Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Why do Kenyans love observing?

Why do Kenyans love observing? The desire to observe is in Kenyans is like nowhere in the world, i presume. You will find a group huddled observing while road construction is going on,
you will find some ogling at ladies as they strut by in town, some will have their eyes firmly fixed on TV sets outside an electronics shop. Others will be found observing as a demolition exercise is going on. I'm not talking about a quick glance or a brief look but a really sustained interest complete with a pause and direction at the surrounding events.

Explanations abound on just why Kenyans love observing. Many point to idleness, unquenchable curiosity and cheap attention seeking and as the reasons that push many to be observers. Kenya must be an interesting country, in my part of the world, there is a spot, a newspaper vendor where politics is hotly debated by people whom you might think are in Ruto's or Raila's inner circles. Here you will find attentive observers, you may argue that politicking can be front-row interesting but what about the fascinated observers gathered around a dramatic self-proclaimed nutritionist who uses his paraphernalia to wow them. A mixture of this and that and the dangers of eating meat are chemically unravelled.

The observe syndrome cannot be assessed in a blanket manner because everyone has their own reasons for paying keen attention to happenings around them. Some may be fishing for stories to trade with their friends, others may be interested in how the machines work, where machines are involved, others love attention or are simply idle.

This obsession with observing cannot be easily explained but it may just be human nature. Human beings have an insatiable desire to know, we want to be in the know about everything. Observing partly satisfies this need to know. Events around us carry certain bits of information that the human mind tries to capture whether in an idle or active capacity. One may want to know how the rescue operation was conducted, how the monstrous Caterpillars work in tandem to construct a road, they want to know what alcohol does to your stomach by observing how the hoarse voiced medicine man uses his apparatus to demonstrate the perils.

The length of observation depends on the amount of information that an observer has processed and feels that he (most are men) is satisfied. Of course, someone with a more qualified standing in issues to do with psychology or Sunny Bindra may explain this desire with observing among Kenyans.

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