Monday, November 14, 2016

Nairobi Whispers

Nairobi evenings.
'One hand in the air for the big city,street lights, big dreams all looking pretty. No place in the world that can compare. Put your lighters in the air, everybody say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind.

Nairobi is our big city and the place a lot of people go to; to study, look for jobs,visit and hustle try get rich. I am told if you are street wise it's your city but if you are not, woe unto you. For me it is errand town, because each time I visit I have these lists of all kinds of things to eat,see and buy, also people give me lists each time, because when you live in villages, Nairobi becomes your 'New York'. 

What I realize though is me and this city can be friends on condition that either of these two things happen; Nairobi slows down a bit or I learn to be more Nairobi-ish, since the chances of the former happening are zero,it seems this villager might change her ways just a bit and turn into a 'city person'. But Nairobi is really a village, a Maasai one at that :-) so it can't be too hard.

What makes Nairobi,Nairobi?, a lot of things but for me and on this particular time.......................

Celeb Town

Most Kenyan big-names live in Nairobi (key word being most not all), and therefore because this is their home chances are you might see some of them doing their normal every day activities.On Monday afternoon last week in the CBD I saw Wanjira and Joe Miano going for lunch (I think) because it was around lunch time and it was near Lonhro house which is their office.I also saw Harith Salim near Nation centre and here is the thing Nairobians don't care or they have just seen too many celebrities to even take note.People are busy minding their business not caring one bit about these celebs.Not even a back-ward glance to say 'Did I just see that person!'

The Natural hair movement

The Shea Moisture products in Super-Cosmetics.

Nairobi is listed as a natural hair friendly city which is a really good thing because it says more and more women are now more comfortable with their God-given hair. What I noticed however is not a big number of women are rocking their natural hair and I think I know why people are falling off this bandwagon, have you seen the prices of products to take care natural hair!!!!!!!!. On my list of things to get was a considerable amount of  natural hair products but I went to Super cosmetics and ended up buying the same products I currently use.The Shea Moisture line of products and Jamaican black castor oil have such good reviews online that they were top of my to get list but a conditioner for KES 2300 and in that small bottle, wacha tu, my current one works just fine.

Music and Matatus

Dela and H_ART the band's Adabu video playing in a matatu
The number 9's and their music eish!!!, the drivers are the official DJs and everyone is made to listen to what they love, luckily they are mostly good songs and some even have videos,like I saw the Thitima video on a Matatu and thought interesting and on the Sunday Nation I saw an interview of the guys who did the song, meaning the song is new and quite a hit, so commutes can be useful I guess :-D :-D. It's not all good music though because I have had days I almost got off a matatu because crazy loud music that you don't care for can really get to you.


Nairobians have some deep trust issues, Try talking to the person sitting next to you in a mat-95 % of the time they will give you cold stares and worse when someone who has a child sits next to you and you spend maybe a minute looking at their child, they will even change seats but the other 5% make up for the 95%, like there is this one time I set next to a drunk Raila supporter who kept calling Raila Baba and told me the craziest conspiracy theories being planned/employed by the government.

Style and Fashion.

I read some   a lot of fashion blogs, therefore although I am mostly in my buibui or dirac, my mind is a fully evolved fashion analyst and I look at people and think transparent tights and crop top, what?? you don't read any fashion blog and I see others who have read all the blogs and are killing it on the streets.

Nairobi has people with all kinds of style and by all I mean people who wear next to nothing when it's hot to people who have sweaters and boots on at the same time.

Fries,cakes and all the junk.
Point Zero :-) :-)

Nairobi I love because of the many many did I say many places to eat. There was this one time I decided I will give up eating fries and did for a while but one day I was walking in the town and all I could smell was fries and only fries and suddenly a magnetic pull was pulling me and I found myself seated with a plate of fries and my heart was doing a happy dance at 10 am in the morning.I am not alone though, I realized this because I actually saw people in a fries joint called Jambo fries at 4 am in the morning I am not one to judge but boy am I glad there are others who eat fries earlier in the day than me.

Changing rooms

A sign in a clothes shop(near the changing rooms)

I said I read Kenyan fashion blogs right? I am also Muslim so what they wear I mostly cannot wear but what is to stop me from going to a shop and trying out all the pencil skirts, short dresses and tops I know I will never buy.All I am saying is an afternoon spent trying on clothes you know you have no intention of buying can make one very very happy :-) :-)

People Watching.

So I have this bad habit of people watching(sometimes).My trip to super-cosmetics had a silver lining, I saw this mother and her daughter and they were both Naturalistas. I assume the girl is home for the holidays and therefore they were re-stocking on their products and they had the largest of each ORS product available, the deep conditioner,mayoinasse and leave in conditioner.They were infront of me at the till that's how I saw all this and also heard the mum telling her daughter who might have a serious hair regimen for a girl her age because she looked to be between 16-18 years.'Mum lazima u deep condition nywele weekly'. If Nairobians were friendlier I would have given this natural hair winning duo handshakes.

You know the way people say 'my local' meaning a place they normally frequent, in my people watching I saw this guy who has a true 'local 'judging by the way he sat with the hotel's 'chef' and they had a conversation that went like this:

Guy at his local: Kilonzo ni we ulipika hii kuku?

Kilonzo(the cook): Kwani unafikiria ni nani mwingine?

Guy at his local asks the girl who mans the cash-till who made the chicken and she says in a Swahili accent-'Ni Mama,Kilonzo kazi yake ni kuwasha jiko.

This is Nairobi for a villager who kinda likes it and spends very little time in it :-) :-) and each time learns/sees something new about it.