we finally got to the supermarket, we picked snacks and drinks that we would need while in Nairobi. Being the self-made Queen Bee, I picked the most goodies and we proceeded to the counter to pay. The teller keyed in the products as he passed them over to the next stage.
Shockingly, I spotted someone busy picking my goods and speedily putting them in a plastic bag. My immediate reaction was a loud scream as I called attention to the man who was trying to steal my merchandise. How could he do that? To make matters worse, he continued putting my goods in the plastic bag even as I continued screaming at him almost wrestling him. I had heard about the high crime rate in the city but I couldn’t imagine it was that bad! Even in the supermarket ?I was shocked!
Confused and angered by the whole situation, the teller told me to shut ‘it’ as the man was packing them for me and not stealing. The suspect looked at me with a cocktail of disgust, anger and pity and did not utter a word but proceeded to package the next customer’s goods.
Consequently, I Picked my goods and walked out so fast amidst laughter from the people in the supermarket. I never talked about the experience till today that am writing about it. My schoolmates for sure had an amazing field day with my crushed ego.I know there are parents who fear going to shop with their kids for fear of tantrums. My parents are very guilty of this even though I don’t blame them since my mum had very little to work with for shopping for the family. It was a crazily fixed budget every month and there was no room for ‘buying your daughter a toy or snacks’ kind of thing.
Nevertheless, Parents please take your kids to the supermarket even if it is just once and let them learn how to do stuff. I promise you that if they are half as disciplined as I was, then they will not throw tantrums in there. Mama look what you made me do in the big city just because you never trusted me enough to take me with you to the Supermarket.