It was just an ordinary day for KBC journalist Victor Muyakane. He was one of the many journalists covering protests outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday as the full judgment on the presidential election petition was being read inside.
That was until something strange happened; a swarm of bees that had been provoked by smoke billowing from teargas canisters that police had hurled at protesters descended on everyone in sight — police and journalists included.
As Muyakane took off for dear life, something caught his eye. At the street corner, just under a “STOP” road sign, was a disabled man on a wheelchair, crying out in pain, bees crawling all over his bare arms and legs.
“I saw this man and heard him screaming for help. Next thing I knew, I had grabbed and taken off with him,” recalls Muyakane. The moment, which brought out the deep compassion a person can show a fellow human being, was captured on camera by someone at the scene and posted online.
Within hours, Muyakane was a hero. The picture has been shared thousands of times on social media, with many hailing the journalist as selfless and compassionate.
“I think anyone would have done what I did. That is humanity. I felt that I had been called at that moment to help that man,” says Muyakane, as he parried the praises.
He recalls that as he picked up the disabled man, it turned out that he was heavier than he had anticipated. The weight threw him off-balance and they went tumbling down as the bee attack grew more ferocious.
“I was also in a lot of pain. My eyelids, nose and face had been stung so badly. I could barely see where I was going,” he recalls.
SCARE AWAY BEES
But Muyakane gathered himself picked up the man once more. He stumbled with him, half-blind, to what he could vaguely make out as a police truck, as an encouraging voice told him: “Weka yeye hapa” (place him here).
That done, a now disoriented Muyakane stumbled through the Supreme Court gates and headed for the fountain in the compound into which he lay in a bid to cool his body and scare away the hovering bees.
Rescuers then came for him and led him to a St John Ambulance van. It is here that he met the man whose life he had saved and whose name he came to know as Amos Mangi, who begs for a living outside the Supreme Court.
Mangi was later taken to Kenyatta National Hospital by the St. John’s Ambulance crew at 2pm.
However, it is not clear what time he was discharged, if at all. The hospital administrators barred journalists from entering the wards and declined to confirm whether he was discharged and his condition.
Muyakane was later taken to MP Shah Hospital where he was treated, given medication and allowed to go home and rest. But he was not yet done with the man he helped. He went looking for him at KNH but could not locate him.
“I am hoping I will find him. I would love to see him off the streets,” says the journalist.