Gangs of Mombasa


Seif was like a bedbug, showed up when he was most unexpected, always at the wrong place and the wrong time. In such instances one could either brush him away like a stranger, a lunatic or accept your fate and deal with him head on, regardless of the consequences.

And dealing with Seif always had consequences. Given two choices between doing so and sitting his ass on a grenade, Costa would have gladly chosen the latter. Accommodating and aiding him would stick with him forever like a nasty body oduor.

Seif had just jumped into the back seat of Costa’s car. A dilemma was in the making!

Costa, known as Crazy Cat Dee during his rock and roller days, now just a thirty nine year old former gang member who quit the street life after his brother got ganged down in a drive by shooting at Kibokoni area, Mombasa.

Two bullets in the chest and one in the head, that’s what Chidi, his younger brother got on that fateful Saturday evening. Costa was away in Tudor Water Sports just a few Kilometres from Kibokoni, doing Shisha and business with some Italian crooks while it happened; he later learnt that it had all been a set up planned by the Italian mob from Watamu.

The two gun men had gone through a narrow street in Mombasa Old Town where Chidi had been hanging out with a bunch of friends in a Waiynak. He didn’t even see it coming as he was busy cracking up his friends with his creative jokes; it was devastatingly swift and calculated.

Anyone would have mistaken the two riders in helmets for normal people just riding through the narrow streets and deep shadows probably looking for an ice cream joint or a relative’s house. Who would have thought that below their baggy jackets lay fire arms that would in that very moment disturb the sleepy old Town? They opened fire, didn’t even last a minute and they disappeared into the narrow streets.

Chidi’s lifeless body keeled over and fell on the cold, hard pavement with a thud. Blood gushed from underneath him and flowed through a crack on the pavement right into a gaping man hole on the edge of the road. The glass of juice he was drinking had been blasted as well, fragments were scattered all over the table. He was done for. Never even had time to bid his pals good bye……..

A woman screamed from inside a house. Pigeons, awoken from their slumber flew away in fright. There was a sudden bout of silence, confused silence followed by intermittent murmurs as soon as people realised that someone had been shot.

The gang wars had started. There would be more gun shots, more killings, vengeance. The tiny Island of Mombasa would never be the same again.

Crazy Cat Dee would have revenged, everyone expected him to do so; i mean, wasn’t it the lucid thing to do? Everyone knew that vengeance would come served in a terribly cold plate.

Nobody ever messed with him, at least not to the point of assassinating his kin. Even the cops at Central Police which was just a few metres from the scene of crime never crossed his path. Not that he had ever killed a cop, no; but they were very familiar with his way of exacting vengeance and he was very well connected with prominent businessmen whom, as rumour had it, used him for their dirty jobs.

He was a man who never shied away from doing what was right for business and he never gave a damn whoever was on the other side of his gun or dagger. If it had to be done, he would do it.

He in turn used them for to ascend the ladder of unrivalled permanence among the gangs of Mombasa.

If the devil had kids, then Crazy Cat Dee would have been his favourite son, heir apparent.

And now that someone had messed up with him, the entire neighbourhood anticipated the inevitable payback. Damn, they could already imagine the assailants being killed one by one like rats. He would look for them down any drain they would be hiding. They would die nasty, agonizing deaths- he would chop off their heads, gouge out their eyes, saw out their limbs, cut off their private parts and make a dozen necklaces with their ears.

He would send their testicles to their families in polythene bags. Everyone would know that a costly mistake which could only be assuaged by similar loss of life had been committed.

Throughout that fateful weekend people talked and murmured about it, no one wanted to speak out aloud for fear of being over heard by Crazy Dee’s numerous foot soldiers who could probably mistake the talk for what it was not. It was the trending topic for the entire week, all the way from tranquil Diani in South Coast, entire Island and North Coast. In the ferry they talked about it, each time exaggerating it more than the last. Each narration depicting the tragedy that would befall the assailants, the agony they would be dragged through.

All in all, Crazy Cat Dee was moulded by the narrations into a hero whose love for kin was the impetus that fuelled his revenge.

Back to the present day and the predicament of our bed bug, Seif. He was on the run from something or someone, Crazy Cat wasn’t certain which; so when Seif jumped into the back seat of his car, he knew something was terribly wrong. He was bleeding profusely, could have been a bullet or dagger.

He cursed under his breath wondering what to do with Seif, his one time nemesis who, with magnanimity so characteristic of the vanquished, had switched sides from the Italian mob to Crazy Dee’s gang; an act which at that time brought both gangs almost to the verge of a full blown war.

Costa hated Seif. He was a viper, a coward who could flip sides as easily as blinking an eye. He was drawn to his arduous breathing on the back seat and had to fight hard not to strangle him to death himself.

And now he was in his car in need of urgent medical attention. He had an idea, he would drop him at the gate of Pandya hospital and leave him right there, he wanted no part in whatever he had been involved in.

Then out of pure instinct and experience, he glanced at his driving mirror and caught the reflection of a dark, monster SUV approaching stealthily like a Lion circling its prey. He knew the SUV, he knew what would happen in a matter of seconds if he did not act fast.

He looked at Seif writhing in pain completely oblivious of what was about to happen and shook his head coz he knew he was going to regret doing what he was about to do……..

[Gangs of Mombasa is purely fictional. Characters depicted here bear no resemblance to any one alive or otherwise.]

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9 thoughts on “Gangs of Mombasa

  1. Pingback: Gangs of Mombasa Part 2: Costa and the Naija boys. | Akhy Mjanja

  2. Pingback: Gangs of Mombasa Part 3: The Package. | Akhy Mjanja

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