Daily struggles for the ordinary man

I knew that if I did not make a plan, I would not board the kombi and even the next.  People would just rush in a disorderly manner as usual.

I left home late than usual and by the time I arrived at the bus stop, there were many people. It was unusually cold and it felt like I had not put any defences against the harsh weather conditions. My hand-made woollen jersey and the jacket were no match for the chilly weather. I had my hands deep in my pockets to shield them from the ravaging weather.

I knew that if I did not make a plan, I would not board the kombi and even the next.  People would just rush in a disorderly manner as usual.

After several minutes of waiting, a kombi suddenly came screeching to a halt just where I was standing. I don’t remember boarding the kombi, rather I was shoved by the other passengers as people jostled to get in. I found myself at the back seat and Mai VaJohn came and sat by my side and I was squeezed to the window.

The conductor was shouting, “CopaCabana! CopaCabana! CopaCabana!”

The conductor appeared mad enough as he hung on the open door. He was joined by another man on the door. The other man had just a vest on his body which left his shoulders and biceps exposed to the cold.

The kombi took off in a cloud of dust and the driver nearly missed running over a pedestrian.

The driver drove recklessly and because of the traffic jam he encroached on the next lane, putting us at risk of oncoming traffic.

I could hardly breathe as I was squeezed against the window. There was a foul smell as if one of the passengers had not seen a bath for weeks.

Like the others I passed my US$1 fare to the passenger in front of me. When I looked at the clock on my itel phone, I panicked. I was already late for work.

There was too much traffic on the road and even as the driver tried to weave in and out of the lanes, the kombi moved slowly. The blasting of horns from the other vehicles added to the confusion.

“Someone at the back has not paid,” said the conductor.

We all looked at each other mournfully.

Some of the passengers at the front seats all looked backward at us who were occupying the backseat.

“I want my money, don’t play with me,” said the conductor.

It was always easy for passengers at the back seat to be accused of not paying. I had paid and I had seen the other three passengers I was sharing the seat with, pay.

No one said anything and this must have riled the conductor.

“Driver! Stop the kombi, these people think I am playing,” said the conductor.

We all grumbled, we were all late for work.

Then the unthinkable happened, the driver tried to halt the kombi at the shoulder of the road and an oncoming sedan swerved and hit our kombi. The driver lost control of the kombi and the conductor who was standing at the door was flung out onto the road and was run over by another vehicle I had not seen. Suddenly, passengers were all screaming at the sad turn of events.

I was the last person to disembark from the kombi. Most of the vehicles had halted and there was more confusion.

The conductor lay sprawled on the road but he was alive to see another day. He was injured badly though. I was desperate to make a distress call at work to report that I had encountered a problem. Unfortunately I did not even have airtime. It was a bad morning altogether.

*Onie Ndoro OnieX@90396982

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