7:14 PM March, 26th 2016
At the Outering Road, Thika Road junction.
“Kijana Wacha ukaongee na wakubwa mbele.” (Young man lets go you talk with the officers).
I am walked by this 6.4 tall, muscular man, who has just confiscated my Camera. He is with this very young girl in a see-through tight, the top not those that require a description. Just imagine it.
2 Hours Earlier.
I was on my couch, because KPLC has decided to spoil my Easter Saturday. I open my Facebook and the first notification is this friend of mine Siloma Posted a new article. I read it. Its awesome. I had a glimpse of what we had been up-to the previous evening. (Another Flashback)
We are in town to repair his camera. I take to a Fundi and he asks us to give him two and a half hours for it to be ready. While trying to decide on what to do within this period, a challenge from post about Photographers not being terrorist comes into mind. We head to Uhuru Park for the challenge. The sun is too high for us to get the shot we are looking for.
We try all creative ideas we can get.
Some we achieve others, other we achieve something different from what we want. This guy would continously say that there are no bad photos and true to it.
Its 6:30 PM 25th March, 2016. We have to go get the camera.
Back to my Arrest story.
This time the gentle man asks to me stay outside as he get in past the headquarters gates. I wait clueless not knowing about my fate. I had not even taken a shot worth sharing as I had just started adjusting my ISO before all this happened.
Just before I could even make a call, But who could I call at this time? I was called in. Frisked by the guy on guard to man the gate. He picks my ID and calls his Superior.
The thoughts of how bloggers get mistreated now are flooding my mind. He comes in and asks me to let him view the photos I had taken and my bag. I open my bag for him to search. All they find is my charger, which he looks so much critical trying to find what I had hidden. For my card holder, he used a torch to try and find a microcamera I was not aware I had.
It came to the Photos.
I had to explain the photos one by one. Why I used what angle, What I was aiming to achieve. The problem came when I appeared in a photo. I had to clearly explain why (me) a Photographer should be in His own camera photos. I never knew it is improper to be taken photos with your own camera.
“Mbona Uko na Nairobi Mzima kwa hii picha?” (Why do you have the most important Building in Nairobi in focus.)
“I am just an upcoming blogger and photographer who Loves Nairobi” Is all I had to say.
I explained that I am a blogger but he could not listen to me. He continued viewing all my 512 images in my camera.
“Mbona Ukaamua kupiga picha usiku. Itaonekana aje?” ( why did you decide to take Photos at night. They can’ t be seen.)
“Leta Simu Yako.” (Bring Your Phone)
I pick my phone open it as he looks asks why I have such a password. I have to explain that its just a normal Lock for a Blackberry. His response was ” Naskia ati hizi ndio simu ziko na top security” (these are the phones with top security)
He looked through all the photos, constantly asking me whether he was intruding on my privacy. My Birthday family photos intrigued him. This was until he got to my graduation photos, he got to ask me about my graduation day. On learning where I schooled, he asked about some courses and their fees. I explained as he was still scrolling until he found this one
“Mbona unapiga gari ya polisi picha? Ndio hii …Ndio hii… Ndio… Ndii….N….” Then silence.
I broke the silence. I explained that it was sent to me on WhatsApp. He got ashamed and gave me back my phone.
“Wewe nii member wa Bloggers Kenya? ( Are you a member of bloggers Kenya)
I nodded and hurriedly picked my Wallet from the table to find my BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya) ID card. I found it.
I handed it to him he looked it for 15 seconds and put it on the table.
“Hii ndio imekusaidia” (this is what has saved you) Pointing at the my BAKE card. He then asked me to Pack and check whether I had anything missing. Packed the camera, the Lens that now has finger prints all over, and the battery that is not it natural form.
8:04PM Saturday, 26th March 2016
He then leads me to the gates. Asks me whether I had everything four time, tells me there are places not to be seen with a camera, then lets me out.
I am lucky I was not mishandled like some of my fellow bloggers have and will. But always have you BAKE ID with you it may save you on a rainy day…. No…….. NO…currently there heat is too much. It will save you on a hot day