I love my country so much.
I love my home town, Kajiado, with gusto. Many will call it backwardness or naivety because in Kenya people believe that civilization is aping the west (and most recently, china). But the reason I love my home town is because of the lifestyle I get to live there. For most of the time, I dress in ‘khangas’ and ‘lesos’ and nobody has a problem with that because more than half of the population is dressed that way. Most of us take it a notch higher by having nothing else beneath this ‘khangas’ and everybody knows it yet it does not bother them the least and yes, you never get to hear about any rape cases because a Maasai male knows that it is not just a crime because the constitution of Kenya and the bible says so, but because they know that the rights of women are to be respected as much as the rights of their male counterparts and they stick to that. RESPECT is the key word that guides this community and morality only comes second to it. Respect defines the community’s lifestyle: who should greet who first and how, what should be done by whom, how and when among others. I know my friends the realists will take this as a bluff but functionalists will tell you that each social fabric has its peculiar weave that helps differentiate it from the rest of the society and in which roles are clearly though unconsciously outlined for the functionality and order of whichever society it is.
I love my town of residence, Sagana, with a passion. This is a place that I have lived in for the past seven years. My mom settled here due to the atmosphere of this place and the readily available resources that help her run her daily business without hitches. You see, my mom is an aquaculturalist: one of those people whose sole mission in life is to farm fish only to kill them after six months! Horrible, right? Well, not quite!! People love to eat these poor waterlings and all my mom and her bunch of professional fish killers do is make sure that people have this highly coveted delicacy. Anyway, this place is a simple replicate of Mombasa. It has two large permanent rivers making water its single excessive resource, it is hot making it favorable for all types of agriculture (there are people who produce maize three times a year) and it is a fun hub. The only problem is that people, due to the large industrial activities around, fail to see the importance of education and choose to do manual labor jobs and indulge in excessive intake of alcohol, khat and bhang hence the area has high levels of illiteracy and has crime as one of its major exports to other counties in Kenya. That notwithstanding, it is a small town that one can overlook due to size but whose economic activities the country cannot do without; from producing billions of fingerlings and fish (ornamental (goldfish, aquatic invertebrates and amphibians) and table fish (tilapia, mad, cat fish) to the numerous research centers (HCPB, KPCU, NARDTC and Macadamia center) to the various companies (Sagana Tanneries, ECO feeds, Cosmos Millers, Hybrid millers etc). Both Coca cola and EBL have major depots supplying to a wide section of Kirinyaga district and parts of Karatina and Muranga areas. However, there is only one post secondary institute Sagana Technical and a single government office NCPB. There is not a single bank or a lead supermarket and thus people still do their shopping from the retail shops around or go to Murang’a, Kerugoya or Karatina for their banking and shopping needs…still, it remains an interesting town due to its contrasting faces!!
I love Nairobi. I don’t know what town it is to me…of business maybe?? Of contacts?? Of financial deliberations?? Well, it’s a town of quite one too few faces. I run my business from here, I get contacts from here, I outsource from here, most of my friends are here and so are my enemies. Most of my relatives live here and thus I find myself in Nairobi more than anywhere else. I love it here because I get to learn a lot, to make money and to spend it from unending raving nights to serene nights alone in my apartment after a few bottles of konyagi. I have known the streets of Nairobi since my nursery school days at Temple Road Academy opposite bus station till my days at Kenyatta University and up to now…so to put it simply, Nairobi is my wonder world. It is the place to which I get lost only to find myself in my bed, it is the place I run to when hiding from family, relatives and noisy friends (face it, we all have those days that you don’t want to see any of them anywhere near you) and it is the only place that anyone who wants to find me will get me…a city with many facets of life on a wheel that turns too fast, a land where simplicity, complications, mystery, anonymity, hardships, swiftness, cunningness, needs and wants fuse together as survival instincts to give Nairobi its peculiar character…a place where many believe lies the only hope of success, wealth and power: where they all lie but along them too lies poverty, hopelessness, subjectivity, materiality, individuality, and stiff competition where the slickest survives the rest and makes their lives one hell of a breathing space. Yes, that is my wonder world…and I love it too with all its wonders, adventure and scares.
It’s my world: a world I would not trade for any other.