Dear Nairobi,

How have you been Nairobi, my one and only Nai? Remember the first time I saw you with your beautiful lawns and big buildings protruding from your blue skies, I knew it, you knew it; it was not just a connection but love at first site.

Nairobi you have always been there for me. You allowed me to go out and party mpaka che one too many times. You showed me paths of greater safety by allowing a stranger to piga mi ngeta and relieve me of the heavy burden in the form of two thao.

You taught me well Nairobi.

Remember when my mother used to take us to your wimpy. Those tu burgers and fries and the heavenly coleslaw, I still crave them from land a far. My Nairobi, you were also there for me when my dad bought my bro and I some nice jalez and you taught us another good lesson that afternoon.

You taught us that a car unlocked is the equivalent of a drunken sluttish woman in a bar at 4:00 am. Anyone goes in at will. And that afternoon a malicious fellow who I am yet to identify relieved us of those maridadi brand new maroon jalez.

So many memories; remember when you used to be clean, fresh and kind to anyone who ventured your streets? When young children on your streets did not mean a serving of post digested food avoidable only by one parting with at least a pao?

When chibaz from your Luthuli Avenue used to call our names from the walls of our dorms far away in boarding schools? The times when you allowed mats to blare and share music into your air for our easy listening? When you used to lay silent in the night as we executed and sometime lucked out on project getting laid?

I know you have had a rough stretch Nairobi. There is a period you neglected yourself and started looking like the auntie we all loved but avoided to visit when we were kids. And I will have you know she did not live in Nairobi.

But I am happy Nairobi, you are now getting back to your old ways; the beautiful and manicured greens at your roundabouts are a pleasantry flowery sight. New buildings are sprouting up from your grounds. Cyber cafes, coffee houses and exhibition stalls grace your Avenues today.

You are a shinning example to all cities south of the Sahara give or take two spoilt brats inside SA.

And I know you still allow mungiki and the taliban prodigal and criminal sons to roam in the night and sometimes in broad daylight; but I know with our help we will cleanse you of them hooligans sooner or later.

I miss you, Nairobi. I miss the sight of a confused Maasai with his shuka and rungu standing by, the hawker who yells ‘kuna joto baba, nunua handkerchief’; the hurried kikuyu man with his god papa determined to land in Ngara in time for one man guitarists to belch out mugithi tunes.

The rainbow of uniform clad school children lined up in January at Machakos Bus Station waiting to board buses for upcountry but always leaving their joy and dreams with you. I miss it all.

I want you to know that I have not forgotten you. Yes, I have seen bigger cars, pot hole-less roads, taller skyscrapers, a clean city river, security at all corners; I have seen it all.

But none, not one can replace you Nairobi! And as we celebrate another Madaraka and your stadiums are full of politicians reciting empty rhetoric, I want you to remember this.

I never left you, I merely stepped out and I will come back soon to see you, our NAIROBI.

15 thoughts on “Dear Nairobi,

  1. Beautiful post-pleasant memories.
    Ohhh the coleslaw from wimpy.And I have to admit most of my early introduction to secular music was from mats.

    What have you done……now I am missing the place terribly!

  2. You guy the one man Guitor in Ngara right across from Jamu high…was there last Dec and in attendance every Tuesday for the mugithii night mmmmmh. Great post

  3. Aish dadii! Lovely tribute! Even Nairobi herself has heard ya! And boy am I glad to be back in Nairobi after three long years.

    I’ll go tafuta (bado iko jameni?) Wimpy burgers and coleslaw this weekend, and if I find, I’ll hold up a ka chibanga as a toast to you!

  4. My mum just informed me that Wimpy was sold to Steers. Aki if the food changes I will have a fit seeing as steers food is WACK!

  5. Damn! Hand me a kerchief. Sob! Sob! Deep. Too deep!

    Is Thimbigwa still in existence hapo Tom Mboya? Na SJ (Karosh) hapo Moi Avenue?

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