Xenophobia according to wikipedia is defined as an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which foreign or strange. It is becoming rather prevalent around these parts of late what with the influx of refugees and all sorts of nationalities dropping in to do business. The general mood is that there is an invasion and is more or less unwelcome. But is it really that bad and are we really loosing our country to foreign nationals?
If you ask me we should embrace all manner folk with hues from pink to pale to charcoal black if we really want to develop. If we observe the undisputed kings of business in the country it appears it is the 2nd and 3rd generation Asians more popularly known as kalasingas and wahindi by most folk. These are as foreign as they come and have taught the locals a thing or two about earning the daily bread. Though this is not based on any scientific study, I suggest that the business acumen attributed to the Kikuyu comunity is based on exposure to the Asians , proximity to the city and shrinking agricultural land in central province. For a man to feed his family creativity in hustling for money is a must.
Most firms in industrial area are run by Asian families and I suspect they contribute the most in terms of taxes from SMEs Save for their seemingly antisocial behaviour of hanging out at malls in the dead of night and rarely mingling with the masses their contribution to the economy and livelihoods of thousands of kenyans cannot be ignored. The same feat could not have been replicated by locals without foreign influence. The USA is built on this single principle. Get as much foreign talent as possible to live in your country and afford them an opportunity to do whatsoever they want within the law.
Foreigners bring in a fresh perspective, fresh drive and a whole new way of doing things. More often than not they are attracted by the resources they see to be underutilised and there is no way they can exploit the resources without directly or indirectly benefiting the local population.
The Somalis are another bunch that are giving the locals a run for their money on the business front. What with buying up property like its mutumba high heels and even prompting major banks to setup shariah compliant banking. At the end of the day, all the property aqcuired and developed remains on kenyan soil and the Kenyan citizens whether directly or via the government are the major winners and stand to benefit the most.
I think we should take a chill pill and learn from those who know better, polish our game and maybe we may have a chance from the Amero-Chinese onslaught. It begins with observing what the foreigners are doing and more importantly understand why they do it.
So there I was waiting impatiently in line to buy my supplies at the local shop back in my home townof Naromoru. Its a small sleepy town with nothing much to call home about and super boring to the nairobi types who look for olepolosish plans. We are getting tarmac within the town though so plus for development there. . Anyhoo I was inline to get me some bread. Not those brands like supaloaf that comes in polythene wrappers. I only do Broadways bread. Comes wrapped in paper , makes it look airy and the mass to moisture ratio is perfect in my books. Awesomeness defined.
Where was I. . .right the queue. Now this is a regular upcountry joint and aside from most guys tucking in their trousers in their socks due to the mud outside there isnt much of a fashion statement to be expressed here. Clothes are for warmth and covering the embarassing bits. Period. As i said, nothing to call home about. Everyone knew the shopkeeper dude, including me. I forget his name though. Infront of me was this guy narrating how the lean economic times had to make him creative to keep the family running. He narrated how nowadays the regular recipe for cooking ugali was so two thousand and late. The new improved way to get with the flactuatng schilling rate and rocketting cost of well just bout everything was to be down right inventive. As a result he has resorted to a new method of cooking ugali. First you more or less brew tea (minus the milk which is too expensive anyway) , sieve the tealeaves out , then cook ugali with what remains. The result, which will be cristened ugalea , saves on cost, and incorporates the taste of tea right into the ugali which creates a ready to eat meal.
Now you need to hear that story told in Kikuyu because it sounds absolutely hilarious. Maybe I should ask @wanjohidaily to do a spot on it. That incident made me think about how much we take things lying down. Purpoted leaders use public funds like some personal kitty that they can raid at any time for anything from shuttle diplomacy in defence of perpetrators of ethnic cleansing to rearranging the budget so that monies reserved for emergencies,tragedies etc like the recent pipeline-fuel-slum fire fiasco to paying MP taxes and the most the public does is shake their heads very vigorously. Its actually comical. Just the other day the teachers had their way by simply saying enough is enough and telling the govt to go tell their crap to someone else. That is how you get results. Quantitative action. Dont ask for what you want, take it.
Western govenments keep telling us how poor we are and assign us a label that they encourage us to use. We are called 3rd world countries, emerging markets, struggling this impoverished that, less than a dollar a day etc. . . 3rd world countries? Do we have 3 worlds? I think the colonial mindset hasnt reallly left but has been transmitted down generations and is currently manifesting in the twitter age where the idea of protest is confined to angry 140 character outbusts on a US based internet service by the tech savvy middle class youth. The University Student unions are so compromised that strikes are called for very mundane and childish reasons and the officials are as clueless as the next guy as to what power they actually weild in being the official leaders of thousands of the leaders of tommorrow as is so commonly alleged.
We are fucked seeing as very few people my age bother to read non fictional books that seek to expound or explore long held beliefs whether in religion, pholosophy, psychology or history. Twilight on the other hand flies off the shelves. Am no judge but the type of material we consumes defines our foundations no?
But all is not gloom n doom, the Eastern tiger economies are on the rebound and American power what with their impressive military budget and technology superiority is waning. This may be the opportunity to make hay while the sun shines, the sun being the rivalry between the east and the west.
And Africa has lotsa hay, lets get to it.