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Discrimination against Bikers

Samburu to Eldoret, the scenic route
4 October 2020
Excursion to Lake Chala
19 October 2020
 
By Wakili Timam

Now that y'all are paying some attention to discrimination against bikers, allow me to share a rather disheartening ordeal that happened last weekend.

Dr. David Karuri and I were invited to the Switch TV studios for an interview which was broadcasted live on air. It was part of a one and a half hour long sport pshow and we were expected to take up a large chunk of that airtime. Our hosts at Switch TV made arrangements to have us over as from 1:00pm so that we could be readily setup by the time the show went on air as from 1:30pm. They sent us their location which is within the RED CROSS offices along the Red Cross road in South C.

I arrive at 1:10pm and contact one of our hosts who innocently directed me to go through the most direct gate. On getting to the said gate I enthusiastically introduce myself and explain the purpose of my visit to a male guard who had just stormed towards me. Shock on me, the guard rudely sends me away stating that motorcycles are not allowed anywhere within the compound or through that gate. I don't argue with security officers. I believe that it never ends well. So I call our hosts and explain the situation. The hosts make calls in vain and after a few minutes, two of them volunteer to come to the gate to fetch me.

I return to the forbidden gate to find two of our Switch TV hosts at the gate receiving treatment that appears no different than what I had just received... apparently, even motorcyling enthusiasts are not spared at that gate.

 

Calls are made and tension appears to be eased enough for us to be offered an alternative. We are told that we can get the bike into the compound, just not through that gate.

One of my hosts and I are directed to go through the Boma Hotel gate, then through the basement parking lot to the right, then in between a couple of permanent metallic pillars with leave just enough space for one bike (clearly a pedestrians walkway), then across a pavement which passes in between a busy tented waiting bay then we find ourselves in a parking lot barely 35 meters straight ahead of the forbidden gate. That process took almost 30 minutes 😓. I can see that my host is almost as distraught as i am.

The delay has messed Up the plans for the live show and the hosts are compelled to improvise and restructure the show on their toes. The confusion is evident in the live show. I feel as bad for them as I do for myself. I am happy to be there as they're giving bikers some much needed platform to highlight bike related issues. I decide to take a few pictures to silently remind myself of some of the things that we've got to live with just for opting to choose a life on two wheels.

Let's fight for biker rights across the board. Ni hayo tu kwa sasa

 

Blade Doc who was running late courtesy of a blown fuse that forced him improvise arrives and is directed through in the back route. I am already on air and you can clearly see my disgust as i watch him struggling to join us on the set. The show goes really well and we're happy to have been there. The hosts and a few other bike enthusiasts join us for a hearty conversation after the show at the parking lot. We watch cars, including some clearly confused visitors drive in and out of the forbidden gate without much friction. We joke that we might not be allowed out through that gate despite the fact that at that time, we're parked barely 15 meters away from it. Joke on us, we're told to ride around through the backroute on a way out. I can't believe it.

I thank the Switch TV team for having us on their show. The platform goes a long way in highlighting our challenges as private motorcylists. Their crew were treated similarly for speaking for me. I feel like the Red Cross security team should reconsider reviewing their security protocols to enable them end the gross discrimination against private motorcylists. We are neither criminals nor rogue riders. Dr Karuri is an esteemed consultant surgeon. I am an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. We were invited as their guests. We were not paying or getting paid to be on the show and if the feedback is anything to go by, that was a really good show.

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