"That my BMW"
If you don’t have a friend from the “Lakeside” you are missing out on a serious part of what makes Kenya Kenya!
The Omondis of Kenya are the most versatile of our tribes. They pride themselves in being the hardest working and most learned in Kenya. They can be found in large numbers in all social groupings. From the manual labourers in the quarries of Njiru, to university halls the world over; Omondis are found everywhere. My good friend Perminas Valentine Mak’Odhiambo tells me Luos go to school to become learned while the rest of us simply receive an education.
Issues of class and social position are very important amongst the Omondis- they will rarely cross barriers. The common questions to ascertain where one belongs are: “where did you go to school or who was your teacher and who are classmates now.” For illustration purposes I will use Okelloh a middle class 'jaduong' living in Nairobi. Any reference to his possesions must be preceeded with "That my" or That "his". Possesion is everything.
Saturday afternoon Washington Okello will drive "his" sleek BMW 520i convertible out of his parking slot at the Hilton (he never parks anywhere else) and pass through the drycleaners at the Hotel Intercontinental to drop off laundry as well as collect the next weeks suits. He will then drive to Buru Buru to change into his weekend wear-neatly pressed cotton pants and an expensive silk shirt and a suede jacket to match his Italian suede shoes (pronounced sous- the ‘h’ is silent). He adds the final touches- a splash of very expensive cologne and a heavy gold chain and bracelet. Okello looks round his house and smiles at what he sees. A sparsely yet expensively furnished sitting room (he prefers to call it lounge) seats from Macrays(where the expatriates and people who have taste and money buy furniture) had set him back a clean 250,000/= and the Large screen Sony television with a matching Sony home theatre System another 350,000/=.
Okello calls out to his Domestic technologist( houseboy): “Einstein, Did I not ask you to make sua you don’t touch "that my" music systeeem? I am sua because last night Akinyi and I were listening to Nacion FM- now I see it is on Ramogi! Let me warn you Odouri , next time I will send you straight to Siaya. Do you understand?”
Okello gets into "his" BMW takes his lap of honour around the estate smiling at all the nice Nyakos (young ladies) along the way. He slows down as he sees Akinyi flagging him down at the bus stop. “ Hhe , Yawa why are you not answering my calls today?” she asks as she slides into the brown leather interior of "his" BMW.
“Which line were you calling me on my sosio(social) line or my oficio(official) one?” He then proceeds to explain that his official line is never answered after 1200 hrs GMT.
First stop is the bar between Jeans and Johns in Nairobi West to meet The MD of a certain company, the financial Director or Group Editor of a local daily. They will entertain themselves here then move to Impala Hotel in parklands to listen to Lingala or to the Bridge on Jogoo road for some Benga.
I will say this: If any of our tribes know how to live life to its fullest- flashiest cars most expensive clothes, partake in the best drinks- Omondis take the cake. In my next life I want to be born an Omondi.
Favourite drink: Anything but beer- preferably Chivas or Remy for the middle and upper class- other spirits are referred to as industrial alcohol.
Favourite Songs- “I am not sober”- (This is an actual song and one of the verses talks about having Guiness for power with Michael Powers- an excellent song)
Food: Kuon(ugali) and Samak (ngege)
Notable Luos: too many to name on this page
Characteristics: Flamboyant, big spenders, High rollers, well educated
Patrick a recently promoted Kikuyu went to have a drink with a friend who had just completed his PHD. Upon sitting down the two gentlemen he didn’t know began introducing themselves:
Man#1: “I am Professor James Oburo Mak’Onyango, lecturer at Nairobi University. I was schooled in the U.K and America among other places. Some of my classmates are Professors John Montiago Odhiambo, Senior Vice President ADB and Dr. Innocent Uche of the United Nations. Nice to meet you.”
Man#2: “My name is Dr. Evanson Ouko Ochieng. I spesiolize (specialise) in the treatment of Cardio-Vascular diseases. I went to school with Dr Gikonyo Dr Ambrose Rotich and Proffesor Nyasani. I currently live in Muthaiga. And who are you young man?”
Patrick: “My name is Captain Kamau sir, pleasure to meet you.”
Man#1: Ahhhh.. Captain – very nice… Which Airline BA, Air France, KLM? Those are the ones I fly with.
Patrick: “Actually sir, I am a Captain in the Kenya Army.”
Man#2 (almost choking on his Chivas): Kenya Army? What happonned (happened)- was there a problem with school fisss(fees)?
Taking votes on the next tribe to feature here