Kenyans, have you ever been discriminated or treated indifferent in your own country? For instance, have you ever visited a restaurant and had to wait for a while to receive service for odd reasons or maybe because a “white man” walked in after you and needed to be taken care of right away? Have you ever waited in line at a bank only to have an Indian cut in front of you with no apologies? Have you ever been on a Kenya Airways flight and had to wait for the “white man” to receive his service before you? Well, here we are in 2013 and believe it or not, there are people who still believe that their race is superior to the black race and sadly, most of these attitudes are perpetuated by Kenyans who work for these institutions. They make anyone who isn’t black a priority and the attitude is sickening.
So what is up with that? I was prompted to write this opinion after i read several complaints against the Art Caffe Nairobi. While reading those posts on their Facebook page, I realized that the restaurant has an indifferent attitude towards Kenyans. I begun to wonder why anyone with a heart full of hate towards Kenyans would want to start a business in Kenya in the first place?
Kenyans are known to be warm and loving by nature. Visitors are a treasure, especially because tourism is big business for us and so regardless of where one is from, foreigners are always treated well. What makes me sick is the fact that some business owners take Kenyan kindness for foolishness and treat Kenyans like the help. One Kenyan wrote that he went to meet his friend at the Art Caffe and a white lady approached him and asked him if he was looking for a waitress job? Really? Is Art Caffe telling Kenyans that anyone black has no business being there unless they want to be “the help”? I am quite sure some people have been treated very well in this restaurant and it would be harsh to generalize however, if a business has more then three customer complaints stemming from the same root, then something is wrong and must be addressed.
Kenyan businesses give the white race more attention and then the Indians jump in on that bandwagon thinking they are superior to Kenyans and now we have the Arabs coming in with their negative attitudes and eventually we have a bunch of people who have no respect for anyone black dominating our economic system and treating Kenyan citizens as people who are beneath them.
Why is that? Is it power? Are we that brain washed to think that these people are better than us simply because they are considered richer? Reality of the matter is, most of these people do not have as much money as we think. It takes them months to plan a Safari and most go back to work overtime in order to make up for the money they lost while on vacation in Africa. Some of these are in so much debt that they run from their countries to start a new life in upcoming Africa.
Businesses like the Art Caffe forget that the Kenyan middle class is on the rise and believe it or not, most of their customers are and will continue to be Kenyans. It is a high time we challenged this attitude and focused on equality in business.
The perception that the white man is more powerful and has more money is a joke. If that was the case, Europe wouldn’t be in economic crisis with high unemployment and America would not be trillion dollars in debt. Most Americans live on loans..they drive cars that could be taken away from them anytime if they missed a car note. Most are looking for a way out and are therefore moving to Africa because they know Africa is the future.
Nairobi is now listed as one of the most expensive cities in Africa because businesses are over pricing everything to “attract the white man’s money” but what happens when he or she goes back to his country?
Let us think about this. Kenyans need to stop supporting restaurants like the Art Caffe Nairobi and see how far their businesses go without the average Kenyan money. Kenya is a beautiful country and the last thing we need is class division like they did in South Africa. As long as we live there, we should be treated with the utmost respect whether in business, education or employment.
Say no to racism and demand respect.