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Snobbery. That wrong-headed, misguided, churlish sense of entitlement.  That revulsive assumption that your tastes and preferences are above everyone else.  That superiority complex that is instantly discernible in people who can scarcely disguise their contempt towards those outside their social class.

I am not talking about inferiority complex, whereby you dismiss those whose tastes you don’t understand. Like some Eastlanders who think buying Versace or Issey Miyake is snobbish, yet there is cheap mitumba that can just suffice.

Nairobi has its fair share of snobs. For starters, we have snobs drawing salaries the length of telephone numbers. These breed hardly associate outside their income brackets. They strictly want guys they can do biashara with. Individuals who don’t suffer troubled mental calculations at seeing Sh10,000 on the green bottle of Glenfiddich. Guys who can fork out Sh100,000 for two days at Enashipai (which means place of happiness) without their bank accounts sporting a red flag. These snobs immediately drop their friends nursing financial marasmus as soon they get plum postings. Next thing you hear is they are teeing off from the 19th hole.  Never mind they attended Nyamathumbi or Gatuanyaga secondary schools.

Secondly, we have car and electronic snobs.  They often go for products that economists say have ‘snob appeal.’ For cars, it is always a German machine. For gadgets, anything from Apple will do thanks. They do not buy things, they make statements. Anyone who cannot afford their taste is a cheapskate. 

Thirdly we have music snobs.

 The lads and lasses who listen to jazz, neo-soul, rock and eccentric hip-hop somehow have a self-confidence that theirs’ is the ultimate sophistication. Those of us who listen to decomposing rhumba or noisy benga are shagz-modos who belong to the entertainment cave. Maybe those well groomed in differentiating guitar styles of Wes Montgomery and Earl Klugh have a point away from those who are only versed in the ankle-length dust inducing music of Kiarutara Boys Band.

Then we have culinary snobs.

They come in two breeds; ethnic and class. Ethnic are the type that won’t touch food that is a specialty of a given political divide. I know Jubilee guys who dismiss Omena and Adhola as ‘Corded’ diet. Some Cord charlatans can’t eat kichwa chemsha arguing in their communities they bury cow heads alongside the hooves and pembe! And then we have those guys, who only eat in specific addresses. They don’t do Kenchic. Or any joint East of Moi Avenue. No need courting food poisoning, you know.  I personally test the snobbery index of a new date by deliberately taking her to a particularly hot, smoky eatery along Tom Mboya where waitresses trade insults. Her reaction will dictate where we are headed.

How about fashion snobs?

The chaps in suits so brainwashed to believing that dreadlocked dude is uncultured.  We know characters who invest so much on fashion yet they end up looking like a pastoral Momanyi from rustic Nyamira. Truth is, you can never buy class. It is like sex appeal: Either you have it or you don’t.

Finally, we have intellectual snobs.

 Those with innumerable degrees or went to the best schools that money can buy and who feel that we must all worship the scholarly ground they walk on. They often talk of ‘intellectual dwarfs’ in reference to those posturing yet they never made the cut to notable institutions of higher learning. Intellectual snobs only prefer philosophical discourses, quoting Kant and Descartes (and ensuring you know it’s pronounced ‘decca’). If we only we had people like Dr Eddah Gachukia, very educated, very successful, yet annoyingly humble.  Snobbery brings out the inadequacies of the snob than the snubbed. So, don’t leave snobbish cretins to shine on you. Kindly tell off snobs. Cut them to size. That way, God will be in heaven and all will be well with the world.  

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