Kenya B is burning. Yes, there are two Kenyas if you didn’t already know. Kenya A, where water and electricity flow uninterrupted, mortgages are not under $300,000 and where anything, dreams, great escapes, judgements-for-cash, British accents, Maybachs and Wraiths, is possible. Kenya B, with scenes that would never make a ‘Magical Kenya’ postcard, where basic amenities are as stretched as Vera Sidika’s leggings, where insecurity, loans and loan sharks, disease, famine, depression, illiteracy and unplanned pregnancies abound like liquor stores on Dubois Lane.
In yet another assault on Kenya B, the small market at the entrance to Kibera, opposite the French ambassadors residence, was flattened today. Traders woke up to bulldozers bringing down their shops and grim-faced policemen daring them to do more than stare sadly as their dreams go down in rubble. People sold food there, clothing, groundnuts, provided services, but not anymore. Kenya B is the savanna, and Kenya A is the spoiled hunter with a big rifle, procured with Kenya Bs taxes, and Kenya As residents cherry-pick what they fancy in Kenya B.
Almost everyone in Kenya B would do anything to live in Kenya A, launder money, sell their soul and body, kill and risk being killed, use a gun..Everyone in Kenya A though would never want to live in Kenya B, they wouldn’t survive a day in the loud matatus, insecure streets, dry taps and thinning bank balances. That means anything goes in the attempt at mass migration to Kenya A by Kenya Bs citizens, and the resistance by Kenya A against the crowds attempting to emigrate to the land of milk, honey and fat bank balances. Both sets are stripping Kenya in attempts to move, and limit movement. 70B here, 10B here, 25B here, all collateral as nobody is willing to make Kenya Plain, where everyone, A and B, would live and let live.
If sanity prevailed in both sets of Kenyas, they’d realize there is so much for everyone, so, sooooo much..but like I said, anything goes. Kenya B is offended by gay people, who never stole from anybody, but make jokes about thieves from Kenya A who steal Billions and throw Kenya B off the scent with crumbs, in the shape of families that stole millions. Kenya A is offended by any law that would see a mass exodus of the uncultured, crass citizens of Kenya B to Kenya A, and plan their holidays in Cabo and Venice, as Kenya B is ravaged by cancer, drought, insecurity because young men can’t get jobs and if they do their shops are flattened arbitrarily and dry taps in the light of floods.
I think the European Migrant Crisis of 2015 has nothing on the 2018 migration of Kenya B’s citizens to Kenya A’s borders. Upon realization that the opposition and ruling party are in bed together, it is everyone for himself until the next election and tribal lines are drawn again. For now though, inflated tender forms are the refugee status visas, lineages and last names are passports, and elections are contests between nationalists who are so far right, Mussolini would be proud, and Liberals, so rabidly left, they need a rabies shot, and a chance to eat.
Kenya B is burning, a slow, steadily burning fire, snapping and cackling under the effects of combustion and Kenya is watching keenly, soft slippers on manicured toes, jazz music in the background, scotch in hand, and the police force’s number on speed dial.