Tuesday, January 15, 2008

peace in turmoil

When my friend's wife came for holiday last December from the free world, the first joke she cracked or so i thought was "Where are the lanes?" she was referring to the road. i looked at her and smiled. i remembered that when she left for the free world, she hadn't driven in this chaos. she learnt how to drive in the order, courtesy and law of the advanced economy. now she just marveled at how we maneuvered the disorder, did not give way to anyone and was not given way either. she couldn't believe that one could drive in this mess. but another friend commented; "Do you see anyones car scratched or any accidents happening coz of the lack of courtesy? its because in all these chaos there is a non-written law that we use and that helps us to move around. that law only applies to those who live in nairobi"

well due to the conflict, i have not had to apply that unwritten law until yesterday when the traffic went back to 'normal'. it was some sort of relief to be able to fight with matatus for the space between cars, block someones way at the T-junction as i waited for the jam ahead of me and also be inconvenienced by other impatient drivers blocking the round about. But its our city and the in spite of the disregard for traffic rules we all know of, we get to get to work, hospital, homes etc. its order in total disorder but it works for us.

am thinking that in the same way we can accept this turmoil also as part and parcel of our kenyanness, police can control the places where their numbers allow. and let the other thugs control the other areas. we can have a non-written law that if you are from this and that community , you cannot have permanent residence/investment in such and such a place. or own a matatu etc. by the way this rule already applies in some parts of Kenya. if you are not from this particular community, and you invest in that place, you will suffer some of the most horrendous crimes against humanity known to man and woman. enough of my friends who thought they were liberated by education have had to sell their properties for a song after muggings , rape and robbery became their daily life drama. somehow their neighbors with better 'digses' have not been touched. so all this unwritten laws just need to spread all over the country . once every one does it, it will be perfectly ok as is also our driving in Nairobi. after all when everyone does it , it no longer becomes a crime!


  1. Very interesting analogy ... I hadn't quite looked at it that way.

  2. Hmmm.... Food for thought. I highly doubt it'd work though.

  3. Very interesting.. sad to say but that might end up been the case.


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