Limuru is a town painted green. There is a lot of tea plantations as far as your eyes can see. It is also freezing around this time of the year. I have just dropped my niece back to school and am on my way back. As I walk to the main road from the school, I glimpse the beautiful tea plantations all around. There are also several tea factories in the vicinity. This is the green that gives one goosebump. I find the town cleaner compared to Nairobi. There is no litter. Nairobians, learn from Limurians.
As I am walking down the road from the school, I realize that the main road is forever away. I pray for a miracle. It does not help that it is too windy and I am petite. I stash my hands in my pockets as I try to keep them warm. Then I see my miracle in form of a motorbike pass me by. I call out for the rider and cue them to stop.
The rider makes a turn and stops right at my feet. It’s a woman. Excitement overwhelms me as this is my first time riding on a motorbike by a female rider.
I sit at the back and observe as she balances the bike. She makes a turn and sways to the side, missing a pothole by a whisker, then finds her balance again. It is a windy afternoon. She is donning a hoodie and gloves. She must have powerful arms because balancing a motorbike is not for frail arms, I imagine.
“I just need to tell you could rock a cover of a magazine”, I say to the rider. I introduce myself as I get off the bike once we get to the bus stop at the main road from Limuru Girls Schools. She tells me her name is Wairimu.
“Oh thank you.”
“Can I take a photo of you on the nduthii?” I ask.
“No”, she raises her hand to stop me before I try to convince her any further.
“I don’t like photos. So just get the story and not my photo.”
I smile in agreement. I watch as she parks the bike at a shade where there are other riders waiting for customers. Wairimu is the only female rider here.
“Wairimu, sometimes I wish I had met you earlier. I would have married you,” a male rider in an oversized jacket says to her.
“You seem to have a fun base here”, I tell her as we lean on her bike and catch up before she gets her next customer.
Wairimu is a mother of two. Her husband is a mechanic in Limuru town. She joined her husband in business after being laid off from work last year. She says getting into business was difficult as she had never tried business before. But through his encouragement, she took a leap. She wanted to try out being a mechanic but her husband talked her out of it, adamant that it was too manly for her.
“I spent a lot of time looking for a job then my husband asked me if there was a business I could do. I tried selling groceries, but it didn’t do so well. I suggested to him I try this motorbike business after he refused I get into mechanical work. He was sceptical at first but later agreed. He paid for me to be trained and get a license. We then took a loan and bought this motorbike.”
Wairimu has been in the nduthii business for about six months and she is happy with together with her husband, they are able to educate their children. It is amazing that most of her clients are females who cheer her on and encourage her to keep thriving. She is popular within the town, perhaps because she is the only woman bold enough to give men a run for their money.
When you are visiting Limuru and need a rider, look out for Wairimu. It is easy to spot her, especially because of her blonde dreadlocks. She is simply fierce.