East or West, home is best, in this case, Kenya. There are certain things and experiences that make Kenya exactly what it is. And it only after you are in a new country when you will notice some things are only found at home. Below are some things Kenyans on the road or living in diaspora admit to missing.
If you want to make a Kenyan person truly angry, then deny them food. In fact, these days, almost all gatherings serve food as a part of the itinerary just to keep their participants happy. From Kenyan churches, burials, weddings, baby showers and even just committee meetings, food is considered a highly vital part. Therefore once you cross the oceans, you will find yourself longing for hot ugali, soft chapatis, weekend nyama choma and other Kenyan delicacies often non-existent abroad.
Kenyan themed nights
Mugithi, Ohangla and Isikuti nights are just examples of the dozens of culturally themed nights held almost daily across Kenyan towns. The difference between these nights and normal clubbing is that the nights feature and emphasize on different Kenyan ethnicities and traditions. The music, food and general vibe is traditionally Kenyan. Something that can only be enjoyed in the 254.
Most countries have local shops and eateries but perhaps not as extensively as in Kenya. In Kenya you will find a kibanda for almost anything. From hotels, to laptop shops, to salons, barbershops, pharmacies, boutiques, and almost anything commercial. These places are popular because they often offer cheaper prices compared to shops based in malls and other executive buildings. They cater for the low-income population therefore making services and items available for all.
Ah! What would Kenya look like without the crazy matatu vehicles that are the main source of public transport in the country? Whichever part of Kenya you are, you are going to find a matatu stage, well, save for Lamu, the donkey town. Matatus offer cheap transportation over vast distances with the only downfall being immense noise from banging speakers, stuffy air and sometimes being loaded excessively in the tiny spaces. Crazy as they may be, matatus make a huge and missable part of the Kenyan life.
I do not know whether fundis (repairers) in Kenya have a secret organization that goes by one golden rule: always lie about time! No matter where you are, if you have interacted with a fundi, tailor, cobbler, carpenter, painter etc. you have probably ended up frustrated and angry at them.. Fundis will tell you a job will be done in two days, only to end up chasing them down two weeks later. And the worst part is when they give you a shoddy job even after dragging forever. Yet we cannot operate without our fundis!
These are just a few Kenyan things that Kenyans travelling or living abroad miss. We would like to hear from you about what you miss about Kenya when away.