Skip to main content

The KSh. 600,000 instant Kenyans, visas and Kenyan Somalis

In the past month, I've been to three countries outside my home country, Kenya - Sweden, South Africa and Turkey.

I remember making one observation to bloggers I travelled with to South Africa - that embassies consistently have lots of people of Somali origin applying for visas. In fact, you are likely to mistakenly think that the embassies are outside Kenya.

See, Kenya has 40 million people, and lots of tribes, including its own Kenyan Somali community. The Somali aren't among the top 10 largest tribes in Kenya. It therefore does not make statistical sense that they are among the top, if not the top community that applies for visas on Kenyan passports.

Yes, I did get curious and try to look if they might be refugees applying for visas in Kenya. Rarely, all of them seemed to have Kenyan passports.

The only plausible explanation then was that Somalis, who account for a large percentage of the business community in Kenya, were applying for business visas. But again, sometimes you see families including old people applying for visas.

Then today, in hindsight of the terrorist attack on Westgate, a person who had qualified to become Kenyan by virtue of been married to one for more than 10 years posted his experience at immigration.

Fuck all the rules in the Kenyan law about immigration procedures. There's only one rule here, and it is not in the books.

You pay KSh. 600,000 ($7,000) and you automatically qualify to become a Kenyan citizen. Who pays such obscene sums to become Kenyan citizens? The Al shabaab and Somalis, as in, citizens of Somalia!

You can read the account on immigration procedures here https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=660359313977142&id=100000092394503&refid=8&_ft_=qid.5928966251021979209:mf_story_key.6525829731805437171.

There is more.

Ethnic Kenyans Somalis are the most harassed Kenyans. They are suspected of being in their country of birth illegally, and getting a National ID or Passport is said to be very difficult for them. These are the people who pay for the rich foreigners who look like them.  They play the role of suspect.

Again, it was once narrated to me that Kenyans, being part of The Commonwealth, did once not need to apply for visas to visit the UK. Then immigrants from third countries holding Kenyan passports flooded the UK. The country then decided any one travelling to the UK on a Kenyan passport needed to be vetted through a visa application.

Thus, to become an instant Kenyan, it will cost you a bargain price of KSh. 600,000. And woe to you if you are a Kenyan born of the Somali community, you are forced to bear the burden of our sins, and greed.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Kenyan in Addis Ababa (Part 2) - The "University Girls"

This post continues from Part 1. 

The residents of Addis are friendly too. On my first day, I did meet a guard at a hotel, who later offered to show me around. Among the places he suggested, was this place where some “University girls” were holding some "dancing ceremony". He added, that Ethiopians being Orthodox Christians, were about to go on a sex, alcohol and meat fast, hence the importance of this “ceremony.”
I had some suspicion that I was being sold to sex, but my guide insisted that this was not a sex sale. Just dancing University girls. We did end up in some nondescript compound, and into a house. There was sort of a sitting area, with a radio system, low benches and tables, and grass sprinkled around the floor. Grass sprinkled around the floor is an Ethiopian tradition that indicates you are welcome to a place.

It was about 5 PM,  and the hosts seemed not to be expecting any visitors at this time. My guide disappeared down some corridor into the back to call them. In…

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinions of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives a free,  extra hangover for every hangover you get from it.
For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes,  happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voice does some narration in the background.
Beer is bitter! Now, it turns out beer is intentionally made bitter. See,  beer shares the same ingredients as bread. The major difference is that bread isn't fermented. Bread is sweet, so why isn't beer sweet?

Why Kenyans love Kigali (Part 2)

See part 1 of why Kenyans Love Kigali, which this articl is a continuation.

In my previous post on why Kenyans love Kigali, or Rwanda for that matter, I had mentioned on the security of the city. The post however widely dealt with the feel and appearance of the city, and a little bit of the country.

Both of my visits to Kigali have been through the airport, though you may opt for a more adventurous journey by road. Getting to Kigali then required a Kenyan passport, but no visa. Now, all you need to go through both Uganda and Rwandan borders are a National Identity Card.

For travel by air, Rwandair is a cheaper option for Kenyans as compared to our national flag carrier, Kenya Airways. Ironically, most other Africans get to Kigali via Kenya Airways, thought most Kenyans will opt for the cheaper Rwandair. The flights are comfortable and the service on board the 1 hour 15 minutes flight is great.

Depending on the weather, your landing can be quite full of turbulence in Kigali. The airpor…

Why we loved Mixcrate and Where to next?

There are two types of music listeners: those who listen by artist or by album, and those who listen by top hits. The second lot of us do not care much about what other music made it to an album besides the top 2 hits.

Mixcrate served the second lot of us very well. You could search for a song title or an artist, and you would have dozens of DJ mixes to choose from which contained more than the one hit you searched for.

Listening to music on Mixcrate also meant that once you settled into a mix, you had uninterrupted music for the next one hour.

A Kenyan in Addis Ababa (Part 1)

Ever woken up in Nairobi, or anywhere else in Kenya, and felt that you should have woken up in Addis Ababa? Thankfully, you can do something about it, if you are a Kenyan .

Not many Kenyans know that you can travel to Ethiopia in a whim - you do not need a visa. To top that, travelling to Ethiopia is quite cheap - it can cost as low as KSh. 19,000 for a return flight, if you book early, and about KSh. 27,000 normally. Of course the low prices are on Ethiopian Airlines - who have about 4 daily flights between Nairobi and Addis Ababa.

On my inaugural flight to Addis (well,  I have transited through Bole airport before), I happened to meet someone who was travelling on a Kenya Airways flight to the same city, and who their flight had been delayed by 2 hours. Thankfully, my flights on Ethiopian left in time and arrived early.

If flying any of the two, unlike South African Airways, be warned that you will not be allowed to use your phone in flight - even if you just want to listen to music…