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How "foreigners" stole Thika town from the natives

By Jaymo Wa Thika

Someone once told me that a village is developed by foreigners.

Looking at Thika town today, you will realise that its development has been tremendous especially after 2012 when the Thika superhighway was completed...... modern buildings, very innovative and new business ideas and opportunities, just to mention a few.

However, one thing is certain, all these have been brought into existence by "newcomers", people who migrated to Thika from elsewhere and not those originally born or brought up in this town.

My survey has realised that our fathers (and of course us the natives) have for a long time been held captive by our own rigidity and complacency.... being too comfortable in what we have known and being unable to break away from conformity and not daring to risk the unknown.

It is until recently that we realised that Thika is flying away from us that we started chasing shadows..... now playing catch up with those who have come to this town and taken over.

They now own the big businesses, the big buildings and decide what Thika should be as the natives watch in awe and disbelief. They are the who-is-who in business, offices and even in the political circles. They decide who takes what, when, how and at what quantities.

When did the rain start beating us?

As the native youth enjoyed the sweats of their parents in discos and entertainment joints... As the native youth lazed around the estate "base" chewing muguka and gossiping, the newbies came and took over the odd jobs the natives despised. They started hawking, sweeping the streets, cleaning toilets... name it.... as the natives mocked them.

For the newcomers, prejudice and contempt didn't matter since they were little known here and in most cases, they came to town to seek some pastures since back home, there was no hope. They just wanted to run away from that humble background and be someone, no matter how.

That's why they are bold and very determined to eke a living, no matter what. They didn't have anyone to support them but themselves, so they took no chances.

As for the natives, we didn't care since after all, si nitaenda kwa mathee nikule lunch ama supper? Si nitakula kwa mabeshty na nilale kwao? No worries.... We were just to comfortable in our comfort zones.

The other crop of natives decided to fly majuu for greener pastures. Others went to work in other towns and established new homes elsewhere.

Eventually, the new guys took over..... Took over Thika's economy and we ended up either as their subjects or drowning ourselves into cheap alcohol. What is now left for most of the natives is just the pride that "Thika ni yetu juu tumezaliwa hapa". Nothing to sing home about..

Due to this status quo, majority of the natives can only beg for connection and recognition from the so called "foreigners". The town and its economy now belongs to these foreigners na hakuna kitu mtaduu. Nyinyi sasa ni watu wa kupangwa kwa town yenu wenyewe.

However, all is not lost. You can still rise up, dust yourselves and forge on. Start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Start pushing yourself outside of your social comfort zones, try new things and of course, push your limits to achieve a better version of yourself.

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