It’s ten minutes past eleven, which marks around two hours of drive since our bus left Nairobi for Mombasa. In few minutes time, the clock will be ticking at midnight and I cant afford to allow the eye lids to bow to the pressure, I will tell you why.
After introductions, Mwange narrates the life cycle of long distance drivers. How they rely on some drugs to stimulate sleep, because they need to sleep at day time. He poses questions to answer my questions, a skill he likes so much.
“Behind your seat about forty other passengers are sitted, do you know how they all hate accidents?” Who do you think bothers to know whether I slept well or not? When do you think we sleep?
Just as the series of questions continue, Mwange suddenly pauses, there is this vehicle approaching, pampered like a disco door. With headlights so bright. We had met several other vehicles on full lights, but this one is special, so bright that our driver cant see clearly at all, he slows the bus to almost a stop. I heard him press the horns and hooted at the already passing matatu.
After a long silence, Mwange breaks the licence, but this time round, with a different tone, a low composed tone. He told me when he went to a driving school, the basics he learnt then, and I’m keenly listening, keen enough to tell feel the anger in his words, like he can slap his fellow drivers a times.
Corruption is everywhere, and we all know. We know most of ‘A’ material guys (that’s the way Mwange refers to anybody in higher learning) rarely get time to go and learn driving from college. When they finally graduate and get to buy cars the next thing is to rush to Riverroad and get themselves a driving licence.
And those are the people killing us on roads. They are not aware of the small simple skills of the highway. Something little of applying common sense like switching to dim lights, when approaching fore coming vehicles in highway, do you think they know them skills?
Out of ten on-coming vehicles so far in our journey, four of them could not overtake rightfully, that is what Mwange could tell me. No indicators, switched to lane too quick, oh and there this weird one, he has overtaken from left! Sad is it? Don’t worry, they are children of corruption, yes corruption gives birth to them.
Life is so expensive that it can’t be bought. So treasured that can’t be clowned in River road or anywhere on the globe. You can buy a licence, but you can not buy life. You just can’t. If you learn how to drive using your friend’s car, that’s not enough. If you get the licence through back doors, who cares? Its for you to know behind the wheel you’re the first life.
You may have trained from the plateaus, and flat lands, you really know how to drive so quick and control the vehicle pretty well. But we feel sorry when you press the right indicators and you are turning left, so confidently and go on. Guess what? You have a newly acquired licence, so what happened?
Ladies and gentleman, let’s help each other, let’s cut off these deaths on road carnage. There are driving schools everywhere, don’t worry I’m not saying you enroll again, no. Go knock to their office ask for materials, read those books, pay some little coins and ask them to set you a basic exam, do it.
Make sure you pass without any assistance at all, your own efforts. In case you fail a number of procedures, go back, ask for more reading materials, read more.
Consultant uncle Google, learn any single skill that you may need on the road. Its totally for your own good. Maybe you went to driving school long ago, things changed, there is Thika Super Highway, it wasn’t there when you we’re learning, I mean a few things have changed, heed to these advises too. You can bribe traffic officers, You may Buy a licence but you can’t Buy LIFE.
By| Muindu PETER