Tag Archives: East Africa

Nairobi Traffic – still dangerous

This happened in front of me last night. The car was pulled over ahead of a culvert to let a very heavy truck pass by on a narrow road at night.

The truck glanced the front wing of the car and then, weirdly, instead of stopping just kept driving. He mangled the whole side of the car in the picture and then smashed into us as well. Luckily we were in a 4 x 4 this time.

A Kenyan policeman, with an AK 47, happened to be nearby. As the truck continued to move off after the crush he ran up the road after it, made his weapon ready and then dragged the driver out of his cab. Great work and better reactions than a policeman at home!

The driver admitted it was his fault and added that it was his first day on the job. This wasn’t enough to sort the situation out and he will be lucky to keep his job! The driver of the car was a Doctor and very upset. He threatened to sue for attempted murder, adding to the tension. As he said, “you don’t do that if you are a normal human”!

A reminder of the unpredictability of the roads here. Ride safe guys.

‘Tumaini’ – KiSwahili for ‘Hope’

If you look at the side of the blue truck container you can see the word ‘TUMAINI’ which in KiSwahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, means ‘Hope’. So who wrote it on a normal commercial truck and why?

Well, it’s a mix of the amazing African characteristics of positivity and optimism, partly a blend of religious metaphors of salvation and also a symbol of the daily struggle most face here.

Now have a look in the shadow of the truck between the wheel axles. Sitting quietly in the shade is the truck driver. He’s just getting on with fixing something in the cool at the hottest point of the day. He hopes to get it fixed. He hopes to get back on the road soon. He is Africa.