My Nairobi

nairobi 2
Nairobi by Mutua Matheka

City in the sun, the city of dreams.
Of skyscrapers and glass that reflects the sun.
Where dreams come true,
With a quick deal or two.
Where education is priceless,
But it is only a door, kimenyano is the key.
A place of jobs aplenty, you can make it you see,
Of streets of tarmac, where well polished shoes tread,
Looking for that job or that deal,
Each day looking for that golden chance to become a millionaire.
Those roads that support Mercedes, Prado’s, Lexus and
The ever faithful Toyota.
The city with millions of worker drones,
Walking and driving to work,
White collar, blue collar and t-shirt types.
The city that never sleeps,
Bars, dens and hotels open 24 hours a day,
A place of fun and laughter.
Where crisp bank notes, plastic money and electronic money,
Magically pursue anything that the heart desires.
A place of blended cultures, and blended children,
Of mixed marriages, and accents from different lands can be heard.
The place where different communities live in harmony,
And where languages flow like water and new language is formed,
Blended into new tongues that only the young can speak.
The city of uniforms: suits, overalls, school uniforms and work garments.
The Nairobi of dreams.

The city of broken dreams and nightmares.
Where degrees are worthless, and their owners are pounding streets,
Looking for that elusive dream they were promised,
Go to university and a great job is guaranteed.
The city of corrugated iron sheets houses.
Of broken families, where alcohol is god.
Where sex is a commodity, sold for what’s in your pocket,
As low as 20 bob to as high as thousands of shillings,
“Honey, come I will show you a good time, How much you have?”
It’s all in the packaging,
And some have marketing degrees,
They know how to package the goods, and services,
They know the seven P’s of marketing,
Dear Marketing manager, they could teach you a thing or two.
A city where rural transplants dreaming of a glorious life came,
Hoping to make good, to live the golden dream,
Yet 3 generations later, all descendants still living in the slum.
A city of potholes, the stench of sewage and urine perfuming the air,
Mounds of garbage and rotting vegetables create artificial hills,
Phlegm on sidewalks, and puddles of murky water that stink and refuse to drain.
A city with corrupt cops and even more corrupt city council askaris,
Who will put you in if you don’t have money for tea.
A city that breaks dreams and shatters hope,
Leaving only walking, talking and working zombies,
Strangers with lifeless eyes, empty pockets and stomachs.
A city with gangsters with guns fake and real,
With pangas that pierce vital body organs,
And leave bodies, bleeding, lifeless on the street,
As people watch not helping, passive spectators.
A city of vice and lice,
And not all things are nice.

Come visit with me, my Nairobi!

I found this image here. It does not say who took this photo
I found this image here. It does not say who took this photo
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Potentash Founder. A creative writer and editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]