NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – A little while ago, I left the office to meet a friend who is waiting in a restaurant along Moi Avenue, within Nairobi.
It’s Saturday, at around 6.30pm, there is less traffic and the streets of Nairobi are largely empty with only a few people rushing to catch the next Public Service Vehicle to their estates.
In 10 minutes time I was done with my brief meeting and was headed back to the office, to pick a few things as I proceed home.
Once on Kimathi Street, something catches my attention; a smartly dressed man, in blue jeans and white sport shoes walks outside of an ATM located at Kimathi House.
A tall gentleman confidently walks towards him and extends his left hand while laying his right hand on his shoulder.
The man appears visibly disturbed, as he listens to the stranger, who for a few minutes whispers something to his ears.
Being a security reporter, I was already suspicious of what was happening and I decided to stop and watch from about 20 metres.
The ‘victim’ is led to a pedestrian guard rail, where they stop as they start engaging in low tones.
From my position, I could see he was trying to explain something to the stranger, who is still holding his hand while two other guys, from either side have since joined them.
They all look uneasy since they keep turning as if being on guard.
At this point, I decide to confront the reality and ‘rescue the victim’ after being convinced something was amiss.
I tactfully walked to where the four gentlemen were standing.
“My brother come we go home,” I ask him in a commanding voice, as he expresses some sense of relief since I caught his ‘captors’ off guard.
Within no time the three men disappear after realising they could not proceed with their mission.
I quickly introduce myself and the first words that came out of his mouth was, “they are thugs.”
He goes on to explain, “I was in the process of giving my wallet, my phone and all the money I had. It was a timely intervention my brother.”
The city resident in his early 20s further explains that the thugs had cautioned him against attracting any attention.
“They asked me to act normal while warning that “sisi ni wale wabaya” (we are the bad ones),” the visibly frightened man says while indicating he wants to leave “before it gets too late.”