We often read in the press and see for ourselves high ranking individuals suffering from superiority complex and resorting to ridiculous, violent and uncalled for actions against unsuspecting members of the public. Actions have included ear pulling, nose pinching, brick wall punching, among others. Such displays often receive backlash and public criticism and sometimes result in socio-economic implications such as being sacked from public office.
Worse than the superiority complex is the inferiority complex which offers no punishment to the aggressor and no relief for the victims. In fact, the aggressor is often seen as the victim and public sympathies lie with him or her because he or she “must have been pushed to the edge.”
Sufferers of inferiority complex usually have low self-esteem and feel challenged by those whom they perceive are more successful in life or are more ‘superior’. Individuals often try to over-compensate for their perceived inferiority, sometimes by being overly-aggressive or by being hostile and inconsiderate to others.
Dear Reader, I am not an expert on these complexes and neither am I a psychologist or sociologist. I just happened to be unfortunate enough to become a casualty of someone with inferiority complex, a circumstance which I will shortly narrate. And no it is not a movie and it is not fiction. It is an actual real life tragedy!
It was slightly over one month ago on a Thursday afternoon when I left the office early in my small car (fondly referred to as “khatoka” by my dad) and headed to my neighbourhood mall, the Kiota Mall, to have my hair done and buy one or two groceries.
My hair was done in two hours and as I was leaving the salon, my husband texted me to buy him a six pack of Tusker beer. I went to the supermarket and purchased my groceries, including the Tusker 6 pack and a bottle of red wine for myself.
Shopping done, I validated by parking chipcoin and paid one hundred shillings in parking fees, because of the length of time I had spent at the salon. It was now half past five o’clock in the evening and I just wanted to rush home and cook dinner.
I opened my vehicle and tossed my shopping bags and handbag onto the front passenger seat. I got into the driver’s seat and turned on the ignition. Nothing! I turned the key in the ignition again. A slight clicking sound and then silence! Upset, I banged the steering wheel with my hand. I then sighed deeply, pulled the bonnet latch and got out of the car to check the problem.
This was normal with khatoka. She always surprised me with one problem or another. Today, I suspected that the battery was dead. As I was pulling up my bonnet, the person parked next to me was also preparing to leave. He rolled down his window and asked if I had any problem.
“I think the battery is flat,” I said sadly. “You may need to help me jumpstart it.”
“Alright,” he offered kindly. “Only, I don’t have jumpstarting cables.”
“I do,” I said. “They are a necessity with old cars such as mine.”
Suddenly, my bonnet cover came crushing down. I was quick enough to remove my hand or my fingers would have been cut off.
“Boss what is wrong with you?” shouted the man in the car.
It is only then that I realised the presence of a Security Gourd next to me. The bonnet had not come down due to the forces of gravity but due to the hand of said Security Gourd who was now breathing heavily down my neck.
“Management does not allow repairs of vehicles in the Mall parking lot,” he shouted. “You mechanics come here to do your greasy work because you do not want to pay the relevant Council business licenses.”
“Which mechanics?” I asked.
I did not understand why he would suggest that I was a mechanic. Mechanics were commonly dressed in greasy coveralls and wore flat comfortable working shoes whereas I was dressed in a black suit with a white blouse, stockings and a pair of high heels.
The Security Guard looked me up and down disdainfully and refused to respond to my question.
“Her battery is dead, and she just needs me to help her jumpstart it and we will be on our way,” pleaded the Good Samaritan, getting out of his car.
“Don’t you dare step out of your vehicle!” shouted the Security Guard. “You know I am the supervisor here and if I tell you not to do something, you had better not do it. I am calling the police for back-up right now and you had better leave or be charged alongside this woman for disobeying the rules.”
The Good Samaritan did not want any trouble. He was intimidated by the mention of police and sat in his car quietly.
“Can you start your engine and drive away right now!” shouted the Security Guard. “If not, I will arrest you.”
The Good Samaritan drove away, leaving me to face this demon on my own.
The Security Guard walked a few paces away and started talking animatedly into his walkie-talkie. I jumped into my car and made a silent but desperate prayer to God to start my car. Then I put the key in the ignition, turned it, and the engine made an attempt to start before dying off. I took out my phone to call my husband and inform him of what was transpiring so that he could tow me away as opening the bonnet of the car seemed to be a great illegality in this mall.
As I was doing this, I saw two security guards rushing towards my car. One was carrying the dreaded yellow tyre clamp. Their supervisor pointed at my tyre and the boys proceeded to clamp it. The supervisor then came to my window and asked me to roll it down, pointing his baton menacingly at me. I refused. I don’t know why I was receiving such ill treatment from him but the best he could do was just leave me to sit quietly in my car.
The next thing I heard was a loud bang and pieces of glass scattered all over my lap. I screamed in shock as I realised that the Security Guard had struck my window with his baton, shattering it. He reached into the vehicle and bent my car key, breaking it in the ignition.
The shattering glass and my scream had attracted some shoppers and they surrounded my car asking what crime I had committed. The Security Guard’s minions pushed them away, shouting loudly that I was a dangerous criminal and that they should keep their distance for their own safety.
I was now desperately dialling my husband’s number, when the Security Guard snatched my phone from my hand, and threw it onto a nearby wall. It broke into pieces.
“So you think you can call your criminal cohorts to come and terrorise us here?” he shouted. “You will know who is the boss. Before the end of this day you will regret leaving your mother’s womb.”
The day had not yet ended and I was already regretting leaving my mother’s womb!
He opened my car door and pulled me by my coat shouting, “You are under arrest. You cannot hide in this small mkebe!”
The buttons of my coat gave way to his pull and since he was holding the sleeve, my hand slipped out and he was left holding an empty coat sleeve. Angry, he threw his baton down and using both hands, held the front of my blouse and pulled me out of the car. He threw me against the side of the car and gave me what is commonly referred to as a millennium slap.
I fell to the ground in pain.
He lifted me by the blouse again and dragged me around the car to the passenger side. The buttons of my blouse popped open from the force of his wrench-like grip and my bra was exposed to the shocked onlookers. (Thank God I was not wearing an old worn out bra!)
He opened the front passenger door and put his hands into my shopping bag, throwing my groceries onto the ground.
“You see!” he shouted triumphantly. “These are drunkards in this city who go around shopping malls committing crimes.”
He held up my wine bottle by the neck and threw it hard against the ground, breaking it into small pieces, its contents spreading all over the place. Then he took the cans of Tusker, held them up for all to see and threw them onto the ground. Sadly for him, they did not shatter. This did not daunt him. He called for his minions to give him his baton and one hand still holding the front of my blouse, he whacked those cans with all his might and they burst, spraying beer all over the place.
“What has this woman done?” a familiar voice asked. “She is my client and I have just made her hair this afternoon!”
It was my hairdresser. I have never been so happy to see her.
“Mind your own business!” the Security Guard barked at her. “Lest you want to go to jail together with this criminal.”
I was desperate to get away from his offending grip and I bit his hand hard. He shouted in pain and drew his hand away. I immediately dashed towards the growing crowd. The Security Guard recovered fast and he threw his baton at me. It landed on my leg and I twisted my ankle as I fell to the ground. The pain was excruciating and I screamed, telling my tormentor to leave me alone.
I was picked up roughly from the ground by this evil beast, who proceeded to give me another millennium slap before throwing me against my car. He then called for a rope from his boys. They gave him a sisal rope and he used it to tie my hands behind my back. Blood was oozing out of my nostril and it felt uncomfortable but I could not wipe it away because my arms had been immobilized.
At this point, their security back-up vehicle arrived. And an army of security guards in helmets and wielding batons and shields jumped off commando-style and came running towards their colleague.
“Where is the security breach?” They shouted, ready to combat the army of thugs who had attacked the mall.
The Security Guard pointed at me and shouted at them, “Take her away to the police station.”
The commando responders seemed disappointed to find that they were not going to deal with a big gang. They lifted me up shoulder high and threw me into the back of their pick-up truck. I screamed in pain as I landed on my twisted ankle.
Another vehicle zoomed in and came to an abrupt stop alongside the security truck. My eyes were shut in pain and I did not bother to open them to see what was going on. I heard a drone of voices around me but did not bother to listen to what they were saying. I was desperate for this day to end.
“Madam, answer the officer, he is talking to you,” the Security Guard shouted.
I opened my eyes with difficulty to see a police officer looking at me. His pistol was drawn, ready to respond and I was scared. I could not talk.
“Madam OCS, she is refusing to talk,” the police officer said, turning away from him.
“Bring her down from there,” I heard a female voice say. “How do you expect her to talk in such a place.”
The police officer and the Security Guard lifted me out of the vehicle and put me to stand before the officer. The pain in my ankle was unbearable and I winced as I went off balance and fell to the ground.
“Today, you will know that you don’t know!” said the Security Guard menacingly.
“Are you injured?” the female police officer asked, concerned.
One shoe was missing and my stockings had run. I must have been a pitiful sight!
“Untie her hands,” she ordered. And sit her up against that wall.
The police officer did this as the Security Guard looked on angrily.
“I can see that your face is bruised and swollen and your nose is bleeding,” she said. “Your arms also have some cuts. Where else are you injured?”
“My ankle,” I said. “The pain is excruciating!”
“Bwana Manager,” she said turning to a suit clad man standing beside her. “We cannot take such an injured person to the police station with us. She will go and claim police brutality and other stories. Do you care to explain how she came to be injured in this way.”
“Madam, who is your next of kin?” she asked me. “Is there anyone we can call to accompany you to the hospital?”
I gave her my husband’s number and she moved away to make a call.
The crowd around us had grown thick and the police and security guards were having a hard time keeping them at bay. Their phones were all held up, suggesting that they were taking pictures and videos of my suffering.
“So this is your car over here?” she asked.
“Yes,” I responded.
“Any documentation on you to show that you are the owner?” she asked.
“I do not have the registration certificate with me but my husband can bring it,” I said.
She dialled her phone again and spoke into it and then came back to me.
“Bwana Manager you called me to say that a car thief had been arrested?” she said.
“Yes,” said the Manager. “Our Security Supervisor called to say that he had apprehended a car jerker and I proceeded to call you. We have zero tolerance to car jerking crimes in this mall.”
“I assume this is the supervisor?” the lady police officer asked, nodding at the Security Guard who had brutalised me.
“Yes,” confirmed the Manager.
“Supervisor, let us hear from you what transpired today,” she asked him.
“Madam, I was on patrol in the parking lot when I noticed this woman walking suspiciously around,” he stated. “When I came close I noticed she had the bonnet of the car open. I told her it is not allowed as people pretend that their cars are spoilt yet they are car thieves. If they cannot manage to start the car and go with it, they steal parts such as the battery or even more valuable parts. She was together with another man and they were threatening me. That is when I noticed that she had broken the window of this car to get access and steal it. I also noticed that they were drinking beer and wine and this would make them violent. I acted by clamping the car to make sure that it is immobilized and paged the owner of the car to come outside through the speakers in the mall.”
“So has the owner come?” asked the officer.
“I did not see anyone,” said the officer. “I realised that these may be dangerous criminals who may have even kidnapped or killed the owner so as to get to the car.”
My husband arrived accompanied by our family doctor. He ran towards me, shock and concern written all over his face. He hugged me and wouldn’t let go. I could feel the anger building up within him but I told him to calm down as the police officer sounded reasonable.
“You are her husband?” asked the lady police officer.
“Yes,” he responded.
“Have you brought the document I requested?” she asked.
He nodded and handed over the vehicle registration certificate.
Satisfied she said, “Let medics attend to her and then she can come to the station to record a statement. Bwana Manager, we will need to go with you and your Supervisor to the station right now to record your statements.”
“Madam, I warn you to give these security guards their due respect,” she said aloud for the whole crowd to hear. “You people think you can intimidate them and yet they are performing a very great service for this country. You deserve what you got!”
She turned back to the Manager, “Allow them to tow the car out of here so that they can go and have it repaired.”
The manager nodded in acquiescence and rudely shouted to my husband to organise for “that junk” to be towed away first thing in the morning or it would accrue parking charges. My husband did not respond.
Dear Reader, I decided to start my own private boycott of Kiota Mall. It has been one month and I have flatly refused to step in there to collect my car, unless the mall management repairs the damages caused by the Security Guard. The manager kept calling and threating us daily with charges and with dumping the car in the junkyard but we have refused to pick it up.
There is a consumer awareness club on social media that has heard my story and seen the footage of my brutalisation. They have started an online campaign to boycott the mall. The campaign seems to be working for I hear that the mall is now a ghost town. My hairdresser called me the other day to say that several tenants were leaving and she was one of them. She did not want to run a business in a place that was unfriendly to her customers.
The manager has now changed his tune. He sent my husband an email last night offering not only to fix the car but to pay all my medical bills. My husband did not respond.
There is an incoming call from the manager right now but I will not pick it up.