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The day I left home for the city The day I left home for the city Siku niliyo ondoka nyumbani kuelekea jijini

Written by Lesley Koyi, Ursula Nafula

Illustrated by Brian Wambi

Read by Darshan Soni

Language English

Level Level 3

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The small bus stop in my village was busy with people and overloaded buses. On the ground were even more things to load. Touts were shouting the names where their buses were going.

The small bus stop in my village was busy with people and overloaded buses. On the ground were even more things to load. Touts were shouting the names where their buses were going.

Kituo kidogo cha mabasi kijijini mwetu kilijaa shughuli za watu na mabasi. Basi nyingi zilikuwa zimejaza mizigo. Chini, palikuwa na mizigo zaidi ya kupakia. Kondakta waliita majina tofauti ya mahali basi zilielekea.


"City! City! Going west!" I heard a tout shouting. That was the bus I needed to catch.

"City! City! Going west!" I heard a tout shouting. That was the bus I needed to catch.

"Kwenda jijini! Kwenda jijini! Kwenda magharibi!" Nilisikia kondakta akiita kwa sauti. Ile ndiyo basi niliyohitaji kupanda kwa usafiri wangu.


The city bus was almost full, but more people were still pushing to get on. Some packed their luggage under the bus. Others put theirs on the racks inside.

The city bus was almost full, but more people were still pushing to get on. Some packed their luggage under the bus. Others put theirs on the racks inside.

Basi la kwenda jijini lilikuwa karibu kujaa, lakini watu zaidi walijishughulisha kutaka kupanda. Baadhi yao walipakia mizigo chini ya basi. Wengine waliiweka katika sehemu ya juu.


New passengers clutched their tickets as they looked for somewhere to sit in the crowded bus. Women with young children made them comfortable for the long journey.

New passengers clutched their tickets as they looked for somewhere to sit in the crowded bus. Women with young children made them comfortable for the long journey.

Abiria wapya walishika tiketi zao huku wakitafuta mahali pa kukaa. Wanawake waliokuwa na watoto wodogo waliwatayarisha kwa safari hiyo ndefu.


I squeezed in next to a window. The person sitting next to me was holding tightly to a green plastic bag. He wore old sandals, a worn out coat, and he looked nervous.

I squeezed in next to a window. The person sitting next to me was holding tightly to a green plastic bag. He wore old sandals, a worn out coat, and he looked nervous.

Nilipenyeza ndani nikakaa karibu na dirisha. Mtu aliyeketi karibu nami alishika mfuko wa plastiki wa kijani kibichi. Alivaa viatu vilivyozeeka, koti kukuu na alionekana kuwa na wasiwasi.


I looked outside the bus and realised that I was leaving my village, the place where I had grown up. I was going to the big city.

I looked outside the bus and realised that I was leaving my village, the place where I had grown up. I was going to the big city.

Niliangalia nje na kutambua kwamba nilikuwa naondoka kijijini mwangu, mahali ambapo nililelewa. Nilikuwa naenda katika jiji kubwa.


The loading was completed and all passengers were seated. Hawkers still pushed their way into the bus to sell their goods to the passengers. Everyone was shouting the names of what was available for sale. The words sounded funny to me.

The loading was completed and all passengers were seated. Hawkers still pushed their way into the bus to sell their goods to the passengers. Everyone was shouting the names of what was available for sale. The words sounded funny to me.

Upakiaji mizigo ulikamilika na abiria wakawa wameketi. Wachuuzi walizidi kusukumana kutaka kuingia ndani ya basi ili wauze bidhaa zao. Kila mmoja alitaja kwa sauti majina ya bidhaa alivyokuwa anauza. Maneno yao yalinifurahisha.


A few passengers bought drinks, others bought small snacks and began to chew. Those who did not have any money, like me, just watched.

A few passengers bought drinks, others bought small snacks and began to chew. Those who did not have any money, like me, just watched.

Baadhi ya abiria walinunua vinywaji. Wengine wakanunua vitafunwa vidogo na kuanza kutafuna. Wasiokuwa na fedha, kama mimi, walitazama tu.


These activities were interrupted by the hooting of the bus, a sign that we were ready to leave. The tout yelled at the hawkers to get out.

These activities were interrupted by the hooting of the bus, a sign that we were ready to leave. The tout yelled at the hawkers to get out.

Shughuli hizi zilikatizwa kwa mlio wa honi ya basi, ishara kwamba tulikuwa tayari kuondoka. Kondakta aliwataka wachuuzi kuondoka ndani ya basi.


Hawkers pushed each other to make their way out of the bus. Some gave back change to the travellers. Others made last minute attempts to sell more items.

Hawkers pushed each other to make their way out of the bus. Some gave back change to the travellers. Others made last minute attempts to sell more items.

Wachuuzi walisukumana huku wakitafuta njia ya kushuka. Wengine wao waliwarudisha abiria chenji zao. Wengine walifanya juhudi za mwisho kuuza bidhaa zao.


As the bus left the bus stop, I stared out of the window. I wondered if I would ever go back to my village again.

As the bus left the bus stop, I stared out of the window. I wondered if I would ever go back to my village again.

Basi lilipoondoka kituoni, nilichungulia dirishani. Nilijiuliza endapo ningerudi na kwenda kijijini kwangu tena.


As the journey progressed, the inside of the bus got very hot. I closed my eyes hoping to sleep.

As the journey progressed, the inside of the bus got very hot. I closed my eyes hoping to sleep.

Safari ilipoendelea, joto lilikuwa jingi ndani ya basi. Niliyafumba macho yangu nikinuia kulala.


But my mind drifted back home. Will my mother be safe? Will my rabbits fetch any money? Will my brother remember to water my tree seedlings?

But my mind drifted back home. Will my mother be safe? Will my rabbits fetch any money? Will my brother remember to water my tree seedlings?

Lakini mawazo yangu yalirejea nyumbani. Je, mamangu atakuwa salama? Je, sungura wangu wataleta hela zozote? Je, ndugu yangu atakumbuka kunyunyizia maji miche ya miti yangu?


On the way, I memorised the name of the place where my uncle lived in the big city. I was still mumbling it when I fell asleep.

On the way, I memorised the name of the place where my uncle lived in the big city. I was still mumbling it when I fell asleep.

Njiani, nilikariri jina la mahali mjomba wangu alipoishi katika jiji kubwa. Nilikuwa bado nafikiria wakati nilipopatwa na usingizi.


Nine hours later, I woke up with loud banging and calling for passengers going back to my village. I grabbed my small bag and jumped out of the bus.

Nine hours later, I woke up with loud banging and calling for passengers going back to my village. I grabbed my small bag and jumped out of the bus.

Baada ya saa tisa, niliamshwa kwa kelele za kuita abiria waliokwenda katika kijiji changu. Nilichukuwa mfuko wangu mdogo na kuruka nje ya basi.


The return bus was filling up quickly. Soon it would make its way back east. The most important thing for me now, was to start looking for my uncle's house.

The return bus was filling up quickly. Soon it would make its way back east. The most important thing for me now, was to start looking for my uncle's house.

Basi la kurudi lilikuwa linajaa upesi. Muda mfupi baadaye, lingeanza safari ya kwenda mashariki. Jambo la maana kwangu wakati huo lilikuwa kuanza kutafuta nyumba ya mjomba wangu.


Written by: Lesley Koyi, Ursula Nafula
Illustrated by: Brian Wambi
Read by: Darshan Soni
Language: English
Level 3
Source: The day I left home for the city from African Storybook
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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