MY STORY: How I survived a carjacking incident
I love basketball. I am a tall girl and it is one of the sports where people like me are given first priority.
Some time back, there was a basketball tournament scheduled to happen in a few weeks and my team and I were using any given opportunity to practice; which was mostly after classes. We would train until around 8:00 pm, change and go home.
I lived along Thika road and my school was on the same route so it was always easy for me to commute; I didn’t have to worry about things like traffic jams.
There is this one particular day when we went about our training as usual and after showering and changing, I was out and on my way home by 9.00pm. I took the first matatu I saw because I was tired and wanted to get home and rest.
When we passed Roysambu, three of the men at the front of the matatu started fidgeting around. This didn’t bother me, and continued looking outside the window.
Next thing I know, the woman in front of me started screaming. I looked up and saw one of the men pointing a gun to her head. “Toeni pesa na hakuna mtu tutaua,” one of them said. I went into a complete state of panic.
I was thinking of what to do and that made me panic more. Then it hit me; I had to hide my valuables before any of them saw me. I was seated at the back so it was easy for me to do so. I put money inside my shoe where, I thought they wouldn’t search. My phone was already on silent mode so I didn’t have to worry, but I just hoped that no one would call me at that moment just in case the lights from the screen were visible.
NO ONE HURT
Unfortunately, I had also carried my laptop and I was scared this was the last time I would ever see it because there was nowhere to hide it.
Strangely, the driver wasn’t bothered at all; it was like he had a deal with them. The conductor seemed scared but I thought if the driver was among the carjackers, the conductor must have known because they probably work together every day.
As one of the robbers came towards the back, he turned to me and told me to hand over my belongings. I had a bunch of coins in my hand and I handed it to him. He looked at me angrily and said “Wacha ujinga ama utakufa leo.”
I gathered the courage to speak and told him that was all I had and if he wanted to, he could come and check for himself. He hesitated then turned to the driver and gave him some directions.
When I looked around, we were already past my stop and heading to town. We arrived at a place near Salvation Army and they dropped us there before driving off, with both the conductor and driver.
Immediately people who still had phones started calling loved ones, others started crying while others just stood there, not knowing what to do.
We were lucky that none of us was hurt. I was even luckier that I still had my laptop which the robbers hadn’t seen. I removed my phone and saw I had 30 missed calls, from my parents and my sister. I called my dad and told him all that happened. Then I sat down patiently waiting for them to come pick me up.
Caroline Kagose writes for Content Production Media, a Nairobi based Media Company that creates elegant content for print, online platforms, film and television.