Wednesday, November 18, 2009
TRAVELLER'S GUIDE TO KENYA
First things first. Forget all that mumbo jumbo you've learned from "Kiswahili for dummies" on how people greet each other in Kenya. Nobody says "Jambo" anymore in Kenya, that's so last decade.
You actually don't need to learn anything, but if you want to stay grounded and in touch with the Kenyans, then the following words are all you really need to know; "Niaje, Sema boss, Aje aje, wsupangalas" and many more.
Sometime you don't even need to say a word, just give the "thumbs up" sign or a slight nod and your message will be passed safe and sound.
This is Kenya, a country in Africa not a town in a country called Africa. Kenyans are a very knowledgeable people. We probably know more about New York than a New Yorker, and we even pull off deeper accents than you.
Typical Kenyan joke; "How do you know you are seated next to a Kenyan on a plane?" He's the guy who keeps changing accents whenever you fly over a different country.
We are a Third World country with a heavy First World country mentality. We know how much you love watching the sunrise, sunset and the stars at night. For that reason, we are cutting down all the trees that may deny you that pleasure.
So don't believe what the environmentalists say about the Mau, we are selflessly depleting it for your horizon and sky viewing contentment.
Once we are done with the Mau, we will storm into the Mt Kenya forest and do the same. Hey, it's all about YOU!
Oh, by the way, we have CNN, E! News and those big channels from your countries and so we know you guys from the West love to adopt babies, thanks to Angelina Jolie and Madonna. We are not superstars or have that kind of money but we are doing our best to catch up.
We are now adopting wild animals! Usain Bolt has one, Louis Moreno Ocampo has another and even our Prime Minister got in on the action! And guess what, they are all named after them! There are no costs in their upbringing, just pick, name and release to the wild! Genius isn't it?
Forget the stories you've heard about famine, ask our Government Spokesman, he will tell you that we just had a prolonged Summer. You all love summertime right? Then why would you say that sun was bringing drought instead of tourists?
Sure, you may have your F1, Indy Car racing and the rest. But in Kenya, we have matatu drivers and unlike those tame races of yours where the driver puts himself at risk, here, they drive with more than 15 people inside! Beat that!
You guys may have your Great Walls, Empire State Building, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the likes for your visitors. We don't have such but thats not a worry, or like we used to say back in "Jambo era" Hakuna Matata! We have Kibera! Our pride and joy and if you are a government visitor, you are whisked there before you even meet the President. Kibera is the biggest slum in Africa and truly a wondrous sight to behold. Who said we don't lead at something?
With proof like this, who can doubt that we strive to be everything the developed world is. And here’s more: we have a German coach for our National Football Team, and we didn't even demean him or ourselves by perusing his CV and noticing that, he was Liberia's national coach and had never won a single game in Africa.
We didn't care about that. Our Prime Minister flew to Germany and brought us a "hero" who would take us to the World Cup.
We didn't make it to the World Cup. Infact, we only won one game out of seven! Out of all the soccer coaches worldwide, Hey, that's his name, is the worst performer.
NB: For those of you who know something about this great land called Kenya, not all of us can run the full marathon in under two hours or the steeple chase without breaking a sweat. We have pickpockets who can outrun Bolt but Athletics Kenya won't do anything to get them join the National Team.
PS: We are not fashionable slim.. If you see shoulder blades protruding it is not as a result of a diet... wait a minute, it actually is, a major diet called MALNUTRITION!