What is the problem with us Kenyans? Answer – We are poor

A video posted by Daily Nation on their Facebook Page has this man driving through the streets of Seattle Washington State calling on Kenyans to stay in doors. In his speech he wonders what’s wrong Kenyans by asking, “What is the problem with us Kenyans”? Here is his question in proper context:

My friend this is America, this is the street of the most respected the most busy street Seattle, Washington. Na watu hawako, I’m telling you hakuna watu. This is Seattle, the heart of Seattle, America. Wale ambao wako na pesa na wako na everything. Wame ambiwa na serikali wakae nyumbani na wame kaa. Because of their lives. Hawa watu hawana njaa, hawa watu wako na mabarabara, they have everything. Lakini wanasikiza serikali yao. What is the problem with us Kenyans? What is the problem with us Kenyans? We have to change!

The context of the man’s question is basically the context of every elitist who doesn’t want to appreciate how important living hand to mouth is. The man here provides an answer to his question but he doesn’t realise it. He doesn’t realise that it is very easy for someone who has “everything” to easily obey stay-indoors orders when it is absolutely necessary. He doesn’t understand that for someone who can stock up piles of food that can last him months on end and still have access to basic human amenities such as running water, working sewer systems, uninterrupted electricity, big screen TV probably setup as a Home Theatre, and fast speed Internet, that person ideally does not find it necessary to go outdoors if going outdoors means endangering his life.

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People like the man driving in the streets of Seattle, people who can afford to fly abroad, drive, and experience a lifestyle that is beyond the dream of most Kenyans, are people who have twisted Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs upside down. To these people, right now, health is more important than food – or rather, avoiding to contract a communicable disease that has 3% chance of killing you is more important than looking for source of energy for the body that if the body doesn’t get, the body will have 100% chance of dying.

It’s obvious the body will not allow you to stay indoors when it realises it is going to die. Before it dies, it will hit you with hunger pangs; pangs that will force you get outside. This will not matter whether or not there are zombies roaming around on the outside, or whether there are soldiers outside with orders to shoot on sight anyone who dares to disobey a lockdown order. Once the pangs start to bite, the need to eat will supercede the fear of bullets.

For those in Seattle Washington and any other upstate of any country (including the middle class estates of countries such as Kenya), the call to stay indoors can be heeded at will. These people have the ability to delay the hunger pangs for months, hopefully until the pandemic passes on. But your ordinary jua kali technician who repairs vehicles at a garage or drives nails at those construction sites, the ordinary John Doe who is given money just enough for him to pass by the kibanda hapo mtaa kuitisha chapati dondo, your ordinary Kenyan cannot stay indoors for more than 48 hours. NEVER.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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