Corruption: Our favorite ‘bitter’ pill to swallow

“Mimi nilimfinyia macho nikamwambia, enda ukule lunch.”

“Hizi ofisi za gava, mtu hapeanangi mia tano imeshikana, zi! Hata ukiweza, enda na 500 za chwani chwani (fifty bob notes). Kuenda na mia tano imeshikana nikujitupa, juu utachotea aje kila msee kutoka wochi kwa gate hadi mkubwa kwa ofisi?”

These were some of the tips I was receiving from well-meaning Kenyan citizens. Tips on how to get good service. Tips on how to ‘pay for tea’ without having to buy rounds for everyone. Tips on how to package the tea for easy consumption. Economies of scale, use less to make more. See, what really gets to me is how easy we this information is dished. Anyone carrying a brown envelope is a good enough candidate to receive these nuggets of wisdom. What if I were a Jehovah’s Witness on my door to door evangelizing rounds? How would they receive what I had to tell them in return? Hold on, what WOULD I tell them in return?

“Accept Christ Jesus and leave the ways of corruption in the past.”


“Haiya, wacha! Imagine sikuwa najua hii story. Hata nilikuwa naenda interview kesho afternoon kwa ivo nifike masaa ya lunch?”

Or better still, I would take out a notepad and take notes, commas and all.

We are quick to politicize the matter of corruption when in truth, we are the ones poisoned to the Grey Matter in our brains. It has become our MO, Modus Operendi. An extra 50 bob as ‘insurance’, just in case.

Walk around town and ask the youth of our lovely rain-drenched country, what they think about corruption. The results will most likely mirror a finding from a research conducted on corruption in Kenya that stated, a majority of us young people have no problem with it.

The end justifies the means. Wealth acquired through corruption, according to the youth is okay so long as you don’t get caught.

“Wewe kuwa mjanja. Tembeza sinema venye itakuja, ukishikwa lakini, kufa kiSoldier.”

More advice. So, on campus, after the series of strikes from the lecturers in public universities, having to deal with indefinite school closures, you are within the reach of graduating and getting that power to read. Only, there’s a hurdle. You have to pay for all the library books you lost. Plot twist: You have only ever been to the library twice in your entire university career; once on orientation day, the other time you had gone to make out with your crush behind the dusty catalogues that no one really reads.

Clearing this debt you have though, can be done in an easier way, you could just dish out 10,000 bob to the department for ‘pizza’ and ‘vodka’ and you will be on your way, graduation paraphernalia in hand. Would you pay? Would you buy grown men and women pizza and vodka for books you haven’t even touched?

Just as I thought.

In other news, how’s the rains?


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