The utter nightmare we're about to describe starts with a poor college graduate, not too different from lots of the people reading this. Jeremiah was fresh out of school and living in a dilapidated flophouse in Ruai, Nairobi (as bad as you think the job market is for recent grads where you live, trust us, it can be worse). His living situation is actually an important detail to keep in mind here, because when people have very little to their name, it can either bring out the absolutely best or the very worst in them, both of which Jeremiah got to experience firsthand.
"My room was a part of a 23-room block that we shared with 22 other diversified tenants (students, waiters, mechanics, etc.). One of the rooms was occupied by my best friend, Dennis. We exchanged keys so we could help each other with basic supplies (laptops, utensils, gas cylinders we used for cooking, etc.), because that's what friends do," he says.
In other words, day-to-day stuff that doesn't usually involve the threat of vigilante mob murder.
But on the evening of June 21, 2015, this arrangement would result in the minor misunderstanding that would quickly spin out of control. "I arrived at the house at around 9 p.m. My gas cylinder had dried up the previous night, and Dennis was inconveniently not in his room when I got there," he says. "So after buying some groceries, I went and used my copy of his key to borrow his cooking cylinder with clean intentions of returning it once I was done, a routine we had both done a couple of times."