Plight of the Nairobian dream
The scene was breath taking; my wife could not believe that we were finally here. The Maasai mara was as beautiful as I had pictured it. The plain stretched as far as the sun set glittering in appreciation of the creator. The lion cubs were full of life playing around their mother while the birds were singing in melodies that could melt the wax in your ears. I could not have asked for a more perfect moment. I pulled my wife close embracing her tightly hoping that the moment would last forever.
Ring, ring…ring. The sound of the alarm buzzing woke me up from dream land. Oh shit! It was another dreaded Monday morning. I quickly switch off the alarm and tried to get back to the place I was in my dreams but it was too late, reality had already checked in.
I lazily get up cursing the clock of time which I could not turn back. I say a short prayer to the Almighty God to grant me peace and serenity to face the worldly challenges. Once in a while I remember to include my enemies in my prayers and today is one of those days. So I finish my prayer by dedicating my enemies to the will of God.
Heading to the shower, my mind starts to reel in the same thoughts I usually have every morning. Is this really It? Was this what I signed up for when coming to Nairobi? Are my dreams valid? Is there a better way?
To understand my thoughts, I have to take you a while back into the past. Growing up, my parent’s were very strict and believed in the education system. Just like most of you, I was not spared the long lectures on education and how it was going to change my life.
I bought in on the education path performing well throughout my studies. The path was not as smooth as you may imagine. During high school, I had to miss some classes due to lack of school fees. Our family was an average Kenyan family hence my parent’s fending for three kids expenditure wasn’t a walk in the park.
Luckily due to my above average performance, I got enrolled at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology to peruse a course in information technology(IT). Though my heart was truly focused in perusing Economics and Finance, I had to settle for the IT course since the university could not alter the allocated course based on some selection issues that I didn’t understand. Seems that the problem arose when I was selecting the courses I would like to peruse when I was in high school. No clear information was given to me about the selection process. Once you missed your first option you were automatically selected for the next available option on your list.
So here I was at JKUAT, with the world before me looking as bright as the sun. Higher education loan board (HELB) saw me through university without a hiccup. I graduated with a second class upper honors on June 2012. I have never seen my parent’s happier. My graduation was the climax of their aspirations and dreams. Now the family had a fighting chance to have a better future and all the weight rested on my shoulders. Little did I know that the journey was yet to begin and the world was not as friendly as I imagined.
One of my cousins was living in Dandora and I went to live with him as I looked for opportunities in the job market. I was optimistic at first with enough enthusiasm to move a mountain. Call it faith bigger than the mustard seed. I was young, energetic and had all the requirements to land a job in the information technology industry. I dropped my CV literally in all offices that could accept application forms. I was constantly in the cyber cafe sending multiple email applying for jobs and internships. Days turned to months, months to years before I came to the sad realisation that it’s never about what you know but who you know.
My cousin talked to a few people and finally my prayers were answered.l landed a job at an accounting firm as their messenger. Here I was at the job of my dreams doing something that I had never imagined I would stoop down to.
The shower was as cold as the world was to me but I was used to it by now. I dressed up quickly knowing that being late would cost me an arm and a leg. I hurried to the matatu stage and bordered the bus to town. The jam was unbearable as usual. The bus driver was playing loud music in the morning giving me no room to nap on my ride to work.
My mind was on it again. The thinking. Was this only happening to me? Does anyone care? Is there a future for me here?
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