Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Difference: The Middle class vs 'Sisi mashinani'

First things first, 'Sisi mashinani we write compositions, the middle class write blogs. People from these two backgrounds are exposed differently,
each person in their separate habitation behaves as their surroundings demand. Our worlds of experience are far apart. Linguistically, listening to the middle class speaking you might think 'sisi mashinani' were unwittingly miseducated in English and Swahili.

One thing in common that 'sisi mashinani' and the middle class share is the desire to be moneyed, rich, wealthy. It is just that in appearing rich, the middle class do a better job of playing pretend than 'sisi mashinani'. Their events, their tweets, their snobbery their dress code and speech are articulated to make them appear posh and elegant. But musically, they can't stand opera music and classical harmonies which are for the affluent, they will busy their eardrums with Trance Music or Dubstep. They can't watch a game of polo but you'll find them cheering Manchester United like us in 'mashinani.' 'Sisi mashinani' also want to be rich, but appearing rich does not cut it, we cautiously spend. We do so because in this part of the world 'rainy days' are real as pool parties in the middle class world.

Anyway or 'Anyhoo' as they say, i find the middle class language simple, uncomplicated and straightforward, like YOLO (You only live once). Simple and passes the message after an elder's lecture about life's illicit indulgences. Or 'Aww' instead of saying Thank you. Or even OMG instead of 'Aiii'
The only time their language stinks is in matters relationships, one would rather be a 'platonic friend' rather than be a 'friendzoned' brother. I like that 'sisi mashinani' protect each other's feelings. This friendzone vibe is harmful to feelings.

They concern themselves with what is trending in fashion. The middle class have designers, 'sisi mashinani' we have tailors. For 'sisi mashinani' what was trending at New York fashion week doesn't bother us much, we will wear a shirt or blouse with a 'PRANDA' label without caring if it supposed to be spelled PRADA. If it fits at all is what counts. The middle class is always wary and overstrung about mistakes in their wardrobe. They will often say 'catch me dead wearing Ankara pants, a cropped blouse, with gladiator sandals and chandelier earrings.' They will endure paper cuts turning magazines to find out what in and what was trending last spring, in Kenya. They have a news segment on TV called Fashion Watch, where their fashion choices are interrogated and judged. They even organise fashion weeks to display their wear, 'sisi mashinani' during market day once a week, is when we get a chance to see what our mitumba brothers have brought us, no runways or models.

They watch strange International programmes like 'Keeping up with the Kardashians.' 'Sisi mashinani' watch 'Do not mess with Kansiime.' what Tyra Banks and Wendy Williams said on their talk shows about black girls appreciating themselves in front of the mirror makes no sense to us but to them it does, they are constantly weight watching and follow strict diet regimes, the ones that they heard on Tyra, but when those tips fail, they find solace in....u guessed right, Tyra.
when the sassy Julie Gichuru on Sunday Live invites Abass Gullet to talk about the hunger situation in the country, that resonates with us, unlike the middle class who starve themselves to lose weight.

That reminds me, the middle class appreciation of news at 7pm(do they even watch or understand Swahili news? The last time i watched, i heard the word 'Parawanja', i felt sorry for some people) and 9pm is very superficial. They only watch 'what will help them'. They knew of places like Kapsabet or Navakholo through the news, for them news is a lesson in Geography, they knew of Ol Joro Orok when the President visited there. And then the hashtag, #WhenPrezzovisitedOlJoroOrok on will trend on Twitter. By the way, they have tabloids, 'Sisi mashinani' we have 'gazeti za sh10.'
'Sisi mashinani' really want to know the news behind the news, we will speculate, think, change channels, slam Lilian Muli's short skirt, watch interviews, fish for information and await Opinion poll results. At the end we will be informed and conversant with the goings-on of our country.

In church, the middle class hear the Word in line with feeding their faith, holding on to their salvation and trusting God. 'Sisi mashinani', messages of promise and prosperity, for a brighter future that are only unlocked by financial intervention are popular.

Even diseases keep 'Sisi Mashinani' and the middle class apart.They suffer from lifestyle diseases while we others suffer communicable diseases.

Wherever you are be proud of where you come from, home is where the heart is.

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