First and foremost, we are not in competition here (hii si compe).
Kenyans abroad and Kenyans living in Kenya are alllll Kenyans. There will always be Kenyans flying out of Kenya and there will always be Kenyans who remain home. In fact, some Kenyans go abroad and then return to Kenya for good. The cycle is going to continue spinning and the only consistent player in it is a Kenyan.
Yeah, I know we are so annoying. And I know you guys can barely wait for our ka one month break in Dethemba to be over so we can return to wherever country we came from.
Our heinous Dethemba summerbunny crimes have been regurgitated over and over again. At this point our next destination is ICC to answer to them. How will we afford to hire Amal Clooney to defend us? Woi.
- We twang. (Maybe you have to do that to be understood by anyone in countries like the USA)
- We want to interrupt your busy schedules and take you out every night. (This is a crime?)
- We complain that things don’t work. (You think it’s easy to move from a country where you’ve NEVER ever experienced a black out to a country where blackouts are as consistent as the sun rising each morning? Inaitwa culture shock)
- We ask for songs to be played in the club that the DJ doesn’t know. (In this digital era ….how can a DJ not play the latest hits? How now…te he he)
- We begin a sentence with when I was in New York. (We’re waiting for an apology coz maybe if you know I’m from New York, you’ll apologize for all the money you’ve conned me!)
- We are plain ignorant and think we can use dollars at a neighborhood kiosk to buy milk. (This must be made up. The American embassy doesn’t issue visas to dumb people. So maybe this person went to a country where IQ is not a visa prerequisite)
- We are concerned for our safety. (Aren’t we all?)
Our crimes are repugnant to say the least. I get it.
I’m not a lawyer so I’m not going to defend our “crimes” (OK, maybe I have). Forgive us and lets all try to get along since we are joined at the hip for the perpetual future.
I have a simple request. For the one or so months we are home could you just let us be? Could we just enjoy our ka break without snickering laughs behind our back? Without the condemnation, the “spewing venom and hissing cobras” kind of hatred, the labeling and being ostracized?
You see, our lives are hard.
- A famous article listing our ills mentioned an encounter with a guy in Northern Ireland who missed his dad’s funeral. I missed my Dad’s funeral and sent money to help pay for funeral related expenses. This is not a joke. This is an event of such astronomic magnitude that it can ruin your life. Everyone who has missed the funerals of close relatives are probably going through immense depression (unbeknownst to them) and have not properly grieved those losses. Death is a very tricky, unique beast. There is no universal panacea. In my Dad’s death, I had no closure, I did not say goodbye, I did not see him in hospital and it was the number one hands down hardest situation in my life. My elder sister died in 2011, this time I spent a year with her before she died, I was in the hospital room when she took her last breath; I got the closure I so badly needed to deal with her death. And I’ve handled her death like a boss. Since a consequence of living abroad is missing peoples funerals, the people home in Dethemba are probably grief stricken, sad, depressed, unaware they are depressed and in need of deep intense therapy. Instead you make fun of them.
- We summerbunnies are also probably bitter underneath our smiles and efforts not to twang and piss everyone off. Why? I’m sure you’ve all heard the story of Peter who sent money to his family to buy him a piece of land, then he sent them money to build a house on the piece of land, and years went by and his family sent him pictures of his house going up. Then one day Peter came home to find that there was no piece of land, and no house and all his hard earned money had disappeared into thin air. Assume you are Peter. What would you do? How would you react? This is your own family we are talking about.
- We are trying to escape winter. Winter is not romantic, magical or beautiful. It is no freaking joke. It is so cold, your ears hurt, your lips get chapped, my face skin that was flawless in Dubai is now freckled with blemishes, your body skin becomes so dry and itchy, you think it has been infested with ticks. You get fat coz all you want to do is stay in. Its 2 degrees as I type this. That pretty snow is slippery, mucky and just a big mess. Swedes get super depressed and suicidal in the winter months. And they’ve been experiencing this for a long time. So if a summerbunny wants to come thaw out in Kenya in Dethemba, please let them.
- We deserve some respect. We have built houses, paid school fees, and bought things that make your life a lot easier. Why does everybody forget that? A simple ‘thanks’ would suffice.
- We have experienced racism. Imagine growing up in Kenya not knowing there was anything wrong with you. Nothing wrong with your skin color then moving to a country where everyone has been brainwashed to believe there is something flawed about being black. And being African means practicing cannibalism, being uncouth, uncultured and very, very stupid. Personally, my parents built up my self esteem growing up, and nothing anyone says or does can change my perception of who I am. But I talk to girls who probably were not as lucky as I was, imagine what they go through, how they hate themselves, how they try to change themselves. Do you see how many Africans try to change their skin color? There are varying degrees of racism ranging from subtle to more pronounced. Until you know how it feels to have someone throw a banana at you, my friend, I think you need to let me buy you a drink in peace. (in Sankara, none the less)