Highlights of Nairobi from a Zimbabwean, Farai Munjoma

JulietEneza Media, Team FeaturesLeave a Comment

Farai Munjoma
View of the Ngong Hills, Nairobi

Farai Munjoma at Ngong Hills

Farai Munjoma is our Entrepreneur-Intern-in-Residence, who founded Shasha Network in Zimbabwe, while in high school. I had a chat with him about his residency and life in Nairobi, Kenya. In the previous post, he talked about his residency. Here’s a continuation of our chat.

How is Kenyan culture different from Zimbabwean culture from your observation?

For the past 2 months, I have witnessed first hand the Kenyan culture. The honest truth is that we all the same people. Kenyans are some of the most welcoming people I have ever encountered in my life, you can even see it by the way everyone says Karibu sana(Swahili meaning welcome) every time you tell them you are a foreigner. As someone who studies in Mauritius, I have had a bit of exposure to what diversity feels like and the same can be said of Kenya, having encountered all races in Nairobi and they all feel at home.

For someone with a great love for food, I have not faced any challenge adapting to the diet here, we all eat stiff porridge from maize, popularly known as ugali. Ugali is also the same as the sadza that we have as a staple food in Zimbabwe, however Kenyan ugali is tougher and more filling as compared to our sadza. Kenyans are meat lovers, however they tend to cut their meat into small cubes at the butchery and even when you by nyama choma (grilled meat). In Zimbabwe, we serve our meat as large chunks and it is upto the eater to cut the meat for themselves, which is a pretty interesting aspect of the culture here. Kenyans probably believe in making life for each other easier by cutting their meat into small pieces.

It would be an empty response if I hadn’t mentioned the matatu (minibus) culture here in Nairobi. In Zimbabwe we call them Kombis, matatu can be identified by their often loud music and colorful designs usually graffiti with famous reggae musicians and footballers, one thing that highlights some of the key culture influences in model Nairobi culture.  

What are the highlights of your stay in Nairobi?

During my stay in Nairobi, I have been able to learn a lot from talking to other young people. I can safely say the velocity of information and knowledge here is tremendous and information moves so fast. Communication has never been as simple as it here in Nairobi, almost everyone speaks in English from the ordinary matatu conductor to the old lady selling fruits on the street side.

There is a booming start-up ecosystem which has so many young people spearheading the technology revolution. M-pesa is one of the man-made wonders of this beautiful city, cash is a thing of the past in Kenya. Everyone uses mobile money to buy anywhere and at anytime. This has definitely improved the efficiency in many sectors.

The most interesting observation I have seen in Nairobi is that the city population is growing. A perfect example is Kibera, a shanty town in Nairobi, most young people are moving from the rural areas to come and settle in these towns. Immigrants from all over east africa and most notably South Sudanese refugees occupy this area.

The Africa of the future will not be about countries, it will be more about cities and their capacity to harness and mobilise its human capital. Private and public sector need to come up with some winning formulas that will give education opportunities to all these people and make them productive otherwise we are sitting on a ticking time bomb.

It is quite clear that the brick and mortar school  model is not as perfect as it should be hence to compliment the current existing mode of learning, young people and parents must start engaging with more digital learning platforms such as the one provided by Eneza Education- Shupavu291.

Farai also went hiking on Ngong Hills over the weekend. You can reach out to Farai on Twitter and chat more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *