50 things that are uniquely Kenyan


1. Sickening Amnesia: Kenyans naturally suffer from incurable Amnesia. We must be the most forgetful and forgiving society in Africa with unrivalled benefits to greedy politicians whom we vote year in, year out-with the same sickening results!

2.  Siasa 24/7: Kenyans never tire of talking  politics…with very meagre returns for their efforts.

3.  Playing witness: This has created new celebrity ‘witnesses’ at accident site and police-robber shooting scenes where they give detailed accounts to TV cameras.

4.  Attachment to shagz: We erect rural monstrosities in which we  only sleep during Christmas or the occasional  funeral.

5.  Lavish funerals: We spend large on funerals complete with a professional preacher and outside catering.

6.  Grand weddings: We even now have  banks giving wedding loans!

7.  M-PESA:  The only truly Kenyan invention that even America could not snatch from us!

8.  White Supremacy:  Waiters accord Whites superior treatment than fellow miros in hope of a tip.

9.  Copying each other:  Be it fashion, hairstyles to businesses. Succeed “burning” DVDs from a stall, I also open mine next to you!

10.  Cynicism: We hardly  appreciate anything Made in Kenya. We think foreign, including spouses, are better. Remember the Kenya national dress that  laughably got tattered?

11.  Laughing at ‘shrubbers’:  Mother tongue interference in South Africa and Botswana is no big deal. TV presenters ‘shrub’ proper and no one gives a hoot. But Kenyans will ridicule you out ot town.

12.  Alcohol: Last year we were ranked the second best drinkers in Africa after South Africa, making Tusker lager a national heritage brand.

13. Umbrellas out of the blues when it rains:  Even if it hasn’t  rained for months, hawkers with umbrellas surface out the blue at the first drop of rain!..along side ‘dawa ya mende!”

14. Matatu drivers:  At some point we had the most beautiful matatus in Africa  but with the rudest, most illiterate drivers and makangas anywhere who determine fares, stages and how loud the music should be.

15. Bribing coppers: Being arrested for a smaller misdemeanour calls for “afande tuongee!” – read name your bribe.

16. County Council ‘cops’: Civility is not part of their qualification and the public service delivery is one love-a hate affair with Kanjo.

17. Generosity:We are a generous lot when duty demands. Recall  the ‘Kenyans for Kenya’ campaign?

18. Mombasa Raha: Mombasa and other  coastal towns is  holidaying destination tosha when not trooping shagz.

19. The stereotypes: Luos proud. Kikuyus are thieves. Coasterians are lazy.   Kaos are sex athletes.   Kisiis are liars.  Merus are ‘short wire’..Luhyias love food. Kenya@50 and stereotypes     never go away.

20.  Middle class fads: Our  middle-class always find fads to differentiate them from other lower classes. Be it ‘sudden’ love (and not understanding of  rugby, for instance, a new drink in the market…get the drift?

21.  The English Premier ship:  If you happen in the crowd of Kenyans cheering European soccer, you will be forgiven to think that they own the clubs and they live in the UK!

22.  Nostalgia:  Older Kenyans have this nostalgic thing about “wakati wetu” in the old days when garbage was collected and women respected men.

23. Chronic absenteeism: From Parliament, work place to homes, Kenyans have a habit of chronic absenteeism followed by silly excuses.

24. Pay up,  tax down: We have the greediest Parliamentarians who no sooner are they  elected than they debate their pay rise as the first item…that shouldn’t be taxed!

25. Fornication bags: They can carry anything, from iron box, water bottle of juice, medication, an umbrella, make up kit (big enough, it can start a cosmetic shop), a  pair of shoes, a pair of an alternative dress, a lesso …very ideal for ‘sleep overs.’

26. Complaining: Kenyans complain of everything especially  County Council, Kenyatta Hospital and Kenya Power for  black outs  even though they have improved over the last decade!

27. Roadside eats:  mahindi choma and mutura are the most Kenyan roadside delicacies.

28. Love of the illegal: From chang’aa, stolen goods to turning dowry negotiations  into a  highly commercialized activity despite a government ban on it!

29. The evening news: We rarely miss out on the 9 o’clock news and bars have to knob down the music although there is never anything new in the news.

30. Conniving waiters:They will always look for ways of short changing God fearing patrons when they get tipsy.

31. Sexualised dancing: You scarcely know the lady in a club, but shortly you’re rubbing her bottom in your groin!

31. Pilfering smokers: An oil tanker overturns and the first ‘scoopers’ on the scene to siphon oil are smokers!

32. Ngeta: Kenyans will watch your neck receiving a rough massage from ‘makauzi’ then later ask: “Umeibiwa ngapi…hii place ni mbaya, chunga next time.”

33. Finger licking Nyama choma: We love roast goat ribs to bits. No wonder buying donkey and zebra meat is common place. Nyama Choma joints must serve beers for Kenyans to frequent them.

34.  Bomb scenes: A bomb explodes and becomes a scene of crime and Kenyans will mill around there the whole day!

35. Stuck couples: Related to the above is the habit of looking at lodging or house windows to get a vantage glimpse of ‘stuck’ couples. Few have ever seen them ‘live live!’

36.  Bad grammar:  Conversations feature “otherwise!” which is also a greeting!

37. ‘Saucer this and that: Having food in a down town eatery is not enough without demanding for ‘ugali saucer, top layer, chai choma and chapati ‘nyeshea!’…before buying nyama choma lazima tuonjeshwe kwanza!

38. On and Off Patriotism: When our national team is winning we’re Proudly Kenyan when it loses “The coach must Go!”

39. Sneaking reads: Open The Nairobian in a matatu and the ka-fellow next to you will start reading alongside you… na hataki you turn pages before he/she is finished!

40.  Church and Bar neighbours: A church, Jet of Christ, will co-exist in the same building with a pub selling ‘jet fuel’ demon drinks and no one raises a fuss.

41. Phone manners: We have none. A Kenyan will receive a call in a matatu and go ahead to talk personal things after demanding muziki izimwe!

42. Obituaries: They have to mention that the deceased had a brother Jethro (USA) sister Tifanny (Germany), uncle to Ntulele (SA)…”among others.” If the dead was a graduate, graduation photo must be used!

43. Superiority complex: We think we’re better than Ugandans and Tanzanians and that Nigerians are too proud and loud!

44. Tribalism:  A Kenyan will ask for “your other name” to know your tribe, then look at you funny after realising “wewe si wetu!”

45.  Gestures: We talk in gestures, pouting mouths sideways to give directions.

46.  Diaspora:  Summer bunnies will come on holiday and suddenly every thing has to be paid using credit cards!

47.  Police explanations: Are always absurd, something about “my mboys exchanging fire with guns and thugs had toys!”

48. The Wildebeest Migration is the eight wonder of the world.

49.  We have funny menus: Ugali mix. Surua half. Ugali single. Karanga chapo!

50.  Daniel Adongo is the only African in the American National Football League.

The Standard



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