It’s that time of the year when Kenyans from the diaspora aka Summer Bunnies come back to the motherland to enjoy the Christmas festivities with extended family.
Now here’s a list of things to bear in mind if you are to have a smooth stay in Nairobi alias Nai-robbery.
- MIND YOUR iPHONE
Among the many things that define Nairobi in case you forgot is crime, which inspired the comic alteration of the city’s name to “Nai-robbery”.
Now the culture of muggings is still very much ripe only that this time when a thug makes out with your possessions, fellow Kenyans no longer chase them to help recover the stolen property! We just watch the goon disappear into the dirty, stinking alleys. Then a majority of us will carry on with our lives as if silently saying; “not my monkey, not my circus” while a few “concerned” ones will gather around you not because they care really but mostly out of SHEER CURIOSITY to ask “umeibiwa?” (What have they stolen) before retorting “usijali, hivyo ndio kunaendanga” (don’t worry that’s the trend)
Therefore, Dear Kenyans in the Diaspora when in Nairobi RESIST, by all means, talking on the phone on the streets or even much worse when in traffic otherwise thugs will snatch your phone faster than you can say “SGR”.
- DO NOT DON YOUR EXPENSIVE JEWELLERY
If there is something thugs in Nairobi are good at is their “taste” for designer accessories and they know how to spot them from across the street. They will rip off your watch from wrists, violently yank off your earrings and choke you while trying to grab your chain.
- BEWARE OF COUNCIL ASKARIS (KANJO)
Any Kenyan who has found themselves in the wrong hands with Council Askaris will tell you that you’re actually better off being arrested by the much dreaded Kenyan police rather than kanjo.
If you subscribe to the old impression that the police think with their teeth then I don’t know which body part you will attribute to Kanjo’s reasoning. They will pounce on you for allegedly flaunting “City by Laws” like, being on the phone while crossing the road, chewing gum, alighting from a moving vehicle, jumping traffic lights, and smoking among other issues.
Whether guilty as charged or not you DO NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH KANJOS!
- KNOW THE CITY BY-LAWS AND TRAFFIC OFFENCES
As the good old saying goes “knowledge is power” and being conversant with the famous City By-Laws, which often provide the much-needed fodder for Kanjo to thrive in their dirty under dealings will save you a great deal.
Otherwise, you risk finding yourself in a situation a friend did last December where he ended up paying Sh 10,000 in bribes to Kanjo for allegedly being on phone while crossing the road yet the legal penalty for the crime is a mere Sh 5,000.
The now infamous National Transport & Safety Authority (NTSA) is also always out there sticking their necks out for traffic offenders, therefore, you need to be in the know on new traffic offences and fines. Read about the city by-laws and traffic offenses in Kenya here.
- MIND YOUR DRESS CODE
I know we are in the 21st century but this is still Africa. Dress for the occasion to avoid unnecessary attention both from your relatives back in the village and the rest of the guys around.
See, traders here often fix their prices based on their customers outlook, am not saying you dress like a pauper but if your dress code is the kind that makes the typical traders at Maasai market or the hawker on the street engage you with; “welcome” instead of the traditional “Karibu customer” you will definitely miss out on great bargains.
Again, your dress code is one of the tale tale signs that will entice Nairobi thugs your way; actually, even for us “wenyeji” (typical home guards), there are streets in Nairobi you just don’t go dressed a certain way.