Kenyans are warm but peculiar people. Away from dirty, divisive politics, we live harmoniously.
We love and acclaim our countrymen shinning in sports, academia, and other spheres that put the country in the international limelight. We are, however, a people who get united by weird things. Here are such odd things bringing us together:
1. Erotic content
The taste for racy videos and nudes in Kenya is annoying
Anything arousing unites and stimulates us. We exchange contacts with strangers just to get hold of a trending erotic video or photographs. We are joining Telegram in droves to access and redistribute all manner of trending content that can calm and ‘awaken’ us when jaded.
One time we are genial and next minute bullies of all time. Home and away we unleash rage with hashtags (or do we say harshtags?) deconstructing our targets mercilessly. A survey by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime last year ranked Kenyans as the worst bullies on Twitter.
Nigeria, Uganda, China, and South Africa have tasted the wrath of Kenyans on Twitter, simply known as KOT.
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Major brands and establishments like CNN and New York Times can attest to this. Our President, politicians, and celebs are familiar with this ruthlessness.
Naturally, people love free things and when a chance for freebies emerges, we scramble for it. Our motto is: “Jenga mwili, haribu jina”. We loot openly when an accident happens, even taking worthless items. And when idling and fantasising, we pray for an accident to happen between soda and bread trucks.
4. Crossing busy roads
Besides church, where under command of the preacher we hold hands with strangers, we do it while crossing busy roads.
Pedestrians unite to cut the traffic flow and cross the road, strangers holding hands and pointing at motorists in an intimidating manner. But once done, we become strangers to each other again.
Despite this unity, there are cunning ones who trick others to stay close to the approaching cars while they stay at the far end, where if a motorist ploughs into them, they can escape unscathed.
We eat and drink gossip. We rummage through social media, eavesdrop to poke noses into others’ affairs. We share snippets and end up with a full story about who is responsible for a certain celeb’s pregnancy or divorce. Who is being auctioned, dumped, made a second wife, or is dating Auntie wa Harrier. We are generous in sharing morsels of shu-shu.
6. Breaking laws
We are not reputable law-abiding citizens. We love cat and mouse games with the government. We disobey simple warnings like “Usikojoe hapa” or “Usitupe takataka hapa” then complain afterward.
An order to stay indoors past curfew hours was zealously disregarded, but when the restriction was lifted, we lost interest in staying out late. We are waiting for another directive to dishonour with abandon.
7. Smart crime
Kenyans are ambiguous on crime matters. We swear how we loathe crime and unite in thrashing and lynching small-time felons, but when another one pulls a multimillion-shilling heist, we applaud them.
You see Kenyans and even cops angry with thugs who execute smart bank robbery only to make some silly mistakes landing them in jail. “Wajinga wanakimbilia high lifestyle and big cars instead wangonje kutulie wakule hizo pesa mos mos,” Kenyans will angrily say.
8. Men humiliation
Assault a woman in the public and hell will break loose on you, but when a man faces the same in hands of a lady, we laugh about it.
You will hear us joke how a certain husband barterer is like a Nikita or Cynthia Rothrock. We film when a hapless man is being thrashed by a woman and then circulate it to entertain others.
We are familiar with this oft-repeated story of “Senator wa kupigwa na bibi”.
9. Electing dimwits
Before hiring house-helps we scrutinise them thoroughly, but on the ballot, we vote in some blockheads to lead us.
We pretend to exhibit civilisation and wisdom, but on the D-day unanimously go for dimwits from our tribes, religion, and later protest with hashtags.
10. Gruesome incidents
Like nudes and erotic videos, we love watching and circulating gory content.
We desperately ask for viral videos of suspected witch doctors or thieves being lynched. At the scene of an accident, we stop to watch the horrific sight, capture pictures, videos, and rush to post them on social media.