WATU WA CENSUS WAKIFIKA KITENGELA: THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO:

August 28, 2019
WATU WA CENSUS WAKIFIKA KITENGELA: THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO:
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My name is Benard Karigo and this is my story behind the now famous trending census Kitengela photo. READ MORE.

I am the Team leader for KUDU SAFARIS based in Nairobi CBD; we provide affordable and customized safari packages across Kenya for families, friends and corporate.

2016: I was working for TATA Chemicals as the Manager for Lake the Lake Magadi Adventures based in the remote town of Magadi. As routine, every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) we will have a duty manager to foresee all the managerial functions of the entire township; I was on duty on this particular weekend but nothing much was happening; “Njanuary”. We didn’t have many guests around and the operations in the township was nothing much to need my presence. On Saturday afternoon, I decided to sneak out to go and enjoy life in Nairobi, planning to sneak back very early on Monday morning.

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Sunday 12 noon: I got a call from my boss… She was the iron lady of the company… Fear settled in my stomach and my mind sprinted across the world and back in a minute… I picked up. She asked where I was and I told her I was in Magadi – not specifying the exact place for fear of the next question. She wanted to see me over lunch; I lied that I was occupied with guests down at the lake and I wouldn’t be available for lunch. She then went ahead to praise the good job that I do and the great determination that I have… in the evening, she had planned we meet with the MD at around 8pm to discuss my contract and a few developments for the business; she had already informed the MD and she had cancelled her plans to travel home since the MD was around and was a great opportunity for me... A loud echo vibrated on the walls of my small head… Jesus appeared in my head and turned William Lawsons to water… I was enjoying a great time in house in my palatial home Kiambu county Ruaka Massive with a few naughty friends.

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I was left with 8hours to cover a distance of 170kms by public means on a very potholed and dusty road to be in Magadi. One matatu would take 3 hours to get full and it would take a minimum of 4 hours to get to Magadi from Kiserian.

Within 2 hours I was in kiserian matatu stage (I don’t know how), panting and sweating like a dog chased out of the mosque on a Friday; I stood there impatiently waiting for a matatu down to magadi. There was none.

1 hour

2 hours

5pm nothing seemed to come. I called my taxi guy; an old man driving a probox and always carrying a nylon bag full of “mogokaa”. He was far and would take 1 hr to arrive…. “Alafu mwenye gari amaesema magadi atalipisha seven thousand... five thousand hapati kitu.” What! Even the 5k I didn’t have at that time…

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A local masai, realizing the state of my emergency gave me an idea to take the lorry heading down to ferry cattle for the market the next day at Kiserian. “ Hii inatoka tu sahii na Lorry haisikiangi mashimo!” He convinced me. The lorry was full of wholesalers shopping taking advantage of the empty leg… bags and bags of vegetables, rice, sugar, chicken, goats and many other stuff were loaded… I had no choice. I sat on one of the sacks and a few people joined in. The journey started at 5.30pm…

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After every two minutes, I would wipe myself off the dust with a masai shuka… This slayqueen behavior got the locals travelling with me surprised and staring… others murmured and giggled. I decided to behave like one of them and I didn’t wipe… a rain of dust would pour in every minute the lorry driver pressed on the brakes and a huge dust storm would pour in at every stop. The Lorry made one million stops and by the time we arrived, everybody was masked in dust; perfect actors for money heist. My lungs were full of dust and my nostrils were porridge tunnels. My eyes sore red; I could compete and win over serious bhang smokers.

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I couldn’t believe how the others looked when we alighted at Magadi town and I decided to go to my house and see how I looked… I couldn’t stop laughing… I took photos... I took an award winning photo!

“Hi Karigo!? The MD has had an abrupt meeting in Nairobi scheduled tomorrow morning and he is not available this evening... We will meet him on Tuesday evening…!”

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COMPANY REVIEWS:

"... This was a really unique and personalized experience (I can say this with confidence as this was not my first safari experience in Kenya). I truly cannot say enough... I can go on and on, but I will leave by saying this. If you want to work with a company that is passionate and truly cares about your experience, look no further - Go the Kudu Way!" - Lynzi

After lots of looking around at different companies and different itineraries am glad we went the kudu way. The communication was great, he put all the details in writing. Even with 9 hrs time difference Bernard always communicated so fast... Kudu guys picked us up from our rental apartment in hurlingham and dropped us at our place of choosing in the CBD. The driver was pleasant and knowledgeable. Kudu is a Great Company. - Veronica

One of best team to coordinate & facilitate all commitments to enjoy Safari trip with delicious food , comfortable stay & transport arrangements. We enjoyed with Kudu Team AMBOSELI safari today & celebrated easter holidays. Good work team ...Keep it up - Sagar