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Kenyans abroad: Why some won’t go home for Christmas

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Growing up in Ombeyi village in Kisumu County, Nick Ogutu, a Kenyan resident of New York, always looked forward to the December holidays when long-lost relatives and villagers who lived in big cities returned home for Christmas.

“It was the only time I could  drink a soda at the local market because my cousin who lives in Nairobi was giving me a treat. It was also the time  you’d spot me in either new attire, or a used but decent one given to me by my cousins,” said Mr Ogutu in a recent interview.

He remembers not just his excitement when city dwellers returned to the village for the festivities but also how local shopkeepers experienced booming business.

“The local economy would be boosted by the high-spending ‘watu wa Nairobi’ (city people), who wanted to fix their houses, pay last respects to those buried in their absence, and organise parties for family and friends,” said Mr Ogutu.

MOVED ABROAD

Later, Mr Ogutu and other villagers moved abroad either to study or work in places they now regard as their second homes. A number of them have maintained the ritual of travelling back to Kenya for the festive season. However, the situation is different this year.

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Like many other Kenyans living abroad, Mr Ogutu is not planning to travel to Ombeyi to be with his village folks for one simple reason — the prevailing unpredictable political situation in Kenya has not only been discouraging but also scary.

Kenya has just gone through the longest electioneering period in recent memory. Two presidential elections within three months due to the landmark September 1 Supreme Court ruling, which nullified President Kenyatta’s win in the August 8 elections. The street protests and clashes with police have left many people dead and maimed.

From a logistical standpoint, observed Mr David Ogega, a Kenyan resident of Atlanta, Georgia, Kenyans make travel arrangements months in advance.

CHEAPER

“Airline tickets are generally cheaper when booked in advance, especially the months of September and October. Time off and from work is predictable,” said Mr Ogega, who is the Diaspora Conference chairman.

Mr Ogega noted that the protracted electioneering season as a result of the Supreme Court ruling and the subsequent election on October 26 created an unprecedented level of uncertainty in the country and many Kenyans abroad were not sure about their safety when they return home.

“The violence and threat of more violence scared many of them away. In fairness, it appears that normalcy may be returning as we enter the holiday season and there is a chance we will see an uptick in last-minute travellers,” he said.

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As for Mr Jacktone Ambuka, a Kenyan resident of New Jersey, the prevailing political situation in Kenya has been fluid and unpredictable.

DISPUTED ELECTION

“In the wake of a disputed election coupled with reluctance by President Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga to jumpstart genuine dialogue that can unite citizens, Kenya’s political stability, which serves as a foundation for economic and social prosperity, remains uncertain,” he said.

Mr Ambuka added that the mood on the ground makes it hard not only for the people to interact without reservations but also complicates matters for visitors who are not sure about their security.

He noted that the Christmas celebrations in Kenya are unlikely to have a traditional excitement that evokes good feelings.

CELEBRATE

“A significant number of people have got nothing to celebrate following the destruction of their property and deaths of loved ones during political protests. The real spirit of Kenyan Christmas was diluted by  political circumstances,” noted the political analyst.

Mr Festus Kasyoka Mbuva, a Kenyan resident of Lowell, Massachusetts, shares this feeling. “I think the disputed elections have really hurt our collective Kenyan identity. You could say there’s deep mistrust and uncertainty floating around,” he said.

Mr Mbuva said many Kenyans living abroad were not making “bold and wide-ranging investments” as usual and are also not eager to fly home to flaunt their Kenyan pride.

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“This, in the end, will deeply impact the economy and bruise the Kenyan identity further. It’s the boomerang effect of a dysfunctional leadership,” he said.

-Chris Wamalwa, nation.co.ke

 

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Diaspora

PHOTOS: See Kenyan celebrities who had to look outside the borders to find love

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Some Kenyan celebrities have found love beyond the borders, married and even started families. Below is a compilation of some of them:

1. DJ Mohz

 

Top Kenyan celebrities who’ve found love beyond our borders

DJ Mohz walked down the aisle nearly eight years ago with his beautiful wife Deborah Kimathi. They got beautiful daughters and they say they have been happily married for all those years.

2. Vanessa Kiuna

Image result for where does vanessa kiunas husband come from

 

The daughter to Reverend Kathy Kiuna is among those Kenyans as well. Her husband’s name is Robert and they have a child together. The husband is from South Africa and the couple says their parents are very supportive of them.

3. Ninja

Jeff-Okelo-4-524x350

Jeff Okello, an actor from the popular tv show, Mother-in-Law, got a ‘mzungu’ wife and they are apparently even getting a second child together.

Her wife’s name is Katja Maria Huhta and has Finnish descent.

4. Octopizzo

Octo-and-wifey

The Hip hop artist and youth activist from Kibera also got to marry a ‘mzungu’.He has two daughters and isn’t afraid of showing them off to the world.

5. Jeff Koinange

Introducing-Citizen-TVs-Jeff-Koinange-Beautiful-Wife-and-their-Cute-Son-5

The Citizen television anchor Jeff has been married to the second wife Shaila Koinange a Kenyan of Asian origin for so many years.

He tries his best to keep his family from the public eye hence not much is known about the wife.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Did Uhuru get a brain freeze while taking his oath?

6. Eric Omondi

eric-omondi-chanty2-e1495789454669

Popular comedian Eric Omondi also got his hands on a mixed beauty known as Chantal Grazioli who is half Italian half Kenyan.

He fell in love with her and the two have been seen a lot together.

BY: PETER KARIUKI

radiojambo.co.ke

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Diaspora

US-based Kenyan man holds 3 Pre-weddings in quick succession, fiancée says wedding must go on

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

A Kenyan woman in Seattle, Washington, who has been at the center of a heated online debate has come out to openly declare her total support for her fiancé, who is being accused of scamming Kenyans by holding three Pre-wedding fundraisers within a few months: two in Maryland and Massachusetts and an upcoming one in Washington State.

In an exclusive interview with Kenya Satellite News Network Thursday, Pastor Serah Ndirangu said she is ready to get married to the man and “those casting doubts on the event are mere detractors whose opinions don’t really matter.”

She said she is well aware of what happened between the previous fiancée  and the Reverend and added that the upcoming pre-wedding was her own idea.

“Why do people like poking their noses in other peoples’ affairs?” she wondered.

“We really don’t care what they are saying…this is our life and no one is being forced to contribute a penny,” she said.

Our  pre-wedding will take place on November 10th “come rain, come shine,” she added.

She was referring to those who have raised concern over the number of times the man in question has “fallen in love.”

The debate is about one Reverend Stanley Mwea who held two pre-wedding fundraisers in May this year, in Baltimore and Boston. The woman he intended to marry was Susan Kangethe, but as fate would have it, differences arose before they could tie the knot and the wedding was called off.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan law allows Cabinet Secretaries to campaign

Soon after that, Rev Mwea then fell in love with another woman, Ms Serah Ndirangu, and the two planned a third pre-wedding, slated for November 10th this year.

This did not go down very well with some Kenyans in the Diaspora, many of whom took to social media to make their position on the matter known. Some of them said they feel “used” after having made monetary contributions to the previous fundraisers.

This comes at a time when Kenyans in different cities in the US have been complaining of rising instances where, after pre-weddings are held, the “love birds” vanish or relocate to different states, never to be seen again.

Now Pastor Serah Ndirangu says the wedding will take place in Seattle, Washington in early December. “The church elders and my fellow gospel musicians have encouraged me to go on with the arrangements and there is no looking back. God will fight on our behalf,” she adds.

However, some people, mostly Kenyans, were skeptical:

Here are some of the comments:

Bryan Dubb wrote on Facebook: 

Waaaaar my Kenyanese people. Is this what we doing now? Same Reverend, two women, different cities, one in May and another in Nov same year for a pre-wedding? C’mon son 😏

***another pre wedding in Mass**

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Esther WaKang’ara:  I imagine there are people who contributed to all his mchangoz…the f**kery 🙄🙄. Throw it all away!!!

 

Brenda Momanyi They all know about each that have a mission to chop y’all hard earned money small small #issascam #dontdallforit

Lily Jay: Wajinga ndio waliwao.. let the man prosper! Kama kuna his kondoos willing to shell out their hard earned cash to this conman, so be it. Wabarikiwe..

Salome Mwangi: Ala! Mchungaji kondoo amechunga coast to coast…… this one takes the crown. Team serah Seattle is close to me issa wedding😂😂. Is this guy serious? I hope not.

Corazòn Wanjiku He is practicing his beliefs (legalized polygamy). I aint hating but who are these churches supporting this pastor? Don’t raise ALL your hands at ONCE!

Nikki Wangari I’m done with my kenyanese people🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️
I’m not boarding that country🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🏃🏽‍♀️

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Diaspora

Man who recorded Chinese man call president Uhuru a monkey tells New York Times how he faced racism daily

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Liu Jiaqi was deported from Kenya after he was caught on camera calling Kenyans monkeys including president Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Chinese man arrogantly stated that he doesn’t like Kenya because the people are black, poor and they smell. He however said that he still had to do business with Kenyans because he wanted their money.

Richard Ochieng, who recorded the Chinese man hurl racist slur, has come out to narrate his experience working for the racist man during an interview with New York Times.

Richard Ochieng

The 26 year old reveals that Liu Jiaqi racially abused him on a regular basis. He recalls an incident when he was on a business trip with Liu and they spotted troop of baboons by the roadside. Liu told Ochieng to say hi to his brothers (baboons) and instructed him to share some bananas with the primates.

Ochieng also reveals that when he took the job as a salesman at the Chinese motorbike company he was paid a fraction of what he was initially offered.

He also says that his salary was subject to deduction for a long list of infractions, including zero laughter policy at work.

Each minute of lateness — sometimes unavoidable given Nairobi’s notorious traffic — came with a steep fine. An employee who was 15 minutes late might be docked five or six hours’ pay,” said Ochieng.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan Community Church in Ohio, US invites you to a fundraiser this Sunday

 

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