I only saw it coming the last microsecond. I simply could not react fast enough. The slap hit me hard across the face. The pain was not instant. The force was though, I stumbled back and held on to the matatu I had just alighted. The left piece of my earphone fell of my ear just in turn to hear her screaming.

Malaya wewe, unataka kunipeleka wapi?

She was talking to someone behind her and walking hurriedly away.

That is how my day started. 7am alighting from a matatu to be greeted with a slap from a woman who I have never seen and who has clearly also never met me. I gathered this quickly as I slid the earphone piece back in.

Bitches be crazy, I think to myself and walk away.

I decided it was even crazier to walk away after a stranger had just slapped you without wanting to know why and so I stopped to assess the situation.

She was a short lady. About 5’2″. dressed in a white blouse and a long black, flowing churchy ankle-skirt. These clothes were dirty, like she had slept on the streets in them. For a couple of days. She seemed confused and disoriented. To a point that it could be confused with being angry. She was hurrying away from a man, who I first thought was her pimp then immediately switched to police and then finally decided it was nobody. She was screaming curses that I could still hear even with my earphones on.

The reason I first thought that the guy he was walking away from was her pimp was because of her foul mouth. We associate curse words to whores, sluts and prostitutes. As is loud laughter and skimpy clothing. But this lady was not skimpily dressed. If she’d been cleaner you would have thought she was going to church.

I then thought the guy was the police or at least the city council because of how much she was trying to constrain the behaviour of this woman. He wanted to make her stop this craziness and then, maybe, lock her up. He was wearing these khaki coats that I decided were for plain clothed police and Kanjo (city council askaris).

But finally I decided he was just a random guy when this lady, as she was hurriedly crossing the road, stopped mid track and slapped a guy on a wheelchair. That is when I was like. Yes! She didn’t just target me, she is slapping everyone. I am not special. But this feeling of elation soon wore off as I realised that she just slapped a disabled guy who couldn’t run after her. So maybe Mr. Khaki was also slapped by this woman and was trying to get her to stop hitting every guy she met. Having concluded that, I walked away.

I was to be informed later that she had started her assaults all the way from the other side of town and was just going around being crazy. This made me kind of sad. Here was a woman with deep issues and probably won’t get any help. If she comes by the real police she is bound to get locked up and I doubt that will help. She seemed picking on the men like that was a clue as to why she was behaving that way. Maybe she had taking to much of a cocktail of drugs, or maybe she was clinically insane. Either way, she seemed like she needed help and it also seemed like that was the last thing the she was going to get. Poor her. We really don’t take mental health seriously.

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