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Dropping into people's homes unannounced is callous and impolite!

By Awuor Omino | November 28th 2021

While human beings are known to be social animals, I guess, some people are taking this ‘social’ bit too far.

I know we have constantly ridiculed the white man and his 1001 etiquette, which they observe when visiting a friend.

We pride ourselves on cooking a lot so that there is always extra food for any visitor who pops in. 

We go for slightly bigger houses because we anticipate visits from family and friends, who might stay a day or two longer.

But we forget to calculate the costs of all these and what difference the extra money can make in our lives.

We have a spare room for guests and friends and relatives, who visit us and sometimes, are in no hurry to leave.

They saunter out of their room leisurely to pick breakfast and go back to the privacy of their room where they can watch Netflix or listen to music the whole day as you go to work to earn a living for them.

Guests who get too comfortable never leave and just like fish, they start to stink with time.

Generosity is a good thing but being realistic is better.

This tabia of just appearing at people’s doorsteps suited our grandparents because there were no phones.

When you felt like visiting your friend or family, you simply walked to them.

But this is no longer the case.

You cannot go visiting people at lunchtime in the name of ‘I was in the neighbourhood’ and serve yourself chicken thighs when probably that is the only chicken they had.

You see, the only reason our grandparents were overly generous was because there was always enough- the granaries were belching with food and the kitchen that doubled up as the chicken house was always littered with chicks.

There were potatoes and plantain and vegetables in the garden and no one went hungry.

When our grandparents invited you for meals, they meant it because there always was an excess.

When guests visited, the hosts would plead and sometimes even insist that visitors had to eat.

But nowadays, you don’t even give your host time to insist, just one joke of ‘karibu mezani’ and you are already washing your hands.

We, of course, appreciate the kind gesture that you took your time to see us. We would be happier if you turned up a bit earlier and gave us time to prepare a meal for you as well.

Better still just call - let us know you are coming.

Most of the time food is not even the main issue; there may be days when we just don’t feel like entertaining guests or we could be in the middle of something important and your presence may not be welcomed.

We are in the 21st century and life literally gives us a choice to everything, we can even change our minds and unsend love messages we had sent days ago.

Please give us that choice to choose when you can visit us and when you can’t, unless a lion is literally chasing you, do cannot ambush us with unnecessary visits.



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