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