Yesterday, WordPress kindly reminded me that it’s been a year since I registered Nairobi
Pedestrian. While it’s a cute milestone, it’s hardly anything to write home about. My paper anniversary isn’t as exciting as my baby sisters’ 1st birthdays. If anything, it cruelly reminded me of how little I have managed to achieve thus far. The money ranges between scales of little to none.
I need to come up with a solution to drum up some cash for the Manolos. Sportpesa hasn’t been kind to me. My first foray into betting since the seasons restarted and I already lost fifty bob to the Barca-Atletico draw. I could try the Pambazuka lottery but my mutura[i] guy has already discouraged me from trying it. He’s been playing since it started but he is still my mutura guy.
So obviously I need a project that’s a lot more lucrative. I entered a business idea to the Jiajiri[ii] KCB thing but I got lost in so much jargon that I became too lazy to finalize it. Getting another job is a laughable idea because I have had only one successful phone call since I started tarmacking. So what’s left?
I need a plan, something more legal than a pyramid scheme and less tentative than being a jack of all trades broker. And I may have come up with one. It requires a level of observation greater than a hunting eagle’s, dense bones and gladiator like courage in the face of blood. You must be scratching your head by now. No? I’ll tell you anyway. It’s called “the flop”.
This strategy requires you to have a pre-existing injury or at least the illusion of an injury. The means of activating the injury is to walk in front of a car, enact the injury and claim recompense from the driver or his insurance company. If we lived in a first world country, you could go as far as demanding insurance reimbursements, but in these boondocks, we want something simple. A cash to hand transaction that will be conducted as fast as the burst of a fart.
To ensure you get paid, you need a driver who will want no law enforcement involved. They must also be driving a car that shows s/he is loaded or at least has a significant amount of money on his/her person. So if you try this with a bodaboda[iii] you may end up getting run over multiple times by the operator’s cohorts. And PSVs are no better because they will knock you down then leave you with the bus.
So you have to study the motorists. You could go for a fresh faced young woman with a brand new Vitz or Raum or Nissan March- those miniature cars designed to look like baby shoes. They usually have the latest plates and will most likely have a learner’s sticker in their back window, front bumper, back bumper and probably have a big L stamped on their driving license. They aren’t very experienced or well versed on procedures in case of an accident. When you spot one in a traffic jam that can’t make it every ten metres without braking- there’s your target. You slowly walk up towards the car and make sure to get bumped significantly. While she is panicking because you have blood pouring out your mouth and a welt forming on the part of your arm she crunched, just tell her that she can pay for your hospital bill. Some of them are kind enough to drive you to the hospital so you need one too busy for extensive altruism. They usually have more than one phone.
Then there are the harried businessmen who are constantly moving from one part to another. They drive Voxys, Noahs, Outbacks, Wishes- you get the picture. They usually wear a hat or a cap within the confines of the car. They are as dynamic as electricity and are constantly fielding correspondences on their multiple Huaweis. They would generously give you the money to just let them get back to their day.
You have the pompously wealthy show-boaters who wouldn’t want any police sniffing around their vehicles. For whatever reason, they like the idea of a clean record. Some wish that their CID good conduct certificates came with an A. They would toss money at you to make sure their conscience is clear. They tend to drive Jaguars and Prados with extraordinarily new plates that are either customized or as polished as the car’s buffed exterior.
That said, it should be noted that it wouldn’t work with all motorists. Old men driving even older vehicles who usually have their faces folded into themselves as though they just smelt faeces and tasted lemons at the same time wouldn’t spare you a bob. They favour Peugeot 504s, 404s, 90s Corolla G Touring and Datsun pickups.
It is commonly recommended not to cross a road when there’s a Probox, Toyota A110, Toyota Fielder and/or a BMW 310 with orange indicator lights approaching. They’re driven by haggard businessmen or a careless courier. They would run you over and not notice because their suspension is as faulty as their spatial awareness.
I have to finish there because one of my beta readers has just notified me that what I have been explaining is actually a con. I’m ashamed to admit that in my desperation to seek fleeting triumph, I have romanticized a swindling operation. If you do try what I just wrote, knock yourself out at your own risk. Knowing Nairobian motorists, your craftiness would be unraveled and you would become the new face of memes and trolls. An endless Twitter trend testament to endless stupidity and below average cunning. So I need another plan. I hear politics can be profitable. All our presidents are billionaires. Ooh… Wangui for President, no?
[i] African sausage made of offal stuffed with minced meat or blood
[ii] Be your own boss
[iii] PSV motorcycles