The Man With The Gun


If you honk at me when the lights have just turned green, I will put on my hazard and pretend the car has stalled. If you cut me off on the road I’m like an elephant, I won’t forget, I will trail you to your house. And report you to your wife. I silently curse those chicks who drive VW Polos and who are adversely allergic to acceleration lanes. You know them. The pesky ones who will have cars backup because they are waiting to join the road when Kingdom finally comes. I’m that guy who will eat his shoelace first before he lets anyone overlapping join traffic. I will eat my whole shoe if it’s a Probox.

I just don’t let things go on the road. I’m vindictive. I curse. I sometimes show the royal middle- finger. I find little mirth on the road and even less in driving. I’m a basket case when my foot is on the pedal.

If I’m a prick off the road on the road I’m a first-class prick. I allow things to foul up my whole morning: I will walk around mumbling to myself, cussing under my breath, feeling lava flow in my veins. I’m inconsolable. Incurable. Irredeemable. Anger is my co-driver on the road.

There is something evil I’ve always wanted to do. Normally while dropping off the princess to school in the morning I usually get off Waiyaki Way and join Musa Gitau Rd into Lavington. In the mornings there are usually this bunch of matatus that illegally join Waiyaki Way by cutting right across Waiyaki Way from Musa Gitau Rd thus blocking the guys like me joining in. It’s the single-most selfish thing anyone can do on the road in the morning.

I’ve always wanted to block one of these morons before they join, get out of the car and thrust the cold business end of a pistol in the driver’s mouth and then proceed to politely ask him to suck it. I obsess about this. To see fear in the man’s eyes. To imagine the chap on the passenger seat gasp and coil away from him. To imagine this insolent and insensitive matatu driver wetting his pants and seat as he chokes on the muzzle. I want this ghastly and graphic experience to leave that matatu driver with a bad (metallic) taste in his mouth. Every time he’s eating and he’s bringing a spoon to his mouth, I want him to remember that morning in traffic and how he would have killed to wear an adult diaper before leaving the house that morning.

And this is the only reason I can never acquire a firearm: because I will shoot a matatu driver at the drop of a coin.

There are two types of middle-class men in Nairobi today: The ones who own firearms and those who don’t. The ones who own guns are also categorised into two classes; the Gunslingers and the Good Fellas. The Good Fellas are guys who acquire firearms for responsible reasons; for sport or genuine personal protection. Forget the loudmouths in bars who like saying, “wuot is money?” these guys handle real money and they need guns for protection. This guy won’t pull out a gun on a whim, no matter how badly your provoke him but when he does, he will fire it.

The Gunslingers are those who buy guns to compensate for their premature ejaculation. Now I want to make it clear that this article is about the latter not the Good Fellas. So let’s not get it twisted.

In socio-economic context the middle-class and upper-middle class are the most concerned about personal safety. They want guns. You heard of It’s an online portal that provides accurate evidence-based country-by-country intelligence on gun violence, gun control and policy. According to them there were some 40,000 guns in private hands in Jan. And that’s just the legal guns. There are folk out there with illegal guns in their Subarus, just waiting for you to annoy them on the road or look at their women for a second longer than necessary in the bars, then they will have a reason to brandish one in your face.

The most common firearm in Nairobi in private hands in Nairobi, according to an informed source who packs a gun himself, is the Ceska 75D.

If you Google this gun you might understand why it’s common by just looking at it; it’s kinda sexy; a little over 1kg, 106mm in length and 120mm barrel length (can fit perfectly in a big matatu driver mouth). She uses a 9mm bullet, which goes for anything between 70bob and 120bob apiece. This bullet can travel at a speed of about 9.8m per second so it’s unlikely a matatu driver can outrun it if he tried. Any cat with rudimentary training can hit anything smaller than an elephant with it as long as it isn’t more than 50m away. Which means a guy drunk out of his shorts will can still nail you with it at the parking outside Brew Bistro should you cross him.

The Ceska 75D costs anything between Ksh 180k to 200k, the price of a small “ka-prot” in the bowels of Isinya. If you think 180bob for a bottle of beer is theft you most likely can’t afford a Ceska 75D. It’s for the birds.

I can assure you that VAT isn’t your worst nightmare. A Ceska in the hands of a Gunslinger is. It gets nastier if he is either drunk or is in the presence of a woman he’s trying to impress. Which, when you think about it, is the same thing really.

In fact you would rather a thug pulled a gun on you because a thug just needs your money – or your car – then he will be on his way and will most likely not harm you if you don’t try your tattered Stephen Seagal chops. But when a Gunslinger pulls a gun on you it’s a different kettle of fish; he doesn’t really want anything from you other than to arouse something in him that, unfortunately, has got nothing to do with you. He wants to feel important. Revered. Powerful. Respected. He weakly feeds off your fear. You are only but a mannequin onto which he hangs these frivolous ambitions.

You see them, these Gunslingers, at parties and bars. Swaggering in like a man with a big secret. Feeling like he has mufasa nuts. You can always tell a man who has a gun and a man who has Jesus. The man with a gun might just shade your blood, but the man with Jesus won’t, because Jesus already did. You will realise that the Gunslinger is cocky even before he cocks his gun. His gun is a told for many trivial and often complicated pursuits but what is most saddening is that its supreme role is that he uses it as a cock. The Gunslinger has transferred his manhood to the butt of the gun. The gun does things that he wouldn’t do without it. Makes him what he can never be. He will make other men cower. He will make women cower. In his head he’s a hero, the saviour of the metropolis, the sheriff who keeps everybody in line. And we are all peasants before his barrel who’re undeserving of nay a word.

I’ve only seen a gun only twice in real life and it’s not as sexy as when you Google one. It’s like gangrene. Have you seen an old septic jigger wound? Yup. A gun’s ugliness is what it personifies.

First time it was pointed at me by this thugs who took away my Nokia 5110, my first phone in 2001. I didn’t have time to have a good look at the gun; I was busy trying control my urethra. By the way there should be a rule against pointing a gun at another man when he’s in the presence of his woman, his child or his dog. A gun to your face strips one off every single fibre of his manhood. It makes you feeble. Takes away your sex and wells up such horrifying and embarrassing fear in you that you never imagined existed. And it turns you into the gun handler’s bitch. It’s unfair to place a man in that situation. If you want another man to be your bitch, at least buy him a leash first.

The second time I saw a gun was very fleetingly when some guy was showing some two ladies this gun outside a large parking lot at a hang. He was maybe in his early 40’s. He was holding it, unwrapped in a brown paper bag. The women gawped at it. When our eyes met momentarily he gave me one of those cocky looks. That look that said he was the man. Like he was Samuel l Jackson. I doubt if Samuel L would wrap a gun in a brown paper bag, though.
The Gunslinger acquires a gun because he lacks. He might be successful businessman or have good connection in the government, but he still needs to fill that void. Money and status can’t bring him that, he needs to smell fear off you to feel like the man.

At this rate you will soon meet this Gunslinger. In bar. In traffic. At a party. He will point it at you, hoping to put the fear of the gun in you. But you won’t try and be a hero. The only heroes before the gun are dead. So you will let him hold your nuts for you. Because that’s what this is about, a man rendering you useless before him.

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  1. Another well written piece, Biko.

    I hope that all those Gunslingers in Nairobi will now realize that the secret is out! If they brandish a gun anyhow, then they will be confirming that they are victims of embarrassing premature episodes, and the gun is an attempt to erase these debilitating memory.

    Surely, no man should point a gun to another right before the unfortunate ‘victim’s’ woman, child, or dog, I agree. But to expect any decency from the Gunslinger is to ascribe masculinity to him, yet all his masculinity is wrapped in the gun.

    Keep ‘me coming. Doesn’t hurt to tone down the ratings to family reading, though, Biko!

  2. “You can always tell a man who has a gun and a man who has Jesus” good line,,do u drive a subaru? nice read Biko, always a pleasure

  3. lol……The Gunslingers are those who buy guns to compensate for their premature ejaculation – thats a killer line right there. Good job Biko.

  4. Hmm..certainly!And i shudder at the thought that that what men of clothe want of poor souls like us..Guns and roses!

  5. Nice rant.

    Only, you got them mo’fos with guns all labelled wrong. If I were to breakdown your analogy based on Stephen King’s The Gunslinger series and Martin Scorcese’s mob’s capper ‘The Goodfellas’ then it is the goodfellas you just described up here.

    The Gunslingers actually have a plot and they are headed somewhere and they don’t shoot or kill just for the heck of it. It is your everyday no-hopper next-door slug-happy goodfella that you need to be afraid of; veeery, very afraid. The goodfella has an itch on his balls he thinks the reek of cordite off his gun will nicely scratch – at the expense of the targeted part of your sorry body that is. That was the M.O of Scorcese’s Goodfellas – not a damn care in the world and a load of bodies to prove it.

    Now, I understand you picked up reading after some hiatus. When you are done with the sissy stuff you presented to us awhile back please do get hold of Lee Child’s ‘Jack Reacher’s Rules’. Please do. It will at some points make a difference between peeing on yourself and going all cockamamie on a fellow with a gun who might just be the local reps for NAA. (Get the book, you will then find out who the NAAs are)


    1. Kidikibudi! Where have you been?
      “When you are done with the sissy stuff you presented to us awhile back…” SMH

    2. Went sissy after A fault in our stars huh? He shows the royal middle finger on the roads. Surely, that’s going cockamamie level 9. No? The things he wants to do to matatu drivers can’t count for naught, surely. Besides, you have to be romantic to to court words.

  6. After lengthy talks (from my missus) which are usually rants about road rage, i realize am not the only one who wishes death on the rude road blocking matatu drivers…i always envision a team of vigilante fellas riding badass graffiti bikes with tasers ..yes they are illegal, but the gang would do rounds in the morning finding those stage and lane blocking matatu drivers and tase them ..till they plead “don tase me bro” fear instilling, but utter painful shock ..this is good therapy am not the only enraged mad man am made to feel by the missus .& the “wuot is money? line, boss we need to pay you.. for writing ..seriously uko tops

  7. 1. Ah, now this left a good taste in the mouth. I like the way you plotted it.

    2. Some bastard showed me the finger at Chaka road for allegedly blocking him while all I was doing was letting the fellas on the incoming lane turn into a side street instead of blocking them and making the traffic worse. That was 2 months ago. Although I flipped him double-birds, I’m not sure he saw them. I’ve been on the lookout for the damn bastard just so I can return the favor. I’m not good at letting things go.

  8. Ceska 75D…….a little over 1kg, 106mm in length and 120mm barrel length (can fit perfectly in a big matatu driver mouth)


  9. Jack, been up and down (like Old Nick himself before The Good Sir Up asking for a slug-fest with Job).

    Hope this ain’t no katzenjammer of a response that’ll bring Mufasa (ule wetu wa high school) scrambling for my skin, he has a taste for it. How’s the gang?!

  10. They called her Fatma Nimra,a pretty lady with rossy cheeks that tempted one to
    bite.She had an air about herself,seemingly repulsive but pleasingly attractive.She
    was almost beautiful,with features that reminded you of a painting you saw in a museum store,So vivid yet you could not recollect the name of the painter.

    Mascara gave her eye lashes the desired edge,dark,alluring in contrast to her rather grey eyes and white skin.Beyond the grey eyes rests tales of the unknown, eerie,spooky and un exploited oceans.Like a sacred secret not to be revealed to the mortals.She had a long pony tail, pulled tightly into a band at the back of her head and let loose into a hanging fall.This was revealed one morning when she came from the shower to collect a delivery at the door,her Hijab was off.

    The neighbours thought she was a lawyer in the city,or a secretatary of a major firm.You see,she had just moved in,three months earlier.Others thought she taught in a Muslim Madrasa.No one has talked to her apparently,but she was sure to engage a toothy smile in your direction as she passed you on pavements.

    She lived in a two bedroom apartment,alone,quietly,tightly..Her curtains were always drawn.In the nights,an orange light threw her living room into a cheerful ambiance.It must be a chandalier.

    One could get a subtle glimpse of her movements in her rooms.She was not a sitter this one,she touched this,cleaned that,read that.She could finally plunge on a couch,sit tight,switch on the TV and open a book,a thick one.It was not clear what she did first,watched the Tv or rummaged through the pages of her book.

    The kitchen was not her favorite place.She ate out,or on this particular night,she opened a small parcel wrapped in an aluminum coated paper.It was chicken breasts,two or three plump pieces.She dug her incisors into the fleshy morsel, squishy drippings oiling her fingers as piece after piece found their way between her molars.

    It was then that her phone rang,unmistakably an oriental ring tone.The time was 0000 hours.She held back,then like a stealthy lioness reached out for the phone,adjusted her Hijab and then placed it on her ear.The lights went off.

    “As-salam alaykum,okhty” A distinct male voice,with a thick middle Eastern accent.

    “Wa laikum As Salaam, Akhee” Fatma

    “How is the weather,Okhty?”

    “The winds are still,Akhee”

    “Are my babies delivered,Okhty?”

    “The babies are home,Akhee”

    “Alhamdulillahi rabbil alameen”

    “Bismillah ir-rahman ir-rahim”

    “May he shine your path in your way of light,Baraka Allah, Okhty!”

    “In sha’ Allah”


    An hour later, the lights flooded back.She remained sitted at the same spot,her thick book in hand,pensive,her eyes rivetted on a page…She looked more like a pillar of snow,her alacrity oozing out and in its place a sinister calmness veiled her presence.

    Outside,a light wind blew over and between roof tops and balconies,rising rustling leaves and twigs,swaying window curtains in gentle submissions.An owl hooted somewhere ,sending an omnious silence in the dark Friday night.Everything seem to go silent,and one could envision ghosts gropping in the backyard.

    The time was 0345 hours,saturday morning…..

  11. what inspired this today? why today? a matatu driver? If I didnt know better I would say someone sliced a damsel from you using a gun

  12. “…….I’m inconsolable. Incurable. Irredeemable.” That’s my line right there! I know somebody who is totally written off, he can’t be refurbished?! Your humor Biko, is pathetic!

  13. Ooh Biko I love you . Keep writing . Once again a really really nice read .
    I have to say this again .. Biko I love you .

  14. This is sad, i use to look forward to Biko’s postings but i think his last posting put me off, sad but unsubscribing.

  15. “….i was busy trying to control my urethra….”…lol
    Wat happend to the days you used to post more often?….can we try that as an end of year gift to high skul!?!

  16. lovely read, Biko. Mufasa’s always make me look forward to those stares when I walk,remembering the latest lesson in high school.

  17. Somehow my anticipation on a new post just fizzled out as I read. Kinda like when you burst a balloon and getting a “frrrrrrrrrr” instead of a “pop”. But I could be suffering from a post-eclipse, rain and traffic blues. Or I’m afeared of the road rage and gun cocktail, raising an enjoyment lock.

  18. Oh Biko please write often, will you? I have a friend who owns a gun and i will make sure he reads this piece, not only this piece but all your good work. Nice read.

  19. This piece makes quite poignant observations about the crazy driving habits of the matatu driver. That said, however, I think they are a much maligned lot whereas the real problem lies in the systematic breakdown that is Kenya. What needs to be done is to cure the illness itself and not merely the symptoms of the same. Here is my take on matatu drivers.

    Man Njoro
    I am a matatu driver. A matatu driver with a family to feed. Selina, Loi and Nimo. Three beautiful girls. Three beautiful girls who inspire me to wake up very early in the morning and go out to hustle like all the other men. Three beautiful girls that make me read and reread the sticker on my windscreen: God bless the work of my hands.

    I met Selina while doing a ‘squad’; essentially a short round trip (two or three stages) to pick up passengers and then hand back the vehicle to the official driver. It’s a natural progression; ‘squad’ tout to official tout to driver. To survive, the ‘squad’ tout, being self-employed, depends on these round trips, or ‘Kamagera’- when he substitutes, off-peak, the official tout. Anyway, there she was. This angel that made me hyperventilate. This angel that nearly made me cause an accident as I made an illegal 3600 turn. Were it not for the fact that I remembered that none of my touting friends is conversant with first aid, I’d have had a heart attack there and then.

    See, this angel had the face of a homely wife. No, her eyes were not smeared with mud nor her fingernails manicured; she was a natural beauty. Then again, she had strong hands suited for farm work, or peeling potatoes or doing braids… hands that could prosper a man by complementing his earnings. Further, she was well endowed physically; more so, the hips- an indication of her capability to bear healthy children that wouldn’t require constant medication or hospitalisation. She didn’t pay fare and I got myself a number. And a wife.

    Beautiful Selina, she has a boutique. I pay fees for Loi and Nimo plus rent while she caters for the other household expenses. Come Sunday, the whole family goes out for excursions in Uhuru Park and partake lunch in Kenchic. Our family photo album is rich: Nimo on top of the KICC, a family portrait with ‘Fimbo ya Nyayo’ as the background, me greeting Obama, Selina greeting Michelle- amazing what the photographers can do.

    So I got Selina’s number. The picture of humility, she made me cut off all links with other girls. My goodtime girls. Girls I could only call when I was loaded. Girls I could only take to Nandos, at a minimum, that is. When I found out that she was pregnant, I did her justice- went to her home with a few elders to make things official. God willing, we will soon have a proper church wedding; for she is a staunch Christian and my heart breaks every time she looks at me with those dolls eyes every time we are at a friend’s wedding; hers.

    Selina, she gave me aspirations. Aspirations to be a driver and eventually own my own matatu. So, every time I overlap, I mumble her name for good luck, for I am surrounded by evil. Set targets for the day by the owner of the matatu, irrespective of the road’s conditions. A traffic cop out to appease his boss as well as make some Christmas money, an impatient gun-toting private motorist, instant fining by the mobile traffic court, SACCO contributions, upkeep for my elderly and infirm parents…

    My driver friends, they joke. They say. If you hit a pedestrian at night and there is no witness, you scamper. That or you spend ten years in prison. However, listening to them, you can tell they aren’t joking.

    So, I overlap and dream of a sunny tomorrow… Selina.

    1. First, not all motorists have the same love story as this guy. Second, I realize love conquers all, but then his PDA in this case is irresponsibly stepping on other people’s toes….and that’s not fair. Not all is fair in love and war

  20. She uses a 9mm bullet…..didn’t know guns are ‘female personified’ and I am not sure any woman would want that line used in reference to her…..;)

  21. “You can always tell a man who has a gun and a man who has Jesus. The man with a gun might just shed your blood, but the man with Jesus won’t, because Jesus already did.”

    Ha ha ha. So true. Great piece as always Biko.

  22. @kidikibudi good to see you back…and right you are, i was baying for your blood at the first comment…

    >>>All in all, fresh perspective…

  23. I have followed your posts silently since you started. Kindly go back and read the introduction of yuppy city for you have become what you said you would never become. Self prophesy man

  24. I own an old-school Beretta M9, and it lives in my safe. I have never in my 25 years of owning it walked about with it,brandished it, or threatened anyone with it. However, I have shot back at home-invaders and convinced them them to try another home instead. In doing so, I had the great the great fortune of NOT taking a life, but instead dissuading a misspent concept. ‘Nuff said.

  25. ” By the way there should be a rule against pointing a gun at another man when he’s in the presence of his woman, his child or his dog”

    Always a good read, but ‘shade’ blood Biko? Hire me to proof read for you:)

  26. The subtle, convoluted pseudo-sadisticness* of this post makes it one the best I have read on your blog sir. I like twisted…and this post tickles that little evil streak every human fights everyday to suppress. Very brave.

  27. Biko i love love love this article because apart from being “lol type” i relate to it completely!!! It is fantastic!

  28. ….I’m that guy who will eat his shoelace first before he lets anyone overlapping join traffic. I will eat my whole shoe if it’s a Probox……
    Lol, you’re funny!

  29. on the road rage, boss I feel you! waah it drives me crazy. I have actually wanted to apply for a gun permit which has been MET WITH SERIOUS OBJECTIONS from my wife, my dad, and everyone close to me. I am going to apply sooner or later, but for PROTECTION ONLY

  30. Petty… is what that is. Why does it always boil down to some deficiency? Owning a gun to compensate? really? Case in point….. poor people rag on rich people for no reason. False intelligence is a dab hand at finding excuses for its weaknesses. Buy a gun…. good fella. Too many mistakes…. proof reading is your friend.

  31. Biko, thanks for posting that. I had had of their increased use in Kenya but I hadn’t realized how close to me they can come through Gunslingers. Thanks once again… keep writing us such articles.

  32. Rule No. 3 on gun safety, never point a weapon at a person you don’t intend to shoot. When a Good Fella draws down on you the last thing you will see will be his muzzle flash. Great piece sir.

  33. The man with a gun might just shade your blood, but the man with Jesus won’t, because Jesus already did. These boys. God see them

  34. Waah, you scared me there for a moment. Perfect day to read this as I experienced bouts of road rage today.
    Please pray it doesn’t get out of hand that I get a gun for the driver