Living in Nairobi has been adventurous; I like it here don’t get me wrong. I especially find it so funny watching people running up and down every single day in the name of ‘hustle’. What baffles me though is the questions, expectations and perception Nairobians have on Coastarians. For those who don’t know, Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. Mombasa (where am from) is in the coastal regions of Kenya.
I have been here (Nairobi) for quite some time now and every time I’m introduced I get the same questions, same ignorant statements and perceptions. ‘Hi, am Rukia’ that’s enough for someone to tell that am from the coast because every word from my mouth comes with an accent. DUH!
‘Normal’ people will just say hi back and end it there, but not the braggart & attention seekers. ‘Oh, umetoka kule pwani’ imitating my accent and shouting random places ‘Kule Malindi, Ukunda, Mtwapa’. In my head, I’ve killed him/her and attended the funeral. Like seriously, what does that even mean? I assume what they are trying to say is I know coast, I know Malindi and Ukunda, maybe?
Please don’t imitate my accent especially if you are not my friend. It is irksome and you look like a prick doing it. There are some of the things that we don’t even say but the ‘Nairobians’ are so confident to announce to the world that that’s how we speak. For instance, Mayonde (Nairobian artist), how do I know she is from Nairobi? She made a whole song about ‘Her city’ Nairobi, go and check it out. So Mayonde in a song called ‘Party Nation’ says ‘thwawalethea thu mathamu’ with a coastarian accent. What is ‘thwawalethea?’ Is that even how we talk? Born and raised in Mombasa and I’ve never heard that word or maybe am not a coastarian enough.
Leave it to people who just came to Nairobi the other day, just like me to belittle and make you feel less of a person because you don’t know a certain street or something about ‘their city’ lol. Newsflash, it is not on everyone’s wish list to know all the streets of Nairobi. All I need to know is my way to work, a few restaurants, and a few clubs and am good. So am sorry if I don’t make it my business to know ‘your city’ LMAO.
‘Can you swim? Or ‘can you cook? Never make a mistake of saying no to these questions because their reaction will be enough to ruin your whole day. What they assume is we don’t go to school or work, so what we do all day is cooking, cleaning and go to the beach to learn how to swim. Try to challenge them and what you’ll get is ‘I lived there for a week’ or ‘I have a relative that lives there’, and that’s a conclusive research that all coastarians are lazy, uneducated, slow, did I say lazy? Okay, lazy. Their confidence while saying this is so breathtaking and not in a good way. So ignorant, and they are supposed to be the smartest and more educated than anybody else in this country.
What I’ve promised myself is I will never challenge them or correct them; I’ll let them believe whatever they want to believe about us. Let us see how far ignorance will take them.
Not to brag but we are good cooks, kind, loving and very respectful and nobody can take that from us.