NAIROBI, Kenya, July 25 – They stood quietly by the roadside, some with full size newspaper photos of POTUS, others with American flags in hand.
Quietly they stood, not daring to set foot on the cordoned off road where officers stood, arms in hand.
So quiet one would imagine US President Barack Obama’s convoy was right around the corner.
Only it would be hours before The Beast would wind its way down to the 1998 US Embassy bombing memorial or what Kenyans simply refer to as”bomb blast.”
Among the muffled conversations was that of 46-year-old George Mokua and one of Kenya’s, “budding entrepreneurs,” from whom he was buying miniature American flags. “I need three for my children,” he told Capital FM News.
Thereafter he, like everyone else behind him, would wait to catch, “just a glimpse,” of President Obama.
Next to him stood Kephar Akongo, a 37 year old, innovator, “I participated in the Pre-Global Entrepreneurship Summit Exhibition at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre showcasing our digital products.”
He wasn’t keen to elaborate on who, “we,” were but he was here to see President Obama in the flesh. “Maybe he’ll roll down his window and wave at us.”
Riding around town on a, “low riding,” bicycle, were Willis Ochieng and David Odhiambo. A fundi and mechanic respectively who took the day off, riding all the way from Kawangware to the City Centre they said, to try and see President Obama for themselves.
“I’ll keep this newspaper forever,” Odhiambo said when they rolled up to the Capital TV camera; newspapers on Saturday of course awash with images of President Obama return to Kenya aboard Air Force One.
The two weren’t the only ones unable to contain their excitement. Samson Kioko, a daughter’s hand in each palm, said he “felt free.”
“I’ve never brought my daughters to the city centre,” the Kayole resident said, “today I’m taking them to the Bomas of Kenya.”
Bernard Kiroko, a cabbie, had no time to stand around and wait, not Saturday when business was bad because of the road closures but definitely Sunday.
Sunday, when President Obama would be making his way to the Safaricom Indoor Arena to give his specially scripted address to the Kenyan people, as a whole.