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How ‘Kenyan’ are you? Test yourself

Aug 13, 2006 Humour, Sunday Nation

Patriotism is back on the agenda. We are at that stage in our evolution where we need to define what a ‘Kenyan’ is. Nations only prosper when its people possess common cause and unity of purpose. But what, exactly, is a Kenyan? Is it something defined by your passport or ID card? Your domicile? By what you say, or by what beats deep inside your heart? Is it about bravado or about behaviour?

This is not an easy thing to assess. There are Kenyans of all colours and shapes. They live right here, and also across the globe. What do they share in common? I think it’s time we all assessed ourselves, so I attach a quick test of what it means to be Kenyan. Enjoy!

1. How do you express your patriotism?
a. By working hard for myself and for the people around me, by contributing my knowledge and skills, and by standing up for what is right in the country.
b. By minding my own affairs, paying my taxes and living within the law.
c. By stealing anything I can lay my hands on whilst displaying a patriotic car sticker.

2. What do you consider a safe driving speed?
a. The speed limit laid down by the law.
b. A reasonable velocity at which I can control my vehicle and respond to the unexpected.
c. 150 kph (urban); 250 kph (extra-urban).

3. You are driving a car at high speed while eating a banana. What do you do with the banana skin?
a. Keep it in the car until I get home, so that I can dispose of it properly.
b. Toss it out of the window.
c. Try to throw it into someone else’s car.

4. If you had all the money you needed, what would you eat?
a. My diet is already balanced and nutritious; with more money I would only buy better-quality ingredients.
b. Nyama Choma, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
c. I’d stop eating all these ‘native’ foods, and be able to afford burgers and fried chicken every day.

5. If you got a good job overseas, how long would it take you to leave the country?
a. As long as necessary to consult all the appropriate people and come to a considered decision on such a weighty matter.
b. As long as it takes to wind up my affairs here.
c. How long does it take to get to the airport? So long, suckers!

6. What is Kenya’s national greeting?
a. Jambo.
b. Sema.
c. Wassup, dawg?

7. Where is the centre of gravity of your world?
a. My home town or village.
b. Nairobi.
c. Boston, USA.

8. Which living figure is most worthy of Kenyans’ admiration?
a. Nelson Mandela.
b. Barrack Obama.
c. 50 Cent.

9. Who is responsible for your well-being?
a. I am.
b. The Government of Kenya.
c. Bill Gates (do you have his mobile number, so that I can flash him?).

10. How many members of your extended family still live in Kenya?
a. All of them.
b. About half of them.
c. I’m the last one left (and I’m packing).

11. What is the universal formula for success in business?
a. Understand your customers, look after your staff and deliver value to your shareholders – better than anyone else does.
b. Mind the cents and the dollars will look after themselves.
c. Squeeze every last drop out of your customers, frisk your thieving staff and lock them in every day, cheat on your taxes and don’t have shareholders other than yourself.

12. Translate the first two lines of your national anthem into English:
a. “O God of all creation, bless this our land and nation”.
b. “O God of my fixation, bless me and my relations”.
c. “Yo Gawd, gimme salvation, get me some of that dollar remuneration.”

Scoring: Give yourself 1 point for every ‘a’ answer, 3 points for every ‘b’ and 5 points for every ‘c’.


12 – 23 points: You seem to understand that there is more to patriotism than slogans and stickers, that it is about what you feel for your compatriot and what you are willing to do for others. But you are the ghost of the Kenyan past, and the waning hope for the Kenyan future. You are part of an endangered species – there are probably no more than a dozen of you left in the wild. Please stand for president before you’re wiped out.
24 – 49 points: You are a very typical Kenyan. You mind your own business, live in your narrow little world, keep your head down, and never protest. Everything is someone else’s fault, and this country is always going to the dogs. You will never personally do anything about it. So keep waiting for the saviour to arrive, and have some more goat ribs while you’re at it.
50+ points: You must have done this quiz online – or did you not get a Green Card yet? Keep trying, dude – plenty of jamaaz making a pile Stateside. We used to sell tea and flowers abroad – now you are our biggest export. Long may you reign in far-off lands (the farther the better).

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