Nairobi’s Middle Class Diary

It’s 5:30 am and the boring alarm rings marking the beginning of a typical Nairobian’s day. Am
not referring to the high and mighty that live in the leafy suburbs of Runda and Kileleshwa. My
focus is the middle class career starters. To put it into perspective:

Those of us whose preferred means of transport is the train from Ruiru or Syokimau to town or
the number 33 matatu to Utawala. Those of us that are familiar with the cheapest shopping joints
in town for economic reasons. Those of us that keep switching houses from one bedroom to
bedsitter due to frequent skirmishes with the landlord for failing to pay rent on due dates.

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Figure 1 Commuters at the Nairobi railway station

The greatest asset of the typical Nairobi’s middle class is TIME. You are in most cases an
employee of a friendly boss but you don’t want to ruin your rapport by reporting to work at 10.am
instead of 8.am. That is why you would rather stand in an overloaded vehicle to be at your work
station at the right time.

The office work will push you up to lunch hour where you will leave your desk and cross over to
your favorite fast foods joint. In the interest of time and still thinking about work, Chips and a
soda will always take the short time to consume. Again you don’t want to consume ugali lest you
start taking naps beside the boss.

You spend most of your afternoon thinking about your one year old son at the daycare or how
you must meet your boys that evening for a drinking spree. For these reason you leave
immediately after work and head straight to the bus stop or railway station. And that is the much
the typical Nairobian can walk.

For a whopping 5 days in a week the Nairobian eats fast food with zero exercise. (Where do you
even find space to jog in an estate full of stray dogs?) No wonder you test positive for the rich
man’s diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. It’s time we realized that our greatest wealth is our health. Why spend so much time searching

for money that will cover your hospital bills caused by unavoidable illnesses? Start your healthy
lifestyle today by walking the short distance home rather than paying ten shillings in a matatu.
Get to the shelves of the supermarket and buy a skipping rope rather than crisps. Spend 20
minutes and practice yoga before you sleep rather than watching TV all night long.
Break the bad habits today and have a healthy lovely body. Wont you?

jumajuma

Passionate about writing.

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