In precarious times, you are master of your fate and captain of your soul

Friday July 31 2020

A floor sticker in a lift at the Nairobi Baptist Church on July 26, 2020 denoting the prescribed social distancing as part of health measures against spread of coronavirus. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG


When entering a public service vehicle in Kenya today, you would wish the seat next to you will be left vacant because chances are high you will have somebody next to you.

It’s either you pay more fare or if you are blessed with a stern look and a stubborn face to stop any person entering the vehicle from sitting next to you.

It is perplexing, when people can see that the vehicle is full and still enter. If you were expecting the conductor to be on your side, forget it. Often you will be bombarded with an avalanche of excuses. You will be told: “Times are difficult; we have hardly been making any money during this period.”

Thus, if you want to keep that seat free throughout your trip, your best bet is paying more.

Forget about sanitiser, initially conductors were keen on ensuring that they poured a drop or two before on your palms before boarding. This is now not too common.
As number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Kenya, there is talk that President Uhuru Kenyatta may lockdown the country. This decision will obviously be informed by the more people interact, the higher the risk of contracting Covid-19.

Some of us who are faithful to the coronavirus guidelines still practice social distancing, wear face masks, but it is getting harder to do so, especially now that there is a push to go back to some sort of normal.


In recent days, walking in Nairobi streets, you can see individuals wearing face masks but a few metres away others walk casually with masks on their chins.

Places of worship

With Covid-19 restrictions relaxed, places of worship are now open for some age groups. Services supposed to be shorter and young children not permitted; it is no surprise that the number of worshippers is a lot smaller than what was anticipated.

Women normally go to church with their children; so this explains why numbers have dropped.

Coronavirus is showing us that we can live differently and giving a new perspective on the way things can be done.

We are seeing weddings, engagement parties, bridal showers, and just any gathering lasting less than two hours, and being attended by less than 20 people.

But in the new way of doing things, there are some guidelines that will be tough to enforce.
Many meetings are being held in tents and food is usually served. To eat or drink, you will have to take off your face mask.

Many of us sit close to each other when eating, and that how we socialise over a meal. This is the same way we socialise over a drink.

Nerima Wako-Ojiwa, executive director Siasa Place @NerimaW