The cat-and-mouse game in Ruto Finance Bill protest

Protesters wanted him to leave and not for another foreign trip

In Summary

• It was my first protest and I nearly got arrested but escaped by a whisker

Occupy Parliament protesters along Kenyatta Avenue
Occupy Parliament protesters along Kenyatta Avenue

The askari won’t let me in but I’m determined. He’s pushing the doors closed but the army guys are right behind us. My tears are watery and I have multiple stitches in my abdomen.

Still, I can’t get arrested. I push past him and throw my whole body into the building. I’m terrified of the police and I’m NOT getting arrested today. That’s all I keep thinking. We’ve been running for two hours, I’m exhausted but I’m determined to keep going.

My friend linked me with her boyfriend and he has been a great moral support. We’re at City Hall over the Occupy Parliament protest, and a small group of us have started to chant: “Ruto must go! Mwizi!”

Then, Bam! And my friend’s boyfriend says, “Run!”

I see the green helmet in my periphery as I’m running up the stairs. He is right behind me, shouting for the rest to sit down. “Keti chini” is the last thing I hear before everything goes silent for a second.

My heart is beating faster than it ever has, but my crossfit training has prepared me for this. I go up two steps at a time; the only thing in my mind is don’t get arrested.

I get to the first floor and see an entry point. Everyone is locking their doors and I’m running out of options. If he catches me, I know that’s it. One of my worst fears is about to become a reality. I’m panting, I’m sweating and now I’m shaking. I haven’t been scared this whole time because the more people I talk to, the more necessary this protest seems.

“Ruto must go! Mwizi!” I’m about to give up and turn back to face the music when I see a blonde woman standing at her door. All I say is “please and pole” as I shove my body into her store. I take off my black shirt and my vest is soaked in sweat. I’m trying to remember to breathe.

The tear gas stings. My side hurts. All the shoving I’ve been enduring when running is getting to me. My feet hurt. My eyes are closed and I’m focused on the commotion outside.

“I can’t get arrested” is still running in my mind. There’s three more people in there and the army man is banging on doors outside. I’m sweating more now and my hands are shaking. I can hear him get into businesses and force people out. The three people in the store are asking me questions. I mix some lies with some truths.

Earlier, a woman approached me and asked where the protest was. My instinct told me she was way too calm to be part of us. She seemed to be following us and listening in on our conversations. “Sasa, watu wa maandamano wako?” she asks in the sweetest voice.

“Huko mbele…. But sijui. Kila mtu ako kila mahali.” I walk ahead and follow my walking buddy. Later, he echoes the same sentiments.

She follows us for a while, occassionally looking at her phone before a tear gas can, that stops literally at my feet, separates us.

Anyway, back to me hiding. They are entering stores and asking the owners to give up protestors. The three people in there tell me to calm down and they lock the door.

One of them says I’m pretty. Maybe pretty privilege isn’t all bad.

They continue their questions. I continue to mix lies and some truths. After a few minutes, the army is gone and my friend has been arrested but he still assures me, “Ruto must go!”

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star