Kenyans can be hilariously funny. That is why most of us find Churchill aka Mwalimu King’ang’i flat and dull in his definition of humor. More so, Kenyans lace their conversations with sarcasm and an irony that can be smelt twenty kilometers away from where the conversation is taking place. These conversations are iced with satire which makes it funnier and extremely hilarious. Kenyans will surprise you, slap you on your behind with their words, give you a trip under the table with humor and then take you to your grave with mini heart attacks with a crudeness only they can manage to attack you with.
That is why I was rolling under a ‘matatu’ seat the other day enroute to Kinoo. This marketer got into the vehicle with us at Odieon and took the very front seat. He had a medium seized carton box that he mercilessly left at the isle of the ‘matatu’ making it hard for other passengers (mostly women) to cross over the box to their seats. No one complained.
When the jav started out, the guy stood up, introduced himself and started selling in a way that was so interesting it caught my attention. Let us be honest, it takes a lot to get my attention mostly if you are a marketer or a jehova witness kind of guy.
Every item he sold had something we could relate to tagged to it. The solar lightings had very few fascinating features but he managed to make it sound like it was a gold mine. The phones (they were too cheap compared to the cheapest phone shop in market he got me wondering how genuine they were) were a catch: Galaxy SI for 15,000, Lumia 920 for 12,000, Galaxy mini for 5, 000… he went on to sell lighters, torches, cookers, TV sets, land, bricks….he was selling everything; whether he had it or not.
The sale of padlocks got me crying. Kenyans have made the cabinet secretary for internal affairs a big joke, so much so that anything security is named after him. So, instead of telling people to buy a padlock, he was selling Joseph Ole Lenku. Everyone’s interest was pricked. Heads jerked. Mouths set rolling. The jav came alive with uncontrolled laughter. No one was minding their next neighbor like we consciously do. It was pure, undiluted, non pretensive laughter. People bought all the padlocks he had. It was a nice way of drawing out to Kenyans: More so, kikuyus who are known to be stingy and to work on strict budgets.
People did not buy those padlocks because they needed them. They bought them because they had found something to attach to them; pure undiluted laughter both from them and from strangers. The tears of raw happiness and the ache of their ribs got their hands to their wallets.
Five days later, I am still thinking about that guy; and why he should swipe roles with Churchill. Kenyans would have some humor to identify with like they did during the age of rydikulas. I will admit, I cannot pinpoint a paid Kenyan comedian who can make me laugh my ass out abandonly or who can make me forget my woes by losing myself in what they are saying. Call it lack of a sense of humor or what you want. However, I find this in many Kenyans as they go around their daily duties, unaware of how funny they are.
That marketing guy though, he really should consider a career in comedy!