Friday, March 25, 2011

The 30 motorcade country-a sign of...

Imagine Maembe is a younger relative of yours say by 10yrs. Like you, Maembe grew up in the village, poor with no shoes until he started secondary. He is/was bright and hence managed to get into a good high school. And there the similarities with you end.
By the time Maembe reached high school, you had finished campus (through many many harambees that started from the day you were called to Alliance) and had a fairly good job. You thus financed him all the way thru to Nairobi campus where he graduated with a good degree. Enough to enable him to get a decent private sector job.
With money to burn, Maembe seems to have taken a turn. Because of the condition of the roads in chagiis where his parents still reside, he owns a Range Rover sport, which is pretty top range. Recently, you received a call at 5.30pm telling asking you if you could buy him a spare tyre as his had punctured huko ushago. He lives in a servant quarter on Mucai drive (off Ngong Road). One drunken evening, you get a call at 2am. Maembe got into a heated discussion with his neighbour who also happens to be his landlord. The resultant uppercut has landed him at Kilimani where the negotiations are at ksh150k for him to walk scot free. Naturally his thoughts turned to his well off rela. He will of course need somewhere to stay while he looks for new digs. Maembe being of marriageable age has found himself a marriageable lady. Good. The lady hails from Kabete. Bad. Dowry is paid over generations. In keeping up with his neighbours, his church colleagues at Nairobi Baptist, Maembe will occasionally call you from Malindi, Mombasa and even Zanzibar telling you how well the weekend is going down there with Kabete gf, why don't you take easy and join him with your missus.
Because of his non-frugal ways, Maembe has several credit cards and is offcourse still paying for the RR sport. You are starting to despair, but then one Satu, Maembe invites you for ride in RR sport saying he has something he wants to show you. He drives you to Kiserian and shows you a 1/2 acre plot he has found. Yippee! You can't hide your joy at his discovered sense. He is there rub, Maembe tells you that because of his upcoming preparations for nuptials, he'll be needing all the savings he can get. Lakini this plot is going for a good price. You make a deal with him, he'll find the deposit, you'll then lend him half the remaining money and give him the rest. He agrees to this, but later calls you to ask if you can lend him the rest as well.
That in nutshell is where we Kenyans are today. We have a president who travels in 30-car motorcade compared to say 10 for Obama (3 for David Cameron). He earns Ksh36m per year, twice as much as the UK PM. And we have a GDP per capita of $315. Something like a 100 times less than the UK. When will we get a reality check.

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