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Six annoying Kenyan habits foreigners won’t understand

There are many typical Kenyan habits that only a Kenyan will understand. To foreigners however, the habits are sometimes annoying or appalling.

Here are six common ones. Fill free to add to the list:

1. Last minute rush

Trust a Kenyan to do everything on the deadline day. Take for instance the tax returns filling. Every June 30 is the annual deadlines for filling returns for the previous year but somehow some Kenyans always get locked out for unsuccessfully attempting to do so on the last day.

2. 9am is any time between 9am and 11am

Kenyans ‘never’ keep time, morning meetings are often believed to be mid-morning ones. If a Kenyan says you meet at 9am most probably that meeting will take place between 9:30am to 11am.

3. Ethnic reference

Not that embracing varied ethnic identities is bad, but Kenyans will put a person’s tribe before the individual’s personality. Often second names are asked for, not to get to know one more, but, just so that they can be placed in a tribe. Sometimes when a person’s second name is neutral then a Kenyan will ask for the home area.

4. Horrible driving

Most Kenyan drivers do not follow traffic rules, a habit that often scares foreigners from driving while in Kenya. Not even the presence of traffic police officers on major roads is enough deterrent for bad driving. When pulled over, Kenyan drivers have the uncanny ability to give all sorts of excuses for their horrible driving.

5. Lack of courtesy

To most Kenyans, ‘Thank you’, ‘Please’, ‘Excuse me’ and ‘Sorry’ do no come out easy. Instead, Sheng phrases like Wazi, Iza and Ebu are used to appreciate, apologies and excuse respectively without sounding too courteous.

6. Morbid curiosity

The average Kenyan is infamous for curiosity that often put him/her on harm’s way just to get firsthand information. Groups of bystanders are common in towns and cities as people either listen to a preacher or self-appointed political analyst or just watching a street performance. It gets worse in accident scenes. Kenyans to mill around the scene enquiring what happened without even offering a helping hand.