not Runda...

Nothing beats a hang-over killing session at Ole Polo’s ( I know I said the same thing about Carni but am like a Kenyan MP-lets jus say I was misquoted). It’s my usual crew-all the boyz plus Pete’s funga from last night, the brother couldn’t get rid of her in the morning — am sure jamaz out there will have had the conversation before:

Boy: (getting outta bed) What’s YOUR plan for leo?

Girl: (looking a bit too comfortable in his bed)ah, nothing much, what do you have planned for us leo?

Boy: (planned for us????) … er er er er actually my granny’s sick in the hosi so am gonna go see her (hoping she falls for that) …

But Pete didn’t manage to shake her off so she’s part of the crew today (I wouldn’t be surprised if she ‘forgot’ one of her earrings at his crib…). As we down the booze and manga some nyam chom in the sun the topic shifts from the analysis of jana nite to the recent spate of kidnappings. It’s a no-brainer, it’s sick and unfair… and those kidnappers deserve the death penalty. But we’re all still hangover and now on the way to getting tipsy again so some of the boyz decide to offer an alternative view.

Before they can go far we point out the obvious…the mental anguish on the kidnapped person and their family (and friends), not to mention the risk of physical abuse on the kidnapped person must be unbearable. But they point out that the kidnappers probably have good reasons for resorting to kidnapping innocent Nairobians.

Good reasons????

Tony goes into a long hypothetical tale about a dude in Kayole, a dude who’s the good kid in primo and seco—school prefect even. He passes KCSE, gets called into uni straight (no parra) and clears his Engineering degree then he enters the cycle am sure all of us have experienced: sending out our CV’s everywhere (To HR Manager: Dear sir/madam …). That ish is mad frustrating, especially those annoying secretaries “umekuja kuona nani? … Una appointment? …Ahhhhhh, ni job application, leta tu hiyo CV nitampatia…si umeandika number? We’ll call you.” Then he/she proceeds to throw the CV on top of a pile at the end of the desk. One of the worst things about Nai job hunting is that they don’t call you back, even to let you know your application was considered but rejected.  Pete then joins in saying how frustrating that ish is but we remind him that we also went through the tarmacking process and yet we’re not kidnapping peeps left, right and centre. His response is that the difference is that we all came from homes where we were guaranteed three square meals a day- jobless or not.

Getting more preachy they distinguish the fortunes of the CV dropper from those of his old neighbourhood pals who dropped out of school earlier and are now making decent money from their kidnapping racket (most of the kidnappers who are busted by cops are under 30). Aint that a b****, all that KCPE, KSCE and uni stress and you still can’t get a Take-away? While that dude who couldn’t handle Form 2 is counting the Money, Cash, H$$$…. Add this to the pressure he’s probably facing from the folks (after all that school fees they hoped that by now he’d at least be making enough to help with the fees and pocket money of his kid siblings) and we have one frustrated, angry and desperate brutha.

Slowly by slowly the idea of kidnapping becomes more acceptable in his eyes. Surely a high roller living in Muthaiga, driving a 10 million bob motz can afford a million bob to pay for his wife’s ransom? Plus all along he had played and worked by the rules of the system but the system never worked for him—the system only seems to work for the MP’s and CEO’s…(in his eyes). And with that Pete and Tony rest their case…

The drunken response was swift—any jobseeker there should look to get into the prostitution business. There’s a lucarative market out there…Martin tells us how one director (whose like 56) family friend of his was breaking down how expensive it was for him to have a wife and family plus a ka-permanent side dish from Main Campus…(Here go the side-dish costs…) first was the rent of the crib he got her – 40k pm in Kile, then thez her pocket money of like 25 k a month, groceries 10 k pm and two loose overseas trips a year-usually Zanzibar or Dubai. Clearly, the market for proper brothels is there—if the kidnappers charged this director guy 10K per night with some mama who’s willing to volunteer herself and keep 50 % of the fee they’d all be making mad profits heck, they could hire that campo chick as well, it’s not as if she isn’t already having sex for cash.

We added more points – the main one being the pain caused on the other side. The fact that the family does not know whether their loved one is dead/alive or when they will be coming back should be reason enough not to kidnap. There’s also the cash issue. Some peeps make the mistake of thinking that the high roller always has liquid money on hand. The reality is usually very different, the destination of that cash is usually predetermined months before hand-thez like 6 loans to pay off, school fees etc.  Since the cash is not usually at hand the fam might be forced to borrow more but luckily the harambee spirit is still present in the country so there might be a few harambees to help out. Unfortunately, despite all this fundraising and borrowing the return of the kidnapped person is never guaranteed.  You also have to consider that the police will be constantly urging (ordering) you NOT to pay any ransom while insisting that they are still ‘carrying out investigations.’

Plus if one is really desperate for cash, surely there are other ways to make cash in Nai without inclicting (threatening) harm on others (besides starting a brothel). The hundreds of thousands of people residing in the slums around tao have some really physically challenging and crappy jobz but at least they aren’t increasing the crime rate and inflicting harm on others (I know, easy for me to say…but whose the snake: the dude who walks from Kibich to his jobo in Inda daily despite getting paid peanuts or the dude with a bit of education who joins a kidnapping gang?).

The sad thing about all this is that as long as excessive wealth and extreme poverty live side by side crimes such as kidnapping can only rise (Kibera’s right next to MO1’s digz, Muthaiga’s a stones throw away from Mathare, Kawangware-Kile/Lavi etc). We all saw on the news that Kenya’s population is projected to reach 80m by 2040 …and if by that time people in the slum are tired of that religious ‘BLESSED ARE THE POOR…’ story and really start questioning why they were born into (and continue to live in) poverty while others are not then we could be set for a real bloody crime wave/revolution.

Is kidnapping ever justifiable? I still say no but sometimes it pays to take a peak outta the suburbs…


  1. The problem with your theories is you assumed that its only people from Muthaiga that are being kidnapped. Its happening in across the classes. From Muthaiga to Kayole. Githurai to Kinoo. Kikuyu to Rongai, Embakasi to ngong. Limuru, Nakuru, IDP camps………name it. Nobody is safe. You could also ask yaself, could there be a much more experienced gang than just jobless university graduates or high school graduates? Think, employees of phone companies, the police, the CID, that girl eyeing you at a hanye and you blinded by the prospect of a chips funga. That crook who needs more money for bigger crime like import of drugs, that naija broda who gives you tales of gold import from Ghana etc etc Offcourse this is all speculative but what are you left to think when ransom is paid by M-Pesa and ZAP and no one gets arrested? The school at Kiganjo will teach you to run fast from trouble and how to hold an AK-47 and how to match during presidential functions. It teaches no shit on how to curb modern crime which is turning hi-tek. Inteligence on crime fight in the country has gone to the dogs, the dogs have tasted it and puked on it coz it sucks that bad.

    • Real talk…you have a good point there but in the cases you point out it’s not just the masterminds but also the ‘poor fellows’ who carry out the dirty work…

      But cops needa step their game up (…and quit c*****ing with the kidnappers)

  2. Kidnapping is not justifiable unless you’re kidnapping the source of your woes – the amoral bastards who ‘represent’ us and are in charge of promoting law and order, a good environment for business and investment- hence job creation etc.

    But if you’re kidnapping random hard-working wananchi, bure kabisa!

    I guess the easier answer then is no, it’s never justifiable, but it’s foreseeable and sometimes understandable.

  3. Basically Saitoti is sleeping on the job. Maybe he’ll wake up from his stupor when his daughter/son gets kidnapped.

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