It’s not about the money

1

I am still trying to figure out whether I should position my brand to read something like the handsome guy without money or the less handsome guy with money. I saw some quote at the back of a ‘nduthi’ that read kosa pesa ujue tabia za bibi and while at first I didn’t think it was funny, I now can see some sense in it.

Kosa pesa ujue tabia za bibi! Perhaps even the direct opposite is still true. Pata pesa ujue tabia za bibi. It’s widely accepted today that whereas dem wa Nairobi will stick around when your pockets have something, dem wa shags will walk the talk even when the salt shaker runs out (si unajua mtu hujua amesota chumvi ikiisha kwa hao?).

I hear you guys are now saying that the depression bubble in this country is about to burst especially after Kinuthia admitted that he killed Ivy Wangeci because he felt betrayed by the actions of the Moi university medical student. Betrayed? Like really? Is it really betrayal when someone isn’t attracted to you anymore? Actually, his words were “I sent her money to go celebrate her birthday but that evening, she wasn’t picking my calls!” Dude! A lady was celebrating for God’s sake!

We don’t always agree but on this one, let me clarify a few things before we go back to disagreeing. First and foremost, a girl will not ask a man for something she already has. Secondly and most important, a lady must not necessarily thank a man if by his own will, he decides to give her something she never asked for. Especially money! Ladies (the beautiful ones at least) are known value little things and it’s their weakness to easily forget big things. A hustler’s money, regardless of how little the amount may be, is huge.

Society today has taught us to believe that the ultimate goal of being alive is getting money and accumulating wealth. So we as young people are growing up knowing that we need to get money and in doing that, we are doing whatever it takes. As a result, we are subjecting ourselves to enormous risks because society has underlined the fact that lacking money is the greatest disability in Kenya.

Today, and Maina has mentioned this, young men easily get depressed when they lack money. When a man is depressed to a level of wanting to commit suicide, the greatest solution they can be given is money. Give a depressed man a little cash and their brain will awaken. When people are climbing mount Kenya, they take water breaks. They rest. A journey in a desert does not always go straight. Stops along the way are as important as arriving at the destination. In a society therefore where we are all chasing money, it is vital that we have cash breaks along the way. The government can decide that this month, we are not stealing or building roads. That this month, we are taking a break from the big four agenda talk so that we can give back some tax to our people. That way, people will work harder the next month because they feel motivated to give to a government that reciprocates the favor. Why was paying taxes made a right in the first place?

I was surprised by what Legit Daily said when I asked him about money and depression among the youths today.

“Mbai, shida ata sio pesa,” he started. “Hii internet inamaliza vijanaa mbaya!”

“Internet?” I asked

“Mbai! kitambo, money was the root of all evil. Today, internet is the root, the stem, the branches, leaves, fruits of all evil!” he said.

At first, it wasn’t clear what he meant. Not that I am some dumb ass ninja but look at it this way. I personally make a living from the internet. I am one of those now very many people who wake up, eat, drink, sleep and dream the internet. In fact, I am learning to introduce myself as “Hi, my name is Alfred Mbai and I love the internet!” so when someone tells me that the internet is the whatever of all evil, tunaeza kosana vibaya sana. There is just no way I will invest time explaining to my parents why I spend so much time online then you water it all down in the name of “the internet is the … of all evil!”

“Mbai, mtoto akizaliwa, he/she is taken to school to be prepared for the hustle afterwards,” Legit begins to explain. “Sahizi, the internet is so nice because mtoto akifika high school ivi ama campus, ako able to see what his/her age mates are doing in and around other parts of the world and slowly they are able to also practice and perfect a few skills.” He says.

Legit actually makes sense. He makes sense because I personally have learnt things school would never have taught me. Like how to open a Facebook account or things I should not share in a family WhatsApp group. School never even taught me how to know what is trending on twitter or why I need a YouTube channel.

“So what’ so evil about the internet?” I ask him. “Ama juu nowadays kila mtu ni passy you too have become one of those pastors who Revelation-alize every trend in human history?”

“The problem is hakuna mtu hupost pictures online akibrag about lacking money!” he says without caring to laugh at my not so funny church joke. “The problem is millions of young people are searching for how to make money stuff than they are searching for how to live happily without that money in the first place!” he adds

“That’s because they want to succeed!” I quickly point out.

“Do they really want to succeed or they have just digitized the traditional desire for the root of all evil?” Legit asks me. I quite don’t know whether he needs me to respond or not. So I look at him blankly. I feel I needto say something. I just don’t know what thing to say. “Mbai, if people wake up tomorrow and they have no more money, they will cry. If people wake up tomorrow and they have no internet, they will cry. Business in this country is run by the availability of money and the internet. Minus those two things, Kenya is depressed!” Legit says as he takes off his glasses and puts them on the table like someone who is now ready to enter the ring and face his undertaker.

I start to feel scared. Why did I even bring up this topic in the first place? The medical school at Moi University and Kenya at large just lost an innocent soul and perhaps all I wanted to say is that maybe this young man (Kinuthia) is lying when he claims that Ivy took his money and run. Is there a chance that he was depressed and in his depression state, he ‘Googled’ ‘…what to do to a girl who doesn’t want you anymore?’

Like you, I too have read many sad relationship stories about the celebrities that we look up to and follow on the internet. Stories about Chris Brown, Rihanna, Drake, Kanye West, Cardi B, and the list is endless. I have witnessed first-hand war of words between Diamond and Zari and keenly followed our local heroes Vera and Otile. Like you, I have found inspiration in these people because at least they, unlike our parents, speak to and at each other. They have shown me that I can make the internet the neutral ground where relationship issues find solutions. They have taught me that I can use the internet to show off my lover and piss on her when we are not okay.

And I wish that our parents could spend a bit more time talking with us, not at us or about us, but with us, about money, sex, depression and such issues. I wish they somehow could talk with me about the internet instead of talking to me and at me about it. But look at them now! Legit says they are busy critiquing how this generation is lost in smartphones that they have forgotten how they too are drowning in Facebook and Instagram trying to open accounts to stock their children or to sponsor friends of their children! Majuto ni mjukuu…

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