Nurses from various hospitals within the Nairobi County demonstrate on the streets to demand the implementation of a Collective Bargaining Agreement. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU
WHY KENYA IS NOT THE PLACE TO BRING UP YOUR CHILD
When Beyoncé announced that she was pregnant with twins in February, two things would happen. One, Blue Ivy would have siblings. Two, social media hummed with the “big announcement”, setting a new record of likes on Instagram – now at an epic 11m likes.Back here in Kenya, announcing conception is perhaps the most depressing news a lady can break to her husband and, by extension, to the country.Fate has thrown us more curveballs than we can handle, and in these exciting times, I can’t help but imagine that someone put a hex on Kenya.This is why.There is insanity, and there is insufferable folly. To release mental patients from their wards, in the nurses’ wisdom, to register their grievances, is utter madness itself. Besides exposing the vulnerable patients and the public to unspeakable harm, it is a poignant pointer of how within a hairbreadth of disgrace we have come. Who wants to bring up their child in a country like this?ELECTION TIMEPut political antagonisms into the mix and 254 is hard on a knife-edge. What politicians are doing is nothing short of set stage for a telling political tragicomedy. It saddens any loyal Kenyan the state this nerve-shredder of an election will leave the country in its wake.Election time is perhaps the wickedest time to be Kenyan.We are going to the polls on empty stomachs. Blimey, does someone even care a rap about the potency of this gamble? There is state-subsidised maize-meal tick. Noble intervention, innit? Then in a sudden, flour mysteriously disappears from shelves.Let’s break down this maze. Is it sensible to sell the flour at Sh10 but remove it from shelves? I have a hunch that we are being held at ransom. Subsidise the flour but also avail it to the starving millions the country over. Or better still, keep the subsidy and let Kenyans have food. We will get over it. We always have, haven’t we folks?SLUGGISH ECONOMYThe sting of our sluggish economy is the longest-sung tune in recent years. I haven’t bought sugar – or anything for that matter – at a supermarket in months. So recently I walked into a store and asked an attendant to show me where they kept Mumias Sugar. From the twitch of his lips, I could tell the good guy wanted to haemorrhage poison, but he put a leash on himself.“The brand no longer exists,” he said with unmasked curtness before walking away to assist another customer.Then the woes of East Africa’s largest retailer. What pity that Nakumatt is now on her knees, crouched like a scared kid in the face of an impending storm. Don’t even mention the pitiable banks. A crony recently confided in me that she no longer trusts her money with the banks. When amazing brands start disappearing, it hits home just how tempestuous times are. What would it be like to born in a post-Nakumatt Kenya?Yet, some quarters claim that the economy has grown in hell-knows-what-unprecedented margins. You may abuse Kenyans, only you can’t fool them.In all honesty, is this the kind of place one would want to bring their child?