Nairobi News


ETEMESI: Enough with the airport selfies, flying is no longer a big deal

There was a time when boarding a plane was considered the vertex of success. It was equivalent to getting a PhD or getting a job in a local version of a Fortune 500 company.

Whenever you told your friends or relatives you were going to board a plane soon, they treated you like you were the conqueror of a dozen kingdoms. They were like “You mean you are going to fly? Like fly fly?”

All the people with whom you had any form of discord with would come up with a myriad of sneaky ways to say they were sorry. They regretted ever having negative thoughts about this wonderful human who the heavens had blessed enough to enter a plane.


Your parents would be so proud. They would brag to their peers and tell them “mtoto wetu amepanda ndege juzi.”

Then their peers would pretend to be happy for them but deep inside their throats were crammed with prodigious jealousy aka kiwaru. They ended up seeing their own kids as losers because they hadn’t been to the winsome blue yonder.

When I was a kid in the 90s, my neighbours even threw a party for their son who was about to fly to Tanzania – yes Tanzania. It was a mega bash, like a graduation.

It was that big of a deal. Your friends would even let everyone know that they were very close to that person who boarded a plane. Success has many fathers, right?

Nowadays, planes are like matatus, most people have been in one, even if it’s just flying locally. That’s why it’s quite awkward to take a selfie in the airport with a plane in the background. Imagine how weird it is to take a selfie in or outside a matatu? That’s how it looks.


It’s just a plane. It’s not the Mona Lisa. It’s not the Grand Canyon. It’s not the Macchu Pichu in Peru. It’s just a plane – a mode of transport. Treat it as such. Enter, go to where you are going then go about your normal business.

In the year 2218 when archeologists dig up smart phones, which will be as retro as radio cassette players, and check Instagram, they will laugh out loud when they see pictures of people just chilling next to planes.

Same way you’d laugh if you ever saw a picture of a person from the 1800s just idling next to a locomotive train.

You can only be excused for taking airport selfies if you were a plane virgin and it’s your first time to ever hit the skies. If you’ve done this several times and you just want to stunt on people, tuache tupumue please. Only homa is allowed to not let us breathe, not you and your damn airport selfies.

In P-Unit’s song “Chocha”, there is a line where Frasha sings ”wakipanda ndege tu maselfie, kushinda hata za wale Wasafi.” Damn right. When you are even exceeding Wasafi’s level of overdoing things, know that you are really annoying. Don’t chocha us please.

In fact, mature people who fly all the time never take selfies at airports or in planes. They prefer taking pictures in the destinations. Take a picture of yourself in vacation or chilling in a foreign city, just not an airport.


I understand that when it comes to boosting your IG and Facebook ratings, you gotta do what you gotta do but there’s a wide array of options in this ‘do what you gotta do’ bracket that are cooler than taking selfies at the airport. Don’t force coolness on social media. Be cool without trying, be dope without knowing it.

By the way, why are group photos still referred to as selfies nowadays? I mean, you are clearly not by yourself. Let’s say “us-ies. That doesn’t sound too fancy. We could say “groupies” maybe? Oh wait, that already means something else. Let’s just stick to selfies then.