The real reason I visited that collapsed Embakasi building

I visited the site too.

I visited the site not just to witness the “work of the devil” like most people in the crowd, but for something else that I never ever saw myself doing.


The site of the building that collapsed in Kware, Embakasi

A road under construction in Pipeline, Embakasi

The building, a seven-storey old-looking structure located in Kware, Pipeline, Embakasi collapsed on Monday night around ten. It’s said that tenants started noticing cracks on the wall early in the day, and some even went ahead and alerted the caretaker of the apartment, who assured them it was nothing serious and he will make sure it’s repaired the next day.

Unfortunately it never saw the said day.

Unlike the building that recently collapsed in Huruma Estate, or that one of Pipeline in 2013, fortunately this one didn’t claim many lives. In fact the only deaths I heard of was about the unlucky woman who succumbed to her injuries together with her child and another kid. The latter was actually grapevine news (straight outta ma sister’s Mouth). May their poor souls rest in peace.

Maybe God had intervened on time or Kenyans have learnt from the past and are now more vigilant, which will be very encouraging.

I heard that by the time the house was caving in most of the tenants had already left the building and only watching what they had been calling home crumble down from a safe distance.

That evening I had just come in from the shop heavy on thought about everything going on in my crazy life. Top on the list was my sick mama. She had only arrived in the city the previous day for treatment and I was the one sent to pick her up in the early chilly morning. I grudgingly went. She had traveled by night, spending more than ten hours on the road which was unacceptable in her state of health but unfortunately we couldn’t afford a plane ticket from Kisumu city on time.

In the future we hope to avoid this like our brothers and sisters from the Coastal region who now have the option of traveling by train, and at the same time paying less than those travelling by bus. Heard that an economy ticket costs only 700 shillings and taking less than six hours from Nairobi to Mombasa.

But only God knows if the famous SGR (Standard Gauge Railway) will ever reach Malaba Border, the intended destination. In Kenya we know everything is political, even when it comes to development.

I finished supper (ugali and steaming stew) and was almost sneaking into my lonely bed when I saw the breaking news on the TV.

My phone started buzzing.

One call after another they came in, ranging from family members all the way to friends, all checking in to make sure I’m alright. And each one of them at the end of each call felt relieved, I could tell. The whole thing made me feel really loved.

If not for the fact that it was all because of a tragedy that had happened, sure I would have danced through the night like a spoiled rich kid from the Westland area.

I turned off the TV and lazily dropped on bed. Closed my eyes to try to catch some sleep in vain. Something was in my mind. I had ensured most of the people I cared about in Pipeline Estate were accounted for.

Except one.

My ex girlfriend.

The next day the first thing I did as soon as I stepped out of bed was to put on my sneakers and rush out. I went down the stairs at a speed that left a security guard at the entrance baffled. Hit the streets with a foul-smelling mouth and on a grumbling stomach, but I didn’t care.

Along the way some voice was asking me to dial her number but I couldn’t. I had promised myself never to dial that number again, and was going to keep that promise.

With every step I took, noticed was leading me far away from where she stays with her current boyfriend (of course I know where she lives). I felt relieved but angry at the same time.

I was angry at her for not being among last night callers. Or maybe she too, just like me was rushing to the same place to check if I was among those buried in the rubble. You never know. In some sort of way, life is twisted.

2 thoughts on “The real reason I visited that collapsed Embakasi building

  1. Embakasi is one hell of a concrete jungle but nobody should lose a life because of incompetent county & NCA officials in this day and age.May the lady and her kid rest in peace…


    1. Thanks for your reply Peter. True, no one should be losing life because of the incompetent government agencies. After the aftermath of the Huruma tragedy, they earmarked a number of buildings for demolition but up to now they are still standing tall.


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