Over the past few years, December in Nairobi has been predictable. These are some of the distinguishing features of Nairobi during Christmas.

  1. Christmas lights at hotels. Nairobi looks brighter at night thanks to these lights. It truly is a beautiful sight.
  2. Black santa. Nothing was and still is scarier than a black santa claus. “Kijana, unataka nini? Sema ama nikuchape kiboko”. Black Santa is just weird. As a kid who grew up in Nairobi, santa was a white guy with a white beard. No African guy has a long white beard with a Meru accent that would make Kiraitu sound like Tony Blair. I'm tired of Black Santa in Nairobi. They probably scare potential clients away.
  3. Chapati. December is synonymous with chapati. Before avocado came along, Chapati was the rare meal. Growing up, we only ate chapati during Christmas and Easter. Times have changed and Unga is now more expensive but Chapati still reminds us of Christmas. Surely, how can you have a Christmas without chapati?
  4. Christmas clothes. Every kid in Nairobi got Christmas clothing. Christmas was the one time you knew “Aki si nipate kanguo kazuri ndio Jackie atanipenda”. New clothes were such an important part of your childhood that you took it personal when your parents couldn’t afford them for one reason or another
  5. Christmas carols. “feliz navidad... Ooooh”
  6. Full days of cartoons. Finally, you were catered for. Back then when DSTV was a luxury, cartoons were rare and only available on Saturdays. You could now enjoy cartoons for a full day and milk every opportunity.
  7. Holiday homework. December 26th was panic time because you finally remembered your holiday homework. This is when your parents switched off the TV and grounded you if they figured that you hadn’t got it done. Woi, ni kubaya!!
  8. Chips, Sausage and Fanta. This was the go to meal for 90's kids. This is what you wanted to eat when asked “Unataka nini?”