A few days ago my friend and I headed into town to go to an east African cultural exhibition at the KICC (Kenyan International conference centre). After looking around at the incredible art and fashion that was on display, we were quickly drawn to the idea of going to the top of the building where you have a view of the entire city. The view is absolutely breath taking! I find myself feeling a little bit embarrassed and confused at the fact that I have lived here my whole life and I have never made the time to go and see the view from one of the tallest buildings in Nairobi. But honestly, it was absolutely worth the wait. Stunning is the only word that comes to mind.
There’s something about looking down at the busy streets of Nairobi that makes the whole thing that much more spectacular. It’s very interesting to look at the city from a different perspective and see all the cars and people look as small as ants. There was something almost therapeutic about watching people go about their daily routines, seeing the busy atmosphere of Nairobi’s CBD, seeing how BAD Nairobi traffic really is. People watching is definitely my favourite pass time. Does that make me a little bit strange? Maybe.
I thought I would share a few photos with all of you simply to educate those of you who know nothing about Nairobi. I will be the first to admit that I don’t really know that much about life in other countries and so I understand if people know nothing about Nairobi and Kenya as a whole, but that’s where I come in. If I can help people understand a little bit more about what life here is like, then I’m happy to do it. Some people assume that just because I live in Kenya, In Africa even, that I live in a mud hut and ride an elephant around every day. Now, apart from the occasional run in with monkeys at school, the wildlife in Kenya can really only be seen in the national parks, where wildlife is supposed to be. And yes, we do drive cars. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely still people who live a more modest life and do still live in huts in some of the more rural parts of Kenya, But that is not how the whole country lives. Another thing that I would just like to clarify is that YES we do have people of other races who are Kenyan. People often get confused when a White person or and Indian person says they are from Kenya because they just happen to have a different skin colour to a ‘typical’ African. “Oh you’re from Kenya? But you don’t look Kenyan?”- That’s just annoying, stop. Have people never heard of black British people or white South Africans? Why is it so hard to believe that there are people of other races that were born here and are every bit as Kenyan as I am? Just one more thing to rant about then I’m done, I swear. “If you’re from Kenya why do you speak such good English?” Okay let’s have a little history lesson right here. Kenya is a former British colony, hence our language of instruction in schools being English. Not everyone in Kenya can speak English ,of course, like I said there are people who live in very rural parts of the country and others who can’t afford school fees- I am very VERY fortunate to have gone to the schools that I did and get the kind of education that I did. Not everyone is so lucky. But I would say that at least 80% of the country speaks rather good English. So that answers that question. Okay, rant over.
Nairobi is an ever busy, ever growing city and I for one count myself incredibly lucky to have grown up here. I do, however, understand that not the whole of Nairobi is tall buildings and flashy cars. There is poverty, there are people who unfortunately live on the streets, there is crime, and we do indeed have large slums. All of that is true but I just felt like writing this blog post to make sure that people understand that that’s not all there is to Nairobi and Kenya as a whole. Even with all its flaws, Kenya is the most beautiful place on earth to me (I may be a little bit biased with that comment because it is my home-allow it). I hope this post has been at least a little bit informative and helped people understand Kenya and life here a little bit better.
Sending you lots of good vibes,