The Nyandarua Idea

The Nyandarua Idea
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There are donors who are still funding community integration programmes in Naivasha. The claim that the town was and is still a hotspot of ethnic violence must be milked for all its worth.

Well, the fact that some people are paying bills from this assertion is sufficient justification. I have had my fair share of the pie from the NGOs that run such activities. I have facilitated community dialogues. OK, ‘community dialogues’ is NGO-speak for barazas, only that in this case, you must reimburse bus fare and buy the participants food. In budget-speak, it is called ‘mobilization funds’.

The participants in such dialogues include politically active men and women groups, a youthful Rasta donning a Bob Marley T-shirt (claims to be an upcoming artist) and the Local MCA who passes by to grace the occasion. A mzungu lady who was evaluating how integrated Naivasha is, asked me why we did not write to the KDF to give us security during the event. Seeing my puzzled look, she explained her knowledge of our policing inadequacies and our ‘police to population ratio’ that is too low to have extra ones for such events.

The mzungu lady kept on staring at her map under that crispy clear Naivasha Sunshine.

The dust and Sunshine in Naivasha is their punishment for giving us Mututho and donkey meat. You know those Old Testament stunts that God pulled on sinners?

After tracing some longitude, with her index, the mzungu lady looked at me, adjusted her dust mask and asked, where is his Nyenindrual that ‘am seeing here. It took me a while to pick she meant Nyandarua, she had made it sound like a street in Nicaragua. “It’s the neighboring county” I told her. She did not really get it, “It’s an administrative County, like Madison County”, I added’. I’m happy you people didn’t hear how I pronounced Madison.

Later that day I asked some friends whether they had been to Nyandarua town. Martin said he had been there severally—we don’t have such town, never mind-but the rest were adamant to have an opinion on a place nobody talks about. 

No one seems interested in Nyandarua, I bet the Al-shabaab can bomb a town there and the media will treat it as ‘other news’ under county updates and still refer to the place as areas beyond Kiambu County.

Nyandarua is among the 47 Counties in Kenya. I know that comes as a surprise, but you people don’t know your Geography and History, if you do, do you know who Muindi Mbingu was?

Nyandarua is tucked in between the noisy Nakuru to the West, the entitled Kiambu to the East, and proud Nyeri to the East, and naughty Laikipia to the North.

When people refer to Central Kenya, we all know they are not referring to Nyandarua. Nyandarua goes about her business quietly.  She doesn’t do make up, rarely in boots or Sunglasses but her presence is still conspicuous.  Nyandarua is like a short haired girl who excels in Chemistry but cannot pick an adverb from and adjective in a short sentence. 

At times I feel Kiambu County will one day wake up and claim that Nyandarua is part of their County. Waititu will then set up a Gatundu Satellite office in Nyahururu and no one will come out to defend Nyandarua’s sovereignity. No one seems interested in Nyandarua, I bet the Al-shabaab can bomb a town there and the media will treat it as ‘other news’ under county news and still refer to the place as areas beyond Kiambu County.

Nyahururu used to be the District Headquarters of Nyandarua town, now the County Headquarters are in Ol Kalou. We shall come to that.

The last time Nyahururu was featured in the news was after marathoner, Samuel Wanjiru’s unfortunate death. The town is now degenerating into a village. I bet it’s in the path that the coastal Gedi town took, you know, we now call them, the Gedi Ruins. There is nothing serious happening there. No respectable supermarket has had interest in the town. The bars still stock Citizen beer and Nyati in Umqombothi containers, no kidding. 

In fact, the economy of Nyahururu is currently sustained by the photographers in Thompson falls. It’s that bad for Nyandarua’s largest town.

Babito and Softa Madiaba are still on offer, Telkom booths still stand tall, resplendent in their bloody-red splendor and unsurprisingly still operational; the shops are branded with that old Blue Band logo with that teenager who doned and afro munching a slice. 

I guess Kawa Falls, the Hilton of Nyahururu still purchases Joma Cooking fat. The situation is so dire that both Laikipia and Nyandarua counties avoided Nyahururu hiding behind the silly excuse that it is too far. In fact, the economy of Nyahururu is currently sustained by the photographers in Thompson falls. It’s that bad for Nyandarua’s largest town.

In his book, A History of the Kikuyu, 1500-1900, Prof Muriuki- I’m told he now heads Kisii University, or is it a College-explained the migration trends of the Kikuyus got them to Nyandarua very late in the day. In fact, they did not have time to name places, the Maasai had done it for them, names like Ol kalou, Ol-Jororok, Nyahururu, Njabini had to be borrowed. Does it mean the people of Nyandarua are too lazy to even name places? I mean, they have only named Wanjohi, Miharati and Engineer, Wanjohi must have been a man who had two names and decided to give the rarely used one to a place, Engineer is not a name, Miharati are Cow troughs.

As you approach Nyandarua from Nyeri, the entry port is Wiyumiririe town. Wiyumiririe is a Kikuyu phrase for take heart. From Nakuru, the entry port is Igwamiti, again a Kikuyu word for fallen trees. From Kiambu you enter Nyandarua through Magumu and Soko Mjinga. Need I add more? Even when we renamed the Aberdares to Nyandarua ridges, we cheekily refused to embrace the new name.

OK, to serious stuff, in the Classic Settlers treatise, The Ghosts of Happy Valley, Juliet mentions that Baroness Karen Blixen and Delamere loathed the escarpment lands beyond Wanjohi valley. The people inhabiting those lands were too huge to be Toto boys. In September 2014, Christine Mungai wrote on Mail&Guradian that the well fed regions in Africa have the most beautiful women. I agree. Nyandarua’s Kinangop Division feeds this City. In fact, Wakulima Market is Nyandarua turf. The Cartels there are from Nyandarua, they control Cabbages trade and potato sheds. …While others are forming land and oil cartels you still in cabbage cartels…Ok, I didn’t say that.

The fastest Tulaga does 64Km/Hr when that Kangemi-CCK section is clear. If Uhuru rode on a Tulaga while pulling a PR stunt, am sure he would have completed his ‘10yr’ term before he got to KICC.

In our stupid Stereotypes, there exists specialization, It’s Luos from Siaya who give the others a bad name, the Kisii from Nyamira spoils it for the rest, it’s the Nandis who make Kales bear some burdens…OK, then that stereotype of Kikuyus adding cabbages and Warus in all meals, it is the people from Kinangop who do so, then a whole community is laughed at. The best Samosa za Waru and Mboga are at Ol Karau. You are shocked that we have Waru Samosas?

Tulaga. Ok, Tu-la-ga, this is a town in Nyandarua, but am sure the name reminds you of some green Minibuses at Khoja stage. After they left donkeys, they went to Tulaga. The buses are named after events and people, the latest is Tulaga Guarana. These buses have defied competition from 14-seaters to create a monopoly as the link between Nyandarua and Nairobi. The fastest Tulaga does 64Km/Hr when that Kangemi-CCK section is clear. If Uhuru rode on a Tulaga while pulling that PR stunt, am sure he would have completed his ‘10yr’ term before he got to KICC.

Nyandarua gave this country Kimunya. Let’s go on.

On a serious note, OK. We can’t be serious when talking about Nyandarua; well they have the only lake in Central Kenya. Some lake with a difficult name…smaller than an average Nairobi hotel’s swimming pool. The county government is determined to make the lake a tourist attraction site.

OK, Did the IEBC allow Nyandarua to elect a senator? If yes who is he? Do you know any MP from that county? Well, their former Women Rep deserves a mention though. She was among the most articulate members in the 11th Parliament.. Anyway, as we hate, I know, the future belongs to counties like Nyandarua that are quietly doing their shit right as we the “know-it-alls” fight over toilet bowls tenders.

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