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Monday, July 15, 2024
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Kenya-Good People, Good Food, Bad Politics

Kenya-Good People, Good Food, Bad Politics
Kenya-Good People, Good Food, Bad Politics
By Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD) In Kijabe.Uchumi Supermarket chain is no longer the main thing happening in Kenya’s Megastore outfits. Nakumatt has become Kenya’s Walmart with stores in every major city. But in Mombasa, Nyali, Naku-mart has found itself fighting with the newest chain in town. They call it Naivas! It started in the dusty and chaotic town of Naivasha which stands between Kijabe and Nakuru. The town is so dusty that even when it rains, it is still dusty!
The new Super Center has added a touch of Western-ism and constructed an American like open Mall with everything from banks to offices for a water drilling company. With enough parking, in Kenyan standards, it is the newest wave of private developments that Kenyans can enjoy.
Recently I walked into the Tuskys Super Market in Nairobi’s Embakasi Estate and was impressed to find within the store a water filtration system: Reversed Osmosis. Since Kenyans in Nairobi cannot drink tap water, they spend money to buy clean drinking water rest their children get ring worms. An expensive choice, but a worthy one given Nairobi City Council’s corruption.
One common thing about these Super Stores is that they are always parked with customers. That explains why they are opening up and down major cities and neighborhoods. What I do not understand is where Kenyans get the money? Things are not cheap in these marts! They just make them look and feel cheap.
Sitting at the Nyali Naivas, at the New Nairobi Java outfit, I watch as many Kenyans drive in and out. Others stream into the store from the street. I order my latte accompanied by my Mechanic, Kim Dedan, my Kijabe buddy’s son: Driving from Nairobi to Mombasa, I figure a mechanic is in order! The Kenyan roads don’t give any guarantees.
I am not alone in this beautiful coffee house. Rather, residents of Nyali are many. Javas’ Non-alcoholic menu attracts those who, like me, don’t drink alcohol.  I realize that Kenyans love and wish for orderly, organized, clean things. They honestly wish that toilets had water, toilet papers, and soap. They wish their children could grow up in good environments. Since they grow organic foods, they wish every family could enjoy a good meal: that they would grow up here in Naivas where its clean and appealing. That the organic milk at home would make CHAI in a kitchen lighted by electric power. That somehow there was no smoke burning their eyes because they have to use wet wood cut from the nearby forests.
However, they can only wish because their politicians are egocentric maniacs whose objective is to just steal, steal, steal, everything including elections. My people are good! Their food is good! They love good things, but their politics and politicians, well, rotten.
Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD), SYR Radio/TV, Director, International Desk. Diaspora Messenger Contributor.

Kenya-Good People, Good Food, Bad Politics

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