Friday, February 24, 2006

A new generation of idiots.....
So it seems that a new generation of Kenyans has discovered the jet-set lifestyle!Woo
Hoo!Good for them!
Ogembo is a 27-year-old public relations officer with a marketing firm. He earns Sh80,000 a month and lives with two friends in a three bedroomed house, where he occupies the bedroom ensuite, forking out Sh20, 000 a month for it.

Ogembo would rather die than be seen in a matatu and drives a Mitsubishi Gallant, courtesy of a Sh750,000 company loan. "This is the life, and I'm not dreaming of living it small,"

Firstly seems this lad doesn't seem to know those company loans do add up!If you must buy a car at least raise half of the cash then take the loan.I wouldn't be surprised if he counts his car as an asset when in reality no asset should deppreciate in value that fast.Also the last time I was in Kenya one could rent a whole house for 20k in a good neighbourhood instead of spending all that on renting a house with pals.But if I know Kenyans the way I do it must be due to the fact that the 60k house is in a nice neighbourhood like Lavington or Runda.

Later on this Sunday night, he takes me to his digs in Sirikwa Estate. A flight of stairs past the sitting room, which they all share, opens to his bedroom.It's an all white, but expensively furnished affair—there is a king size sleeping couch bought in Egypt, a 29-inch plasma TV, a leather rocking chair and a home theatre system. And that’s it.

Of course it's all white because there is nothing hanging on the walls!Sleeping couch?I think a bed would be in better taste!Seems no recreational reading goes on in this lad's life as it seems he has no desk in his room.And why the hell did he have to buy a bed ooops I mean sleeping couch made in Egypt?I have seen some very unique and tasteful furniture made locally.

"Living here means no relatives ... I care only about my lifestyle, friends and career," he says, fishing out a bottle of Famous Grouse brandy from a section of the wardrobe that he has turned into a cellar.
Yes freedom does rock but the fact that you now keep a bottle of brandy under your coats and jackets does not turn it into a cellar, just a wadrobe that you keep alcohol in.I used to do the same thing in my room when I was 18.Buy a wine rack if you want to look classy!

The yuppies were chauffeured to schools that were previously whites-only such as St Mary’s unlike their parents — the proud Alliance, Mangu and Machakos School types.
Stop playa hating on Saints you loser!Saints has as much pride and heritage as those other schools.Damn seems some people just can't let shit go!

"Ours is a generation of movers," says John Kiarie, (KJ) an art director at Ogilvy and Mather advertising, "and most of us would rather park a Range Rover outside a servant's quarters in Hurlingham, than live in Buru Buru or anywhere East of Uhuru Highway. Some have to fake it, till they make it."
Someone please, please explain the logic of that to me!First of all I have explained to you how a car isn't an asset!In fact the more expensive it is the more of a liability it is!Then again better an SQ in Lavington then a house in South B.

Fake or real, there are unwritten rules of membership to the yuppie set. You have to earn a salary the length of a KRA Pin Number, live in a leafy suburb, run a fuel guzzler or one or two showy souped-up cars, banish any traces of your mother tongue in your English and have a reputation for free-wheeling spending. A sharp fashion sense completes the requisite image that ensures steady invitation to Nairobi's A-list parties.

Does Kabete count as a leafy suburb?My jalopy used to drink fuel like a fish and had loads of unique add ons aka pirated spare parts (am I in?).I don't have any traces of my mother tongue in my speech not out of choice and not because I fake it. I am eloquent but will by no means fake a weng; I used to laugh my head off because so many Kenyans suck at this.Keep it real!As for free wheeling spending why should I pay more if I can get it cheaper elsewhere?Only pay top dollar if you can't get it elsewhere!Fashion sense is relative...please refer to earlier post.

In Nairobi, you are defined by where you work, your knowledge and whether you are progressive.
This may be the case for many but I am not defined by what I do, where I live and what I know.Those should be a small part of who you are and not the grand total!As for progressive, free wheeling consumerism with no regard for tommorow really isn't if you ask me.

If you treat your feet to Sh20,000 Remron or Clarks shoes you are doing badly.Socks at Sh2,500 and a shirt for Sh5,000 are considered a fair deal.
A simple rule of thumb I follow.Unless you are buying a one off pair of dress shoes for a big occasion,a pair of shoes should never be more then 5-10% of what you make at the end of the month.So if you make 200k buy shoes for 20k at the very most.Shoes are not neccesities and shouldn't make a dent in your budget.Besides trends come and go, so you dont want to be left with some expensive duds in your wadrobe!If the shirt is by a company like Arrow then that is allowable in terms of cost but socks for 2,500?!WTF do they walk for me?They look no difference from those I bought for 20/= at the bus-stop on the way home!

According to Teddy, you will hardly find them in discos or open-air concerts. They also go out of Nairobi to, say Naivasha or Olepolos in Kajiado, for a "loose-mbuzi-thing," meaning, a goat eating party out of town.
Out of town plans do rock!I remember going to Olepolos on many weekends!

Tamasha, which was heaved out of the larger Buffet Park bar and restaurant, is one such joint.Save for the music, service and somewhat classy clientele; there is nothing out of this planet about this members-only pub.
My point exactly so where do these clowns get off charging membership fees!Asshats!

We drive to Alfajiri in Kilimani (you can't reach it by public means), which, alongside The Hood and Casablanca in Hurlingham, Choices on Baricho Road, Club Qatika, Mercury Lounge, Thesaurus, Sohos in Westlands, Havana, Club Sikiliza, Kengeles, Cafe Creame, and Chillers are for the well-heeled.
The only joints in that list I never experienced were Thesaurus and Mercury lounge; some are too over hyped if you ask me!But for some of these joints you do have to be well heeled!I recall paying 80/= to buy a soda for a date, let's just say her aspirations to being a teetolater ended with that round!

And when a little broke, in-house bottle parties, come in handy. And when bonding, they mostly discuss themselves, the sexes, where they will party next, their careers and international sports like Formula One racing and the English Premier League, with a fleeting mention of Kenyan politics.
Is it just me or if you are young and are making money you become more andmore apathetic to the political situation in Kenya?

Aren't women ingredients in this veritable cocktail?

"They are," says, Esther Mumbi, 25, director of Touch Up, a wedding and events management company, "and they prefer hanging out in pricey places with men who have made it. They also seem to have warped priorities. Some live in a Sh40,000 apartment yet they earn Sh60,000. So even for them, it's an image package of who you are and where you live and whether you are part of the MBA movement."

So men no money, no company!Another rule of thumb!Rent should never be more then 25% of your total earnings!Otherwise how will you meet your other expenses and save.Talk about literally working to pay the rent!

Does this mean they don't invest?

Lutta says bright ones are risk takers who invest at the Stock Exchange and in real estate. But if you talk of investing in a matatu or a shamba, you are considered a "zack" (old fashioned).

"Men invest in mutual funds, unit trusts, investment clubs or a plot in Kitengela or Athi River. The same applies to the women".

Mumbi thinks not: "Most of them hardly save. I know some who casually blow away their Sh150,000 salaries and are heavily in debt. While their parents were content with a Sh600 Sanyo radio, these ones spend Sh90,000 on home theatres just to impress their peers. The wise women don't need men to bankroll their lifestyle. While their spending is conspicuous, they also invest in shares, treasury bills, offshore trading, or have money saved in a fixed deposit account.

The jury seems to be out on this one.But as far as I know most of them don't save.I know many cases of people who had to move back home when the companies they were working for downsized.On the other hand I do have some friends who are making a killing in the stock market, so I guess only time will tell.

Being city people, yuppie weddings are not communal affairs. These invitation-only parties are preceded, not by old fashioned bachelor parties, where the bridegroom and his bosom friends cleared crates of Tusker in a smoke-filled bar with matronly bar maids, streetwise ruffians and drab music.

Yuppies do them in stag night parties, where the stag service providers are hired for Sh30,000, with a Sh5,000 non-refundable booking fee. Now these stag parties are held in exclusive villas for that last beer blast with the boys.
I have attended one or two of those weddings and I must say they are a blast!But as for those stag parties I really have to track some down when I go back on vacation!

"Money," says Mumbi, "is what matters to most of them. They are go-getters who want the best cars, clothes and jobs. They want to get a name in society and be the best in what they do. Their jobs define them too, which is why they flash out their business cards before they have told you their second names."
Money is a good thing but it is not everything!And as I said earlier, I will not let my job define me!

Wannabes aspire to be in the league of the high rollers but their ambitions are cut short courtesy of insufficient income and responsibilities from the extended family.

"A wannabe says Kiarie," is that fellow who hangs around this lot, but his bills are mostly taken care of. He is also given a lift to his parents’ home where he lives in the extension."

A wannabe could be paying for his siblings’ school fees, so he mostly hangs out at the end of the month.

Wannabe women, I learn from Mumbi, spot common perfume scent and in their creased attempt at fashion, they buy clothes from Moi Avenue stalls.

Question is when the "wannabe" makes it will he/she still support their extended family or become as selfish as most of the "yuppies"?

Anyway all barbed comments aside, what am I getting at?It's all well and good to make lots of money and enjoy it.But if you're spending it just as fast as you make it, then that's just setting yourself up for disaster!Also it does help to give a little back to the society past your family.Many well to do Kenyans ignore the plight of the poor not knowing that ignoring the elephant in the room doesn't make it go away!
On the flip side if you have lots of cash in Kenya, their is so much you can do!The rift between the middle class and the upper class isn't as wide in Kenya as it is abroad.So the middle class in Kenya can afford to take more then one vacation a year in exotic locales, while on the other hand abroad finding the time and money is very difficult!I met an American girl who took her first flight at the age of 23 while I took my first flight at the age of 9, so people shouldn't assume that people abroad neccesarily have better lives!

All in all enjoy today but don't forget to plan for tommorrow because as Kanye said it best, no-one is promised tommorrow today!


At 2/25/2006 02:03:00 AM, Blogger kritik said...

wow!!!! instigator!
u know its quite true. this wannabe yuppies or whatever they call themselves really do lead a pathetic life, all in the name of keeping appearances.
KJ IS QUITE MISGUIDED when he claims that life in a lavington sq is much better than one in a 3 bedroom bungalow in south b, c or LA.
with increase in jackings, i wud rather ply my sorry life as a "commoner" educated in shags (real shags not buru buru)and making some decent chumes which i save hence i will avoid all pretensions to potray that "am in"
in any case wen am down and low, nobody gives a damn faak!!
when am loaded am cool by myself...
living a lie is but one sorry bitch!!

At 2/25/2006 11:13:00 AM, Blogger Instigator said...

Yeah I am not playa-hating but there's alot of delusion going down up in there!It is not bad to aspire to be a member of the jet set but one should know that they can be brought crashing back to earth anytime!
When you live a fake life you end up getting fake friends who cant help you when life gets really hard!

At 3/02/2006 02:48:00 AM, Blogger KenyanMusings said...

I ma sooo so glad you wrote this post, because I read it and I was to say the least PISSED at that Ogembo guy. 80K. Negroe puhleeze! some people are just asinine. I think your blog rocks. I love all the things you write about.Too real! ..apart from ile ulitusi wanawake.
you keeping well?

At 3/02/2006 02:55:00 AM, Blogger KenyanMusings said...

LOL @ if socks walk for you!! tihihi! And its Rezorus, not thezaurus . Ha ha!

But by christ, you are so real it is refreshing!. I have to say though, I have this weakness for buying vast amounts of chocolates (and supa snack. Yes, its back....12bob. Super cool. I buy only about 22 a day...


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