Kenyan Amnesia

Posted on Posted in African languages, Articles, Kenya @ 50, Writers

Today, we are going to talk about how we are not going to talk about football. How about that? Wait, don’t close the tab yet, I do not think Storyzetu will tell you anything you haven’t heard about Suarez biting Chielini or Nigeria being in the round of 16. Furthermore, one of the writers here-not Ngatia- knows zilch about football; apart from the spelling that is. Hellen Masido knows more. So much more (I know you just said DSTV in your head). And so, for the sake of “not Ngatia” and other fans of not watching football, Storyzetu will keep off football and leave the World Cup stories to Futaa and Goal websites.

For those who are coming here for the first time, this is Storyzetu’s new home. surely sounds better than, wouldn’t you agree? It’s bigger than our previous home with A/C, self-contained guest rooms, a balcony and of course a garden with flowers, planted by Hellen Masido: the lady of the house. Welcome dear visitor.

Anyway, I want to talk about Kenyans and ignorance. I could substitute the ignorance with gullible, careless, carefree, e.t.c. I have always wanted to talk about this, the peculiar Kenyan behaviors. Picture this:


Ati budget ya this year iko na nini?”

“Me sijui hizo…na si Messi amefunga bao noma jana!”


It goes on and on about Messi and Cristiano and Rooney… oh, I promised no football.

Picture this next one:


Na hii Anglo-leasing naskia kwa news ndio nini?”

“Hiyo Anglo-leasing ni kitu mbaya sana! Hiyo kitu inatumaliza kabisa manze!”

“Ndivyo niliskia wakisema. Hii serikali itamalizwa na corruption!


They said Anglo-leasing. I dunno what it is
They said Anglo-leasing. I dunno what it is

You get the picture. The point is, Kenyans know little about what concerns them and a lot about what does not matter. Millions everyday listen and watch the news but at the end, remain less informed than they were at the start. I can bet my Dior shoes that at least 75% of Kenyans do not know what Anglo-Leasing is all about.

I can bet my… I have nothing else left to bet on…but I can assure you that less than a quarter of Kenyans know the contents of the budget read 2 weeks ago. It always astounds me how soon we forget tragedies and scandals. Worse, it’s the apathy we treat these scandals with. We watch news like movies; today we watch 3 Days to Kill, forget about it and watch Godzilla later on. We laugh at our politicians, ogle at Vera’s ass, complain about taxes, sleep then wake up with a blank mind. Let me take you through a journey;  in one month, we talked about the Standard Gauge Railway scandal, Anglo-leasing, Gikomba terror attack, “Baba while you were away”, the budget, elephant poaching, Vera Sidika and now the World Cup. It’s been a whirlwind of events that took us up, dropped us and left us with amnesia.

In actual sense, we did not really talk much about these issues. It was a matter of seeing the issue on the news, talking about it in the morning, making noise about it on Twitter in the afternoon, then watching the news at 7:00 PM to start the cycle again. Speaking of Twitter, did you know Kenyans “Googling” about the World Cup was the top trend worldwide on Google last week?! So here we are, not in the World Cup, not even any of our geographical neighbours are in the World Cup, but we are busy making trends about the World Cup. You have outdone yourself Kenya, respect. How about you get to the World Cup in 2018 and shatter all internet records.

The reason nothing ever gets resolved in Kenya is mainly because we forget what part of our body was aching yesterday. We march on blindly leaving a streak of scandals and problems behind like a compound harvester that doesn’t clean after itself. Next year we will still be talking about elephant poaching and Al-shabaab. By next week we will have forgotten Mpeketoni. One way I know that there has been a terrorist attack recently, is by the rigorousness security guards check you. The following is based on true stories happening in malls and buses everywhere:

“Inua mikono”

Beep! Beep! “Nini hiyo iko kwa mfuko?”

“Ni simu”


Beep! Beep! “Nini hiyo?”

“Ni pesa”


Beep! Beep! “Fungua bag”

Beep! Beep! “Toa viatu”

Beep! Beep! (Feeling my pubis) “Hii ni nini”

“Unataka nitoe zip pia?”

In a few days, they will be back to their cursory checks that take 2 seconds and the Shabaab will be back. Maybe it’s our education system that fosters cramming instead of learning. So that our memory lasts 24 hours and after that we start a new life. And you thought the cat has 9 lives, here are Kenyans living a different life every day. Maybe, it’s our media; they replace stories as soon as the day ends and don’t care to do follow ups of past events. Sigh, I may never know; but this national amnesia and ignorance has to end. And that end has to start somewhere, how about here and with you?


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