and why it's no longer shocking to shop, worship or unwind at your favourite local side-by-side with your slum dwelling shamba boy or "askari soldier"
A vicious modern day class war has quietly been taking place in the country over the past 3 years even as our 45 year old nation, still besieged by pre-independence vices and beleaguered with amatureish political jockeys, hurtles towards a ground breaking referendum and what could potentially be a fateful election worse than 2007 in 2 years time.
Battle lines between Kenya's upper,middle and bottom classes are already drawn and its everyone for themselves, God for us all.The three main camps bitterly pited against one another are: the "flying-toilet-jigger-infested below poverty line" slum dwellers, the educated urban "clipped-english accent speaking" middle class city dwellers, and the elite ruling political class. Unlike our maize eating oil drinking school fees guzzling sorry excuse for a politician members of parliaments, there are no grand coalitions or memorundums of understanding or KKK's political sub clans to be entered into between these 3 classes who essentially are blood brothers drawn from the same family
To understand the root cause of this 3 tier class war we have to go back to the botched 2007 stolen elections and subsequent 2008 anarchy and mayhem that followed suit. It always bothered the poor slum dwellers from Kawangare,Korogocho, mathare etc that while they were out fighting&dying for "haki yetu" between December 07 and February 08 in the streets of the capital city and dingy back alley villages across the country, life was going on virtually uninterrupted for the urban working middle class, minority rich elite and upper ruling political class without so much as a ruffled hair on their expensive well groomed barbershop and salon fashioned hair styles
It was around that time that there was a substantial shift in the mindset of these majority in number modern day slum dwelling slaves. It dawned on the cooks,shamba boys, "soldiers" (security guards), mechanics and househelps that because the "wakubwas" didn't feel the same pain they felt, they had to devise a pay back strategy, one that would also see them lifted out of the soul crushing poverty in this 6% growing east african economy. mostly, they just felt hurt that they suffered and died in vain.I mean come on, not even a pat-on-the-back for all that blood shed! In any other country around the world they would have been considered the tide -shifting heroes of the hour.
All this needless unnecessary dying whilst their rich fellow kenyans continued to watch DSTV(Digital Satellite Television), eat "nyam chom" and visit the Gigiri based "Village Market", content to only wax lyrical venom at "THAT tribe" from the comfort of their 4 walled 5 bedroomed expensive upmarket real estate penthouses. The "have nots" strategy was 3 fold- first of all they knew where those urban city educated middle class cowards lived,afterall they were their everyday modern "slaves" and did just about everything for them, including looking after "daddy jr" all day long, to washing clothes for "madam", and sometimes even doing the thinking for "Baba Watoto"
Secondly, they knew how to identify those educated "british-english" speaking "cowards", be it through their portly "3-square meals-a-day" obese body frames, or from their ineloquent halting and broken kiswahili (e.g. habari yako wewe today).Failing all that, just look out for the cars they drive. The middle class stopped buying those second hand Dubai imports a looooooooong time ago. Lastly,they knew how "strong"(read weak) those learned scaredy cats were, and correctly surmised where it would hurt the most if they put the squeeze on them
The idea was to go back to living in your slum hell hole, continue cooking, repairing vehicles, guarding those expensive penthouses etc but with a "treat me badly and see what happens" added dimension and attitude to their jobs. Examples of bad treatment include stirring up unnecessary tribal hatred while grossly underpaying them and abusing the physical manpower they offer
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