Surviving these economic tides in Kenya should be the greatest achievement of all time. Living in Nairobi is stressful enough and as necessity is the mother of invention, people have come up with a couple of ways to live comfortably without pinching their last penny. It’s interesting the ways how Kenyans survive in these streets. Below are 6 smart ways they ace their way through these hard times;
Your shoes are more than 5 years old
We know you have these shoes that have wrinkled and hardened with years of serving you. And you are not even planning to change them soon. Changing the sole of your official shoes 3 times for “rebranding” is not a good sign. Yes, they looked nice when they were still new but man oh man….they are. You don’t want to be the laughing stalk with the ladies do you?
2. You take hybrid Mandazi for Breakfast
When your fellow shenanigans are waking up to scrambled eggs, pieces of loaf dipped in honey and cups of cappuccino….you will rush to the shop just across the road from your tiny single-room house in Kayole to pick two hard cube-shaped mandazis commonly known as KDF.
You will chew them with difficulty as they are harder than the rocks, but do you have any other choice? You will bitterly accompany the KDF with a cup of “strong tea” and continue lamenting in poverty. And then you will start feeling pangs of hunger at 3:30 pm.
3. You Keep checking your Mpesa
You have a Ksh. 500 emergency and you need to send it through M-pesa but you will confirm 7 times and even request for a notebook to write down the phone number of the recipient. And you confirm again, this time…checking each number more keenly. You will insist on calling the recipient to confirm whether he or she has received the money. You will then leave the Mpesa joint obviously worried and trying to figure out why you and money became enemies.
4. You buy mboga once in 2 days
The word “waste” lost meaning in your life. Your excuse will be “uchumi ni mbaya.” Everyone in your estate knows of your poverty because al the ‘Mama Mboga’s ” in the ghetto gossip about your unique insistence on Sukuma wiki of kshs.30, a single tomato and several pilipilis…no onions or any other fanceful ingredient…then you disappear for 2 days.
They don’t know that your budget demands that the Sukuma wiki should serve lunch, supper and the next day’s lunch. Changing the menu to eggs/beef and ugali is a luxury you can’t afford. It is until you accidentally meet a longtime lady friend in town who will insist on having chips with kuku that life becomes bitter.
You will happily buy her the meal and laugh loudly throughout but on reaching home….you will curse yourself and life for a whole week for allegedly misusing money! You won’t forget.
5.You Taking Uber is a Luxury
It is raining and everyone from the office is taking an Uber but you can’t. You just won’t “spoil” money. You suddenly decide to finish some non-existent work just to avoid them…it is when everyone has left and you remain with the watchman that you begin calculating your next move.
Either way, you will walk in the rain to OTC bus station and seat quietly in one of those noisy Kayole buses amidst the occasional dirty glances from slayqueens and other concerned people who fear that you will faint from cold as you will be soaked in water. The heavy traffic jam will ensure you arrive at 12:09 am. You will need to wake up at 4:00 am in the morning to catch the first bus to town and avoid the morning rush.
6. A curtain divides your kitchen and bedroom
Your house keeps no secrets. You cleverly dug two nails at opposite corners of your house with a rope tied on both ends to support your blue curtain. Thus, you managed to separate the bedroom from the kitchen. Since the bed often acts as your seat when you are cooking, the curtain has to be pulled up…you occasionally put sufurias and your 6kg gas on the bed in order to clean the house. No one from the office has ever visited you…you have invented 13 excuses that you keep changing whenever someone asks to visit you.