Rain, Rain, Go Away!


When iCon was about the size of a puppy on its hind legs, I used to be scared of the downpour in Nairobi. Then one day some corny old man said “Those are God’s tears of joy. It seems we have made him proud.” Cheered me up for about 1 week.

You see a week thereafter, the pint-sized-me was walking home from Hospital Hill Primary School in the cats-and-dogs rain. Why was I walking, you ask? Because there was no available public transport whatsoever. ‘Home’, for reference purposes, was somewhere on Mombasa Rd; this little place called South B, from whence I hail.

For those of you with reasonable geographic savvy of Nairobi, you may pick your jaw up off the floor now. For the rest of you, that’s a very long walk. Especially if you’re only 8-9 years old.

Anyway, we(my brother and I) began walking, got mud water splashed in our faces by speeding vehicles, pushed around by fellow pedestrians, slipped on the unstable ground and ..oh, right, rained on. Drenched. Might as well have swam there. When we finally got home to our frantically worried mother I walked the nearest window and thought “God isn’t crying. Angels are peeing on us.”

Over the years, the wrath of the angels seems to have gotten more acidic – in more ways than one. Rain does not seem to ever have any positive effect on this city or country, frankly. The roads get worse, the traffic quadruples, drivers get ballsier, matatus get more reckless. It’s like cranking the tension up to the max, in a city of 5 million already tense residents.

I was in a bus (that was driving on the pavement on the wrong side of the road to avoid traffic, by the way) and I overheard someone say “Rain washes away Kenyans’ ability to reason.” Couldn’t have said it better, anonymous sage. It seems logic no longer applies in our fair country whenever the angels start peeing.

For example, when it rains, and our hydro-electric dams fill up – with water – why do we then have water shortages and power outages? Isn’t this the opposite of what should be happening?

Kinda like how you would expect less people to drive because the conditions are horrid and we all know that more accidents happen when it’s rainy. Or maybe how traffic police run for cover once a few drizzles begin descending and leave these nonsensical drivers to not only fend for themselves but somehow find it in their good senses to follow the rules.

I love the rain. I really do. I’m a glum weather kinda guy. But for as long as I have to operate in this city, I’d rather the angels hold it in so that Kenyans can hold on to whatever little bit of sanity and good reasoning they may have left.

That is all.

13 thoughts on “Rain, Rain, Go Away!

  1. iCon, walking from Parklands area to South B is a feat even Tergat would hesitate to undertake. Kudos man.

    Is it possible that even with cars, when it rains, Kenyans still have the ‘pedestrian-umbrella =PANIC’ mentality? The mentality that seems pre-programmed to instruct Kenyans to rush home at the first sight of rain drops? I can excuse those that use public transport, but private car drivers? I just don’t get it.

    I like the rain.

    • When walking such a distance, it helps to have company and to be a naive kid. It started with “Let’s walk to town and then get Matatus from there” and then “Fine, we’re halfway there anyway..”
      Somewhere near Nakumatt Mega, we began re-evaluating the wisdom of our choices… By the time we got home, we were just wet and tired.

  2. so well written! I somehow pictured you to be another spoilt rich kid blogging. But the more I read this blog, the more I realise you’ve actually experienced the real Nairobbery we’ve all grown to love and hate in equal measure.

    • “Spoilt rich kid?” Lol. Nope. Never was spoiled, mother made sure of that. And I wasn’t born rich…quite far from it, really.

      Can’t say that I’m broke now…but Hell, I worked hard for it. And trust, I’m still part of that Nairoberry you know and love. Still ride Matatus even though there’s a car at home, still prefer Kenchic to those other ritzy places, etc etc. I still can’t navigate my way through Village Market, but I know where to get my Nyam Chom in Dagoretti Corner and much as these new malls with game rooms are cool, I prefer to shoot pool at my locals in South B(where it’s still 20/= a game, dammit!).

      The English is just a byproduct of a lot of reading and a love for penmanship.

      Thank you for the compliment.

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