On the eve of this year’s census that ended on August 31, Kenyans were upbeat about the exercise.

One of the ‘award-wining’ photos was that of a young man with a dusty face, captioned; well, the man behind the photo is Benard Karigo; a team leader of Kudu Hill Safaris Limited.

He says, the photo was taken in 2016 after enduring a lengthy ride on a lorry from Nairobi to Magadi.

“I was working in a remote village in Magadi at the time, but had taken ‘leave’ to spend some time with my family and friends in Kiambu.

I received a call from my boss while in Nairobi. She was the iron lady of the company. I was scared stiff. I picked the call and when she asked where I was, I lied that I was in Magadi,” he revealed.

She wanted to meet me over lunch. I lied that I was somewhere in Magadi, but could not make it in time as I was showing a guest around the lake. I knew I was toast. She had no idea I was in Kimabu, eight hours away,” reveals Karigo who had sneaked out to go and enjoy life in Nairobi that weekend.

She told Karigo that she had planned a meeting with managing director later in the evening around 8pm to discuss his contract among other issues.

“A loud echo vibrated on the walls of my small head, I was enjoying a great time in house in my home in Kiambu County with a few friends,” he said.

This meant Karigo had almost eight hours to travel from Nairobi to Magadi by road on a potholed and dusty stretch.

Two hours later, Karigo arrived in Kiserian and after waiting for two more hours, he could not get a matatu to Magadi. He enquired how much it would cost by taxi, and a cab driver told him he would have to cough Sh7,000 for the trip.

“A local Maasai, realising the urgency of my situation gave me an idea to hop onto a lorry heading to Magadi to take cattle to the market. Hii inatoka tu sahii na lorry haisikiangi mashimo,” he said convincingly.

Karigo left Kiserain at 5:30pm sitting on a sack carrying some wholesale stuff as other people joined him on the trip. It was the longest journey of his life, often wiping his face to remove a layer of dust. He gave up after so many attempts.

This left him with sore eyes, running nose and aching lungs as the lorry made several stops. Everyone on board had a dusty look.

But on reaching Magadi, he was told that unfortunately the managing director had an abrupt meeting in Nairobi, meaning their meeting had to be pushed to a later date!

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