Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dr. Njiiri at Tower Square

[DATELINE: 02-27-07]

To many, Dr. Ruth Njiiri* may well be an unknown. But to her fans, she is an inspiration. While on one of my many tours of the downtown area, I slipped into the Tower Square just after 11:30am for a quick bite to eat. Inside, I noticed preparations were being made for Dr. Njiiri's appearance there, scheduled for noontime. I had no idea who the woman was, myself, so I checked my itinerary and saw that I had just enough time on my schedule to briefly listen in on the lecture she was due to give.

For lunch, I enjoyed the #2 combo meal - a burger with fries and a soda - courtesy of the Tower Grille. Afterward, I wandered across the mall to where a balcony overlooked the stage area where Dr. Njiiri was to speak (on the ground floor). I was just in time, as the Doctor's presenter was about to introduce her to the audience.

I glanced around, below. There were about sixteen chairs lined up in two rows facing the stage area, which was just beside the escalator. On hand, too, was a member of Springfield's Finest to provide security.

Finally, the presenter introduced Dr. Njiiri, who approached the stage as the audience politely clapped. The Doctor smiled back at everyone in attendance, thanking all five of them for showing up for her lecture (including the organizer, who was busily photographing the event for history). There were two elderly women, a young man in military fatigues, and one scruffy old white man who seemed (to me anyway) oddly out of place. It was a strange scene, both mildly amusing and eerily quaint. The Doctor immediately requested that her audience move up closer to her, which they happily did. At this point, the police officer's primary role became clear to me as he quickly moved to assist an elderly woman in getting up from her chair and shuffling forward.

The Doctor then began her lecture. Everyone seemed in perfect harmony with how things were unfolding. And I felt perfectly at ease with just walking away.

*Dr. Njiiri was the personal secretary to former Kenya President Jom Kenyatta.

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