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If you want to know how much Kenyans or coasterians are idle, then let an accident happen. It is at this time that you will know how many people are actually jobless or just lazing around. The accident may have happened at seven in the morning; you may pass by at the scene one hour later and still find the same people crowded there. I never got to understand whether staring at the dead bodies brought any change to the fact that the accident happened or that they are doing some ‘mtaani investigation’. What is even more interesting is how they are amused for all that time that they are at the scene and you could hear comments like ‘aii ai aii. Huyu jamaa amevurugwa kabisa!’ and the person would keep repeating the same statement for as long as the policemen take to get to the accident scene. Others would not want to miss out chipping in their comments of ‘mimi niliona kabisa kilichotokea! Makosa ni ya dereva wa matatu! …’ and he will tirelessly narrate the story to anyone else who would pass by to ask the same question of ‘what happened’.

Actually, citizens have proved to be better journalists in moments as such. Each one would show their deep concern and would be glued at the scene, shaking their heads with pity and wanting to know exactly what happened. At this particular hour is when traffic jams are created and matatus would rush to overtake other cars but yet still, when the matatus get to the accident scene, it is almost a guarantee that the driver would slow down and he would eagerly poke his head outside. He would have a small conversation with the next driver opposite to him about the accident before speeding away.

My concern has always been the crowd though. It is quite for sure that at least a quarter of the crowd was heading to work but nonetheless, they stay around. I end up thinking maybe they have a very tolerating boss who would forgive for the late coming and maybe ask them as well to tell the story, or that they are simply careless employees who aren’t worried about time.

Idlers have become a large population in our country and joblessness still stands to be the main reason. It is not only during an accident that you would see the idlers. Sometimes all you have to do is alight from a car at the ‘mtaani’ stage; and you would see them seating in rows like they are watching a football game or sometimes in small groups discussing issues that only they know about. It is paths like these that I would rather avoid because once they see any creature looking like a woman; their eyes would follow for as long as one is in their sight. Well, maybe it is because they have no better thing to do and as it is said, ‘idleness is the work of Satan’. But yet still, maybe we can’t really blame all of them that are present there. Some are university graduates who walked day and night searching for a job but all in vain while others ended up having the job; ask them and they would tell you ‘kazi ya kutafuta kazi’. It is really high time that our leaders sorted out plans for the idlers and the jobless. For sure, with their great numbers, Kenya would need their ideas to do something meaningful to the community.


A freelance writer, journalist, poet and blogger venturing mainly in social and community issues, study and analysis of behaviour and life, and the plight of the under-dogs in the society. 'I feed on human stories.'

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