Dec 16

13 things Kenyans miss most while living abroad

Once you get on that plane and wave goodbye to your mother country, the excitement, curiosity of arriving and exploring your new home always overwhelms many.

But as time goes by, and you start getting used to your surroundings, that’s when you remember how sweet that Ketepa tea made your mornings or may be how Ugali once left you drowsy that hot Monday afternoon.

You then find yourself really missing home.

It’s no secret, Kenyans miss a lot of stuff from home when abroad. Below are some of the things – some crazy – that Kenyans miss when miles and miles away.

  1. Weather

In most part of Africa, people only know two kinds of weather, rain and sun. But abroad it’s a whole different type of ball game. The luxury of not having to deal with tornadoes, hurricanes, storms and snow is just what many miss most.

2. Family and friends

As much as Kenyans living abroad talk to their families on a daily basis via Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook, it’s not just the same as your cousins from Maragua stopping by or waking up to your mother’s tea or your grandfather trying to explain how things have changed whenever he’s around.

3. The vibrant party scene and party food

Kenyans love partying. Abroad you can also party but it’s not as simple as it is in Kenya or many other African countries. Think of this, you walk out, get a few smokies, boiled eggs, fried chicken gizzards or whatever you want just outside the club. 

4. Tusker Baridi (you must include ‘baridi’) 

A gulp of a few bottles of cold Tusker has helped many Kenyans get their life on track. Really. It’s one of the most missed items that diasporans dream of. 

5. Ugali and Sukuma wiki

Now, when in Kenya, many dislike the meal..especially when there’s no meat to accompany it. But a couples of years in the US can change things and make it appear in your prayer list.

6. Coastal Beaches

Everyone misses Mombasa, the sunny weather, the beaches, the crazy party scene, the beach parties and the amazing Swahili dishes that Mombasa has to offer among other water-sport activities.

7. Royco

While it’s a surprise on this list, it’s one of the most requested things by Kenyans living abroad.

8. Nyama Choma

There’s this narrative that’s passed around especially in campuses of how so and so’s cousins were deported after illegally slaughtering a goat in their bathtub in the US because they just couldn’t stay another day without Nyama Choma.

Whether it’s true or not, it made us eat Nyama Choma even more just in case we ended in Trump’s territory one day.

9. Tea and Coffee

Sipping tea or Coffee is another thing Kenyans living abroad miss. Getting together for tea with friends or just a cold morning and you can’t wait to get your hands on that homemade tea is a memory that has many wishing they could come home.

10. Bargaining

Kenyans abroad miss how they would talk their way out of paying for a T-shirt listed at KSh 1000 to paying almost half for it. “Your bargaining skills always determine your buying price,” my mum always warned before handing us pocket money.

11. Fruits and vegetables

The accessibility of buying fresh fruits from vendors and markets so close by is a luxury. 

12. Speaking Kiswahili, sheng and mother tongue

I once heard a Kenyan say speaking English for a long period of time is painful to the mouth. They miss the days when they could just slot a word from their mother tongue for something they couldn’t explain in English or Swahili.

13. Politics and its theatrics 

It’s not a secret, politicians can be clowns in Kenya.

We have seen politicians come in choppers to launch a wooden bridge, drink sewer water to prove residents need change and others embarrassing themselves on live TV while trying to address their followers. Somehow, people become addicted to all these.

And, before you know it, you end up following their drama….instead of their track record.

Source: AW Magazine