Dear Nairobi’s Middle Class

I can’t believe that an overqualified Jimnah Mbaru was defeated at the nomination stage for Governor of Nairobi!
I can’t believe that the best TNA representative for Senator emerged as Mike Mbuvi alias Sonko.
These are the guys ODM will face on March 4th?

How can this be when your tweets and posts declared Mr Mbaru’s resume the marking scheme for all CV’s?
How can it be after all the bile displayed on social media concerning Sonko’s theatrics?
I thought you would all turn up in large numbers and usher in a new era of issue based, professionalism in our city’s politics.
Well I guess that’s the folly of democracy-an overqualified person can lose to a popular under-qualified person.

Here is another irony however: The people you pay to do menial work, your house help, your cook, watchman & gardener are voting in whoever they like because they are more politically engaged and are more willing to bring change than you are.
I know you will probably argue with me about this but your behaviour this past week has proved me right.

When I went out there to participate in the nomination process (and I did and dragged & mobilised a few people) I didn’t see you.
I saw some edgy looking desperadoes, some over excited zealots and loads of house helps, cooks, watchmen & gardeners walking, riding (and in some cases being bussed) into polling centres where they waited and voted.
I saw a few of you more conscientious ones nervously make your way but I didn’t see you jam the centres as you jam Ngong road during “Sevens”.
I didn’t see you bring out the picnic baskets and the swag (fluffy dogs and all) like you do at “Blankets”.
I didn’t see you scrummage as you do when there’s a huge artist’s concert at Impala Club or some other place.

The simple reason is: You are more willing to read this online than to go out and vote.
You complain about politics and yet you are not a member of any useful organisation or political party except Facebook & Twitter-how these contribute to the betterment of our nation’s critical issues other than to launder diverse opinions is yet to become clear to me.
(If you are a member of a political party or other useful organisation, ignore this last remark).

Foolish & lazy but clever educated and honest people like you, are outdone by wily, uneducated & dishonest people because you do not have the guts or patience to wait in the same sun that your house help, cook, watchman & gardener are willing to brave to express their political opinion.

It’s true you were working on the day of the nominations but you wouldn’t sacrifice that day (or in this case two days) to bring quality people to the table so that there would be value driven leaders at the city gates for the next 5 years?

Oh I forgot, your leave days were exhausted from last years trip to Coasto!
If you brought out those hats that you wear at Concours and some Dasani it might have helped you beat the sun.
(It drizzled most of the morning by the way so a brolly might have helped more)

In case you are wondering who I’m speaking to-if you live in Nairobi and can read and understand this then the finger is pointing at you.

The reason ODM, TNA, URP, etc (which is not a political party but an abbreviation for the Latin et cetera) had shambolic chaos in the name of party nominations is because, unlike the generation that fought for independence you are sitting on the sidelines cheering-or in this case jeering.
You have complained that it was an exercise in futility and huffed and puffed at the irregularities and rigging-all of this you have done electronically on FB & Twitter etc by the way in the safety of your home, office or whatever comfort zone you hide in.

You are unwilling to be really engaged.
If Dedan Kimathi, Kungu Karumba,Achieng’ Oneko and the other independence heroes had your attitude and sat on the sidelines the Brits would still be here-yes we’d still be a British colony.
What sacrifice are you willing to make for a future generation in this regard?
What are you willing to do for the nation that’s not necessarily in your own interest?

You have another chance come March 4th.
But all you have to choose from are the people you didn’t nominate but who got the ticket because you decided to be pathetic and display political apathy.
Get off your lazy posterior (that’s a bleep word that I can’t say because I’m a Pastor but you catch my drift) and make a political difference will you?

What a place our political parties would be if you all were active members contributing your internet wisdom in practical ways.
What a country this would be if you all made sure quality people got into government by your conscious engagement.

Oh I forgot you’re too busy browsing Facebook, Twitter ad nauseam.
I tried anyway, just like the many good people who tried to get the nomination but didn’t.
Feel free to blast away your response here below if you went to nominate someone-at least in protest.
If you didn’t and still want to respond please tell us all why you didn’t-I will accept any real reason other than the apathy that was displayed this past week.
Sincerely
Pete

33 thoughts on “Dear Nairobi’s Middle Class

  1. Peter I simply couldn’t because the trip form Florida to the 254 was not possible then and the judge declined the opportunity to have us diaspora folks vote but we tried ….. But I hear you and feel you my brother. They say insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results !

  2. Perhaps Mr Mbaru should make an effort to reach out to the middle class (yes I am one of them). All these candidates vying for governorship or any other position – you need to reach out to your voting block. Waititu, Sonko and all those others who according to your article only appeal to those who do menial work, well guess what they are out there in the trenches with their voting block. We have seen Sonko numerous times getting engaged in issues that affect the public e.g. demolitions in various slums – Sonko shows up to support the victims. The point I am trying to make is that if Mbaru and Odero or anyone else for that matter think that their credentials alone will get them the job, then they better think again, even Obama had to reach out to all voters regardless of their color, economic ability etc.

  3. First of all STUPID AND SHALLOW ARTICLE, am sorry if I sound rude, actually NOT!!! You claim middle class didn vote but the difference between Mbaru and Waititu was around 3000 votes, that shows you even the alleged “lower class ” that voted don’t ALL want him, SECOND I supported Mbaru BUT am NOT a TNA member, I had no right to participate in their primaries just coz I live in Nairobi!!!! School yourself next time!!!

    1. Thank you for your observation. The article isn’t really about TNA or Mbaru or Mr Waititu or any politician for that matter. Let’s have some intelligent conversation here. Read it again-it’s about the apathy in the middle class. I appreciate your comments all the same.

  4. Love it Pete, I’ll be talking about it on Afritorial.com, if you don’t mind, with a link to this full post. Excellent challenge! May we all get off our apathetic behinds and get involved in Africa’s future!

  5. Show me a party with an ideology,show me belief, show me politics for common good not just lining pockets , show me real democracy not bread ,shuka and 500 bob persuasions – show me when parties cease to be buses , show me the gains of freedom fighters not the home guard class anyway siasa mbaya maisha mbaya na tushalipa na tutalipa

  6. Interesting article. But, remember that:
    1. Easlanders (Sonko&Waititu’s homebase) + the slums has the larger Nairobi population.
    2. A voter is inteligent, but the electorate is dumb. That is why Bush can rig an election, mess up everything and get reelected. simply; the larger a mob, the lower its IQ is the basis of mob psyco

  7. S I actually researched the back issue of the Daily Nation on the Machakos County aspirants then rode out into the wild, wild west on my trusty steed (sic) and nominated people over lunch hour before dashing back to the office to get back on my lazy posterior. Never mind that nearly all the aspirants were from one party or that I only realized one or two of my preferred candidates belonged to parties that wouldn’t have primaries and thus were not on the ballot paper once I was already in the election hall. I still felt I’d done my civic duty despite a niggling feeling of being cheated. But you’re absolutely right; a virtual election that won’t count is being conducted in the blogosphere while the one that will count is was and will be conducted in the voting rooms by the humblest of folk, labourers, and the unemployed with nothing else to do on the day, people who never even see a computer or smartphone on a day-to-day basis-in short, you’re average, run-of-the-mill Kenyan.

  8. well put…however ca not solely blame the middle class. Often tymes our nominations are conducted in a very shambolic manner. we are organized and can not shudder to be disorganized. However lets vote for the best chap irrespective of party come march 4. Amah ni how quys?

  9. Replace all those Nairobi Cities, names, political parties with Nigerian equivalent and this could have been written by a Nigerian! Same scenario…… Thumbs up bro!

  10. Hii Peter (am sure you like cutting the “r”. I too am Peter)

    Yah, I agree with you totally, Pastor but you forgot. You are telling it to the majority who are COWARDS.

    These guys are, in their inexprienced driving their newly borrow big cars so busy messing up (showing off inside the death boxes – the cars), driving so fast trying to outdo each other on the yet to be completed supper highways and in the process committing alot of “suicides” and “humicides” in their blind rush to the bars and other very useless places, than to think of such very important things, which affects their lives and country.

    Aah, you see Pete (Peter? Pastor?), these guys you trying to address (undress?) are so selfish that they woudn’t botha (not dare!) get out from the comfort of their beds, in the dead of the night to help the neighbour (with whom he drinks) when thugs come to “greet” him.

    The guys are generally cowards and bragrats and as you know, cowards fear to talk. Maybe someone from the heavens will save them COWARDS from this “malaise”. But all I know time will heal them

    Nderitu.

  11. We are in tech world now,good % of pop online,why don’t we have the online voting in place and more so for diaspora guys and queue phobic group,this the solution.

  12. The peoples choice is final, if you dont like it then hang yourself,if you like it or not,Sonko 4 senator and Waititu 4 governor.

    1. Issahismail-unfortunately the people’s choice is not always final (read Al Gore vs George Bush, Kibaki vs Raila & the list goes on). I’m not unhappy that Mr Waititu or Mr Mbuvi were nominated-that is how democracy works. However like I keep saying to many an angry writer to me that the article is about the apathy of the middle class. Not so that they can “vote out” so and so but any honest person will see from the article that much of the middle class are concerned with ephemeral trivialities. Hanging myself is not an option my friend-let’s keep the debate intellectual

  13. Lets respect the people’s choice. The Nairobians have decided it’s a lesson that we should always participate fully in party nominations to be able to elect good leaders.

  14. I wasted my two days and in the polling station i was,Jimna Mbaru got the least votes n i wondered wat pple were thinking by voting for someone who cant express himself in a city as nairibi.May kenyans wake up n stop childish behavour.

  15. How do house helps, cooks, watchmen etc dress that makes them stand out from the crowd you witnessed at the poll stations? Just to give my two cents on this: “never hold strong convictions on matters you haven’t clearly researched on”

    1. How do business men and secretaries dress? Let’s not pretend to be cleverer than we actually are. I’m offering my observations that are anecdotal. Do you have to research the ugali to see that it is burned?…that’s my two cents Baba Megan

  16. This article is sooo damned straight!!! I don’t know why guys are missing the point!!! Jus get the hell out and vote for value for your damned taxes and country! (reminds me of Jesus and Barabas…) I mean….basic common sense dictates that someone who takes up a governors position be a qualified manager jus like they do it in the corporate world…I ain’t letting nobody play politics with my city my town! Fuck popularity!!! Gimmie solid results here..

  17. I was working. If you’re employed then you know it could not have been easy. IEBC failed us. They simply did not see the nominations as very important as to give a public holiday. I believe most Kenyans who are employed and had to sit in the office and accept that their preferred candidates were likely to loose because they did not vote would agree with me. Then again, politicians need to get out of their comfort zones and meet people of all classes.

  18. I do not know what all the whining is all about. The people decided. Management is not only about putting ones fat ass on the chair behind a desk. It’s also about getting your hands dirty. Field work makes one understand what it’s really like out there for everyone. If you ask me Jimna only knows about p’ple thru statistics. For Sonko he has the first hand information because he goes out there and gets his hands dirty. He identifies with his p’ple. And by the way all the p’ple who are book smart are not necessarily good managers. The p’ple have decided and it’s gonna be SONKO. By the way I don’t always support him coz i think he behave like a small kid. But again he is smart in winning the voters’ hearts. So pole for the book smart dudes!

  19. True! Quite true! ………………………………………Food for thought.
    Let us come out in big numbers come March 4th. Middle class hold the key to the future of this country (Let us put God first Proverbs 3:5,6).

  20. Excellent analysis Pete. To quote a truth often repeated ‘we get the leaders we deserve’. If the middle class choose not get involved in the primaries, they will reap what they saw – enuff said!

  21. Sobering post for Nairobi’s middle class. And true it is.

    @Pete: I recently wrote on the same from a different but related point of view:

    ‘On the massive shift of Political power in Nairobi and the Rise of the ‘Ghetto government’
    – bit.ly/VDGVkF (Link)

  22. (Hi Pete.. I wrote my response on Jan 21st.. Responses to an email forward..but leo I found your blogspot!.. Abit late but these were my comments!.. Cheers)

    Jan 21st 2013
    Classic piece Pete Odera…

    Guilty as accused!

    My fingers ache from all typing I do on-line in emails, chats, blogs (lakini I don’t Facebook.. Does that give me a brownie point?)

    My bum (my pastor used this word Jana so I can) aches from the many hours of sitting., watching TV analysis of the mayhem going on, throwing electronic stones….

    I’m guilty to all your accusations…

    But I will get up and vote on March 4th…

    God forgive us and remind us to do the right thing…. Tuwache ushenzi!

    Keep up the fire my brother,
    Lucyisalive!

  23. A True patriot there trying to advise the elite and exposing their ignorance which to some point does affect them in some way negatively to their businesses and normal lives to. Thats an Informative article.

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