7 Things Living In Nairobi Will Teach You
This is Nairobi
Nairobi is capital city of Kenya. Every day, almost 2 million people head to Nairobi to their jobs, for leisure or to look for employment. This means that there are different types of people coming in and out of the city every day. There are different classes of people; wealthy, middle class (majority), and there are also the poor who just want to get by. If you have lived in Nairobi, you should know by now that you always learn something new every day. Evidence to this is the innumerable Facebook groups of like-minded Kenyans warning each other of the latest con schemes in town or the latest method swindlers, fraudsters, and thieves are using to prey on unsuspecting victims. Nairobi always has the next trending topic of the day; this “leaked nudes” issue should stop now, shouldn’t it? There is always that thing that will happen that will leave you wondering, “How did I not know about this?”
There are things living in Nairobi will teach you. So here goes.
1. People live beyond their means
Most people in Nairobi live beyond their means. There are of course plenty of high rollers in Nairobi too; no doubt about that. It is not a surprise to spot someone seated in a sh.20,000,000 car in traffic. And yes, I did not confuse the zeros.
Heck! There are people driving cars worth three times that and living in houses worth hundreds of millions. However, don’t be fooled by everyone. In this same Nairobi, you will find someone earning 100k every month, but and living in a house that sets him or her back 60k every month! The same person has no insurance on the car and is a regular party goer in one of those uptown clubs. There is so much pressure to fit in that most people end up living like birds; only worrying about today. Many people have no idea what it means to save and hence the popularity of the word YOLO! Those who are wise enough live below their means and save for their future.
2. Don’t trust anyone; including beggars
It is said beggars in Nairobi report to the city to make money; just like everyone else. Not all, but quite a good number. There is this beggar who was featured in one of the dailies who deposits 10k a day after a “hard day at work,” only to hop into his car at the end of the day and go back to his mansion. Going by the picture of the mansion that was featured on the paper, let’s just say you might end up asking yourself what you are doing with your life. This tells you that some of these people acting as beggars are well off. I was once seated in traffic and some beggar passed by in a wheelchair only to reemerge ten minutes later walking like a star! Needless to say, I was quite flabbergasted. What with all the generous contributions I donate that make me feel all good inside. Kumbe ni unafiki? So, trust no one in Nairobi city!
3. There is an upsurge of cars during the weekend
Cars are expensive to fuel; especially if one has to use it every day. It is quite common to see cars in parking lots in the estate during weekdays. Many Nairobians who own cars use them at the beginning of the month and at the end of the month, or during weekends only, reason being, it’s expensive to fuel. Until the Energy Regulatory Commission decides to give us a break, this is not about to change. Hii Turkana oil ikuje sasa, waKenya wanaumia.
4. Bus fares are hiked when it rains
Every time it threatens to rain in Nairobi, you will see people rushing to go home. A good number run to avoid soaking in the rain, but a bigger number run to avoid paying extra bus fare. And traffic is heavier during the rain; this phenomenon really needs to be researched.
5. Nairobi is always awake
Go to Nairobi at 5am and you are going to find people walking in the streets rushing to work. Try 3am and Uber is cashing in hard! Try 10pm, and find people are sipping coffee. Weekends are also busy and the streets are always full of people going to party and others just hanging out. You are going to find a chips and fish joint open at 3am. Fish tends not to be available at that hour though.
6. Everyone is after the paper!
In Nairobi, nothing is free. Everything is on sale; including a visit to the toilet. That’s why it’s the land of opportunity. Anyone capable of offering small services can rake in some cash. When did they start selling packets of sauce at fast food joints? Don’t we all miss those days you would splurge lots of sauce on clean, white fries?
7. Most of the cars in traffic are on loans
It is a fact that most cars on Kenyan roads are on loans. The middle class in Kenya is growing, but I tend to think banks have a major part to play in this. Most average engine cars are said to be on bank loans; how true is that? They say those Jaguars you see on the road are paid in cash.