Skip to main content

Bonoko: The irony of comic relief off the poor

 It was shared on Facebook, then reshared, and shared, spreading so fast. It was hilarious, very funny. It soon made it to radio shows, where it was replayed as guys laughed it off. It was so funny that it made it to TV scripts, and to DJ mixes in the club.

Bonoko is the the name given to what started as a radio clip of a young man narrating the killing of his pal. According to the clip, the victim was relieving himself (urinating) against a wall, when he spotted City Council of Nairobi askaris  moving in to arrest him for the same purpose.

It is against Nairobi Council laws to relive yourself in non designated areas. Offenders are rounded up by askaris  and should later be arraigned before a court to be fined for the act. However, most of the time, the askaris offer to accept a lower bribe instead, usually from Kes 500.


The chap preferred to take to his feet rather than face the City Council and their fines, His pal continues to inform the radio reporter that the pal was no lucky enough, as in the process of running away, he got fatally shot. The narration is all along in some crude form of sheng, street sheng.  The narrator then says that his pal, after having been shot, had a bonoko  placed on him. The reporter intervenes, one of the few such interventions,  and asks what a bonoko is.

The narrator is shocked that the reporter does not know what the bonoko is, and he then explains it is a fake gun. The narrator says that his departed colleague was a well known trader selling mutura (stuffed and grilled intestines). Like him, he had been born in a chochoro (the streets) .

He could not afford getting arrested by the City Council askaris - with no family and poor friends, no one would have bailed him out and he would have ended up serving a jail stint.

As the middle class have laughed at the funny lag in the narrator's speaking, probably a drug induced one, and at the out-of place bonoko,  the tragedy has gone unnoticed. Bonoko  is used to refer to Arsenal's lacklustre performance, as the fake gunners. The middle class has endless uses to poke humour at the word.

It has escaped Kenya that the story highlights the plight of a generation. With millions living in poverty and slums, they face problems daily.

The few who try to come up with a means of living are punished for it. The City Council is out to prove the law is an arse, by being the straw that breaks the camel's back. The council is supposed to help the poor who cannot afford its steep annual levies, by maybe allowing them to pay in instalments. Instead, City Council employees who care less see an opportunity to work bribes off them, bribes that will help them live in prosperity.

Those in charge at City Hall, rather than built premises which can be leased to those who cannot afford, they built such premises and lease them off at a high fee to the middle class who have the money. Those born into street families are condemned to live in them and die in them, poor.

We raise a hostile society, where the "clever" ones who can pocket the largest bribes  are well values. Surprising , the poor seem ignorant enough to continue supporting this sick cycle, by voting in leaders who offer no value, but can offer a bribe now and then.

Politicians have no interest in helping their electorate out of poverty. To the middle class who are blessed enough not to suffer from the diseases of the poor, the poor are a good source of comic relief.

Just like the two year old Chinese girl who was run over by a hit and run motorist , we are the 18 other motorists who  run over her again and are too bothered to mind her plight.

Another of Bonoko's Dark humour http://youtu.be/u47Wr1xlsQA

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nairobi's Top 4 Texas Brisket Places Reviewed and Ranked

Brisket on a bed of roast vegetables with barbecue sauce at Texas Brisket, Kikuyu  This review has been updated after a number of you suggested I try the brisket at County2County.  What's the best place to have Brisket in Nairobi? What's even brisket?  Brisket is one of the toughest cuts in a cow, from around the belly. It is so tough that it has to be smoked for about 16 hours to tenderise. But that there, is the catch.  12 to 16 hours later, it is the most flavourful and softest cut you will ever have. So full of flavour and so soft you can pick it apart with your fingers.  However, due to the long cooking time involved, only a few places offer brisket in Nairobi.  The best so far is Texas Brisket which is located within Kikuyu Railway station.  They do the meat for a proper 16 hours, and will usually have a fatty or non-fatty portion. The fatty portions are more tasty. A 500 gram serving goes for KSh. 900 and a 1 KG order comes with a serving of free fries. Their brisket has

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

A spoonful of sugar, but for who? ( Image: Carol Wallis on Flickr ) Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar? Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen. Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji". The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave. But what ails Kenya's sugar industry? The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here. Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly decline

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here .  Peroni - One of the best beers in Kenya. Did a taste of canned and bottled Italian, and bottled Tanzanian I like the tangy flavour and body in Tanzanian Peroni. The can is close. Heineken drinkers will like the Italian one.  I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion 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 one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get

Why Humanity Hasn't Learned From the Covid Pandemic

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic began ravaging the world, succeeding the 1918 flu pandemic.  Many found it unbelievable that despite all the scientific progress that the world has made since 1918, from composite jets to modern healthcare to going to the moon, the world was still susceptible to a pandemic.  Ironically, some of these advancements largely played a role in the spread of the pandemic. Thousands of global flights every hour and air conditioning fanned its spread like a dry wind would in a forest fire.  There was even further disbelief in mid-2020 when it became apparent that many countries were even struggling to keep a pandemic in check. Developed countries, supposed to have the best healthcare, suffered the worst outbreaks amidst disagreements on measures such as quarantines and wearing of masks.  In yet another twist, technology advancement finally came to our rescue with the speedy development of vaccines, including the safe pioneering of never-tried-before mRNA vaccines

Should I buy a Smartband?

 Mi Band 5 is a nifty smartband with long battery life, a colour screen and lots of features including call and SMS alerts, a weather app, and fitness tracking  If your phone is always on vibrate or silent, it might seem too much to have a device around your wrist that alerts you every time your phone rings or an SMS checks in. Yet, that has been the most convenient thing about getting a fitness tracker, or more so, a smart band.  The smart band turns your wrist into a screening device for which calls to pick or to ignore, without having to dash across the room or house to check your phone whenever it rings. The other surprisingly convenient thing about these smart bands is how long their batteries last. One of my early fears was a device that would need charging every other minute. But my first try saw the Mi Band 5’s battery carry on for 21 days after charging. This was with no heart tracking and low-level sleep monitoring. The battery life is so good that I have switched on some o