The arrow pricked my side lightly. It was extra sharp. I closed my eyes and said my last Lords Grace. I asked God “Why me, why should I die today without a baby? I cursed all the men I have known, the ones that were unwilling to give me a baby because they were chickens of commitment.
A young boy stood a meter away from me, his right arm stretched towards me. The left hand clutched onto the curved edge of the bow tightly, the right hand puling the arrow and hide skin strap firmly. The nose of the arrow just scratching the surface of my love handles. I was speechlessly aghast. I prayed again.
Some days can be weird. Like today. It was a Sunday, 18th June 2017. I woke up earlier than usual. After a nice warm shower, walked over to my kitchen to get some food and settled on my last nights untouched Ugali and fried meat. I had instantly lost my appetite when a stupid ex called to ask how I was doing.
After stuffing myself full, I walked briskly to the stage, and stood there waiting for my favorite Matatu, Iggy Zela. I whisked away all the wanna be mats like Likana and Konana Sacco. Iggy knows my needs. The seats are cushy and the crew is friendly. The music is very loud and out of this world. Maina Kageni sometimes blurts out of its speakers. After a few wrong turns and overlapping, Iggy was in town in a few minutes. She knows how to do the right things the wrong way.
Today is our Sacco annual meeting day. The intention is to view one of our properties purchased for us by our Sacco officials. We trust these officials, very much. Everyone is looking sharp. There are more red lipsticks and rugged Jean shorts and skirts, more than there are boots. We are set, we are fired. Five acres is a big piece of land for a Sacco of twenty members like ours. Power to Valentine Girls.
We board the travel van and by 9.00am, we are on our way, destination Mai Mahiu. Pictures at the Rift valley view points is not a bad idea. We indulge in selfies and photos for more than an hour. Ladies taking each angle of their bodies, especially the protruding parts. Men doing the onus to take the photos, which end up straight on social media.
At the hotel at our destination, we have teas and bites. I am excited, the tea is tasting strange. I want to see our land. Some of our members drove to the venue. We board a few personal vehicles and in less than five minutes we arrive at the farm. Thank God I am in flats, heels would have killed me over the about five minutes’ trek from the road to the plot. The giant Kenya Broadcasting Corporation boosters towered just less than 100 meters from us.
Selfies and photos on our land. A strange sounding motorcycle menacingly approaches, swerves at our feet, sending the ladies into a panic escape. It stops in a cloud of dust. The two locals on board a light, in a hurry.
“What are you doing here?”, one asks in Swahili.
“Do you know forty people died here last year because of this land”? he continued in a loud chilling voice as they both drew their swords from their sheaths and inched swiftly towards us.
Then as if from nowhere, like in a scene from hell, motorcycles appeared from all directions, each saddled with three of four males, donned in Masai Shukas. They chaotically jumped off the bikes, leaving the Honda engines raving hysterically as they encircled our group of about 15 women and 5 men. In the distance, spear trotting men, chanting strange local dialect ran amok towards us.
My feet got cold, then wet. My bladder had given way to a little urine. I started taking panicky steps backwards, I wanted to bolt. I wanted to go home to my mama. I did not want land, at that moment, I wanted no investments, I just wanted mommy.
I was jerked to a stop. A small boy, he would have easily been my son, wickedly marked me, the tip of his spear indecently kissing the inch of skin between my top and my low waist jean skirt. The tip, as sharp as a needle would draw my blood anytime if I moved a centimeter. I statued.
In that instance, one of our men had been grabbed from behind, and laid straight on the wide chest of one of the locals and pinned in place with the man’s left hand. The right hand held a dirty sharp knife, the aggressor announced that he was going to slaughter him. I was petrified.
Lord take me home.
My Lord answered; to my relief, from in front of me, the chief of the area was waving and shouting from a top a motorcycle. He approached fast, alighted and ordered the men to move back. They obeyed. The colleague who was about to be slaughtered was pushed ahead and fell on his stomach and scampered to safety among our group.
It was horrible.
We were advised to keep off that area. That land belonged to the community and had been sold irregularly. Other buyers had suffered the same fate before.
Questions raced through my mind. Who had conned who? Did the Sacco officials con us or the seller conned them? Did anyone undertake a due diligence?
This was the only piece of property that I had been pronouncing to my family, the sweat of my six years of employment, it was hard to believe I will have to change this narrative and talk about spears, arrows and bows. My stomach churned.
As we left the area back to the hotel, as the locals’ voices faded in the background, as their bright colored Shukas blurred out of my sight, my dream of owning land faded with them. I felt like a mother who had lost her only baby and neither had the desire nor the man to get another one. I did not feel like investing in land again. I was done with land, to hell with investments.
This is a true story. The voice is a member of the Valentine Sacco that had been saving for Seven years, bought land in Mai Mahiu, and when they went to visit it on Sunday the 18th June 2017, they were nearly slaughtered in cold blood.
Avoid this kind of risk, click on the link below and read the attached guide to be on the safe side while purchasing land.