A Christmas tradition for peculiar Kenyan

What is a Christmas tradition in Kenya? If you are wondering, walk with me as I explain.

Is the SGR fully booked?

Let’s begin. It’s the time of the year again. That time when Kenyans emerge from their cocoons and stamp their Kenyan ‘bona-fideness’ in your face. For instance, despite it being splashed across all media, many Kenyans, in true last minute fashion, are still asking, Is the SGR fully booked? Yes. The SGR has not only been fully booked for a month now, they’ve had to add carriages to try and meet demand. Buses and long distance shuttles are also fully booked.

Meanwhile, a whopping 13 million school going children officially close school this week, today being the official date, to open on the 3rd of January 2022.  So, why are all these Kenyans travelling; just to come back within 10 days? Or, are they just being Kenyan? All the while taking exception in being called peculiar? Still wondering what is a Christmas tradition in Kenya? Let’s keep walking

Revised school term dates 2022

This school year and next have four terms each. Coming in the back drop of a ‘Corona economy’ the financial burden on parents is of Sisyphus proportions. And yet symptoms of the annual pilgrimage of father, mother and children in tow, to Mombasa or the village persist. And consistent with the symptoms is the one you and I expect next week. ‘Serikali saidia’ (Government, HELP!) Shamelessly we will appear on national television lamenting the crack that is the short window of recovery. “We haven’t finished paying last term’s school fees, and now, less than a week later we must pay the next term’s.,” we will cry.  “Hatuna pesa (We don’t have money). Some of us even haven’t finished paying fines for burning schools.” Ohhh, who will help the hapless Kenyan from himself?

And yes, the spending for travel and festivities that happened over the crack is silently ignored. I think Kenyans must be on ‘crack’ in December. Or, is it that must-travel-and-spend in December at whatever cost, is the ‘crack’? Hmm! After all, travel simply must happen and you should understand.

Christmas tradition in Kenya

Christmas tradition in Kenya

So, still wondering what a Christmas tradition in Kenya looks like. I mean, not even a pesky virus that has brought a global economy to its knees can stop the exodus out of the city. Not even yawning pockets struggling to pay school fees can. Not even the Ministry of Education revised school calendar 2021 to 2023 can. Three terms a year were already a burden; four made it Herculean. But still not enough to see the red light; any way, even traffic lights in Kenya are not instructions, they are suggestions. Give a Kenyan so much as a chink in your December suit of work armour and he will troop out of town, penniless or not, and then return demanding for an extension of the holiday to look for funds to take the child back to school. Deadlines are guidelines for the bona fide Kenyan.

Merry Christmas!


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