A DAY IN AFRICA - BLOG INSIDE
The GSU is a paramilitary unit of the Kenyan police. They are a brutal force, well known because of the damage they inflict on the human body, and the enthusiasm in which they break riots. I mean these guys are so ruthless that not only do they leave human bodies on the ground but also dead chickens and cats.
Tourists wanting to visit Africa are always advised to check the embassy website for updates on security. The reason for this is because of instability in African countries. 10 years of peace can overnight turn into a genocide due to catalysts like tribalism or politics. For us, growing up in Africa we had to do the same. I mean, not check with the embassy, but constantly listen to the news before going to town. But one day, I didn’t and I was only a teenager.
I remember standing in the middle of Nairobi City, window shopping when suddenly people started running. One moment, the streets were crowded and the next, there was nobody in sight. Not a single car on the road. I remember standing there in the middle of the street, shocked by what was happening. The wind came around the corner and picked up the litre on the ground, and everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. How could a street be so empty and yet so loud? Get off the road Robert! an inner voice screamed in my head. I took a step back, and then another until my back hit the wall. I could feel a change in the air, a stillness, a terror. Get off the road Robert - now! I jumped into an alley just as the sound of powerful engines reached my ears. I was breathing hard and my heart was pounding in my chest. And then I saw them. The worst nightmare of the Nairobi people – The GSU Squad. Hundreds of soldiers on Lorries with weapons. The trucks drove slowly, and rifles pointed at imaginary targets. I became one with the alley and prayed they would not see me. On this day, they did not. I stayed in the alley for hours and made it home safely. But till today, I remember the moment of terror I felt. In Africa, it’s important to listen to the news every day. There’s a reason why it’s called a developing continent.