When did the rain start beating you, Nairobi?

Dear Nairobi,

The other day, I heard that Nakuru was soon joining you, Mombasa Raha and Kisumu in the sisterhood of cities.

I was shocked, but then I realised it’s about time that Nakuru’s hard work paid off.

I don’t know what I can say about you. You are a mess, a complete utter failure. The people you let run the show, just don’t know what they are doing.

There was a time that they were called “City Fathers”, but I don’t think they even know what their daughter needs.

You might be the Capital city, but your own Governor does not even think you deserve to host his headquarters. What does Masaku have that you don’t have? Sure the British had their first capital there, but they soon realised their mistake.

You have been cursed with governors who don’t know your inner beauty and are obsessed with the superficial.

Mike Sonko cares only for gaudy jewellery, what the kids nowadays call bling bling. Evans Kidero only pretended to manicure your streets with grass that grows in two days when President Barack Obama visited.

I think you have reached a very low point. But I think your nadir was definitely back in 1983 when that gentleman known as Moses Mudavadi decided the City Fathers would be better known as a Commission rather than Council.

By the way, I don’t know why the media still refers to them as City Fathers when we know that you have been progressive from as early as 1970 when Margaret Kenyatta was the Mayor.

Allegedly, the Minister for Local Authority dissolved the City Council because of massive corruption.  Not that the commission achieved anything substantive. You are still the same Nairobi, still plagued with the same problems.

You are a hub of crime and all manner of sins under the sun.

You are more sprawling slum than sprawling suburbia. You are a traffic nightmare: roads riddled with potholes, incessant hooting matatus and crazy drivers.

You are one garbage heap after another. You are a land grabber’s paradise. You are a flooding hazard, that is afflicted with water shortages.

City mothers might even be worse. Your speaker, or should I say former Speaker, is a drama queen who only travels first class courtesy of your taxpayers because of a medical condition!

Your MCAs are made of the same cloth of councillor you had in the not so good days. Just like then, decorum and dignity, these are words they have never heard.

“Woe to this city, contaminated with shed blood, all full of lies and robberies it is never without victims!”

Sorry to sound so harsh, but that last line- that’s not me, but a Bible verse that sounds just like you.

Yours truly, ever the concerned citizen.

—The writer is a political science PhD student at Northern Illinois University, USA


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