If you live in Nairobi I suggest that you quickly wake up from your deep slumber. I have seen you sit in front of your TV burping and making jokes about what is happening in London with the ongoing riots and mayhem. It seems to delight you greatly that there is rioting on the streets of the mzungu capital. He who called us uncivilized to our faces after what happened here in January 2008.
But hold on a minute.
Some 61 years ago, in the very neighbourhood where you are burping, farting and feeling very safe, some arrogant white settlers sat listening to the radio with the exact same myopic attitude that you have right now. At the time the world was discussing the wind of change sweeping across Africa that was ushering in independence from colonial rule. The settlers joked about the absurdity of the stupid illiterate “monkeys” who couldn’t tell their left foot from their right ever ruling themselves one day. The “silly wind of change” would never reach Kenya they confidently burped. I don’t intend to bore you with my usual history lessons but barely two years later these settlers were on panic mode witnessing some of their own being attacked and others decapitated by the murderous Mau mau gang. Some of the monkeys even wore ties and went to London to demand for independence. Many of them never recovered from the shock.
My advice to you now is to carefully plan a quick and safe exit for you and your family out of Nairobi in the event of serious civil unrest breaking out. You are in the greatest danger if you live in one of those leafy suburbs of the city.
Let me explain. The “revolution” that swept across the Arab world recently was triggered by one incident, a killing of one young man, Mohammed Bouazizi In Tunisia and Kkaled Said in Egypt. In the UK the shooting of the 29-year old Mark Duggan, who died in Tottenham, north London, on Thursday after been shot by the police has started off the worst civil unrest on those shores in centuries. Indeed most people are perplexed and very puzzled at what is happening in that famous, orderly, clean city that is the financial capital of the world.
If we can come back to Kenya for a minute, much worse injustices have been visited upon the people of this beautiful republic and to make matters worse, the political class is busy provoking the masses every other day with something worse than what they did the previous day.
Actually trouble should have broken out here many years ago except for what experts in these matters call a “buffer”. The buffer is the so-called Kenyan middle class. However in recent times, as most of us know, that middle class has been rapidly disappearing. In it’s place a very deep and wide void has developed between the haves and have-nots. If this is not dynamite that is waiting to be ignited by just one small spark, or petrol on the ground with sparks flying all over the place, then I do not know what is.
As you read this, inflation is at a record high and the Kenyan shilling has plummeted to record lows. Amidst all that (and media attention has been diverted from this by the numerous other things happening) petrol prices have cleared the Kshs 110 per litre mark and continue to rise steadily. Even the so-called middle class are feeling the heat.
That is why I submit to you today that trouble could break out at any time. Don’t be caught totally unawares, your life could depend on it.
Kumekucha asked you to prepare for the worst more than a month ago
UK riots… a consumer revolution?