Ebola is not a term not known by many, in fact, it’s one of the most dreaded terminologies ever to be invented into language. Speak it anywhere and you will notice the helpless look in people’s faces, you will also feel your body react in a strange way like a computer that has just sensed a malware, or a zebra that has sensed danger (have you seen how they behave? So restless and constantly taping their hooves?).
Ebola is a deadly virus, dangerous than HIV! Trust me, you don’t want it to get to you, even the doctors are scared of it. Have you ever seen, someone bleeding from every opening in their body? Pores, nose, eyes, mouth, anal opening, name them… Me neither but Ebola can make it happen, it’s no joke.
However, I’m not going to talk about Ebola Virus or Ebola Syndrome the movie either coz I don’t do movie reviews!
I want to talk about a different Ebola Syndrome that is quickly attacking my village, rendering it unfriendly for people like me who try to earn albeit some little money through hard work…
To make you understand, I want you to follow different scenarios I’m going to paint to help you know what I mean…
My phone’s alarm blares out, it’s 6:30 am. I wake up to a very foggy and chilly morning and head to the bathroom for a cold bath.
I have to be at my shop, to hustle for my daily bread. Life hasn’t been easy, poor economy and business too has been bad, still I’m not deterred by all this.
Soon I’m done and taken my breakfast. I set off with optimism for a better day, my trademark smile intact.
I hit the road. Since it’s a short distance, I always opt to walk (helps one keep fit too). I’m busy scrolling through my phone along the tarmac road towards the market, I have to get to a market then take small feeder road on the right, that leads to the nearby centre about 2km away, where my shop is located, occasionally responding to greetings along the way…
“Wewe niaje Tony!” a voice interupts me, it’s Otieno. “Maze si unicheki ya macho!” He continues.
Not wanting him to take much of my time, I check my pocket and luckily I had some coins, I hand him a twenty shilling coin to his delight…
“Wee ni mtu yangu!” He says with a big smile.
Otieno is from my village, he is married with one kid, but has a second wife, alcohol. He does menial jobs but all the money. ends up in chang’aa dens. Handouts is what he lives on.
I’m almost next to the market when I notice Ochi, he is another one, the same case as Otieno.
“ANTONIO! ” he blasts when I finally reach him. ” Kunitupa nayo! ” he continues…
This is the usual jab, he has not seen me for a day mind you…
“Siunitolee lock mtu yangu, hata ya mbao tu! ” he finally opens up.
At this point, I’m almost next to the market and Julius who spends most of his time at the bus stop, spots us and comes running. When gets to us a smell hits me, he smells liquor, a sign ashatoa lock. He doesn’t want to be left out, he also wants kuonwa ya macho!
Lucky for me there are two twenty shilling coins left so I give them one each. They offer to walk me, possibly to wad off any other person who might come to bother me.
I’m now their MAN, untouchable!
When we get to the market, some of my boys try getting to me but are turned away.
At the turn off, they walk me a short distance, they deemed safe and bid me farewell.
” Wee ni msee wetu! ” Ochi says.
” Mtu wa pawa sana! ” Julius seconds…
I walk away deeply worried by this trend, able bodied and some educated youths always begging for handouts… This is what I call EBOLA SYNDROME!
This is how to detect someone with an Ebola Syndrome; most are drunkards while some not so don’t be caught unawares, they have no jobs but are married while others are not, they hang around market places and act very friendly when you meet so don’t be fooled, and the most notable one that should make you take to your heels, they’ll tell you how much you are lost and umewatupa, even if you were together the previous day, my friend run! This guys can smell money from a distance.
Do you have friends like that? Be warned, keep them at bay or you might get infected. It’s contagious. Infectious. Deadly.