There has been lots of stories about the people in the coastal region in Kenya are lazy and don’t want to go to school making most of them to be illiterate. They all blame poverty for not going to school, but coming to think of it, it’s not only in the coast where poverty rules.
Poverty is all over the country and it’s not something new in Africa. People in other parts of the country are also poor but do all possible ways to go to school and attain academic qualifications and help their families fight this disease called poverty.
The main problem in the coast is not just poverty but also lack of role models to emulate from the region. Even a standard three pupil in coast will tell you that his or her problems can be solved by getting a European lover popularly known as Mzungu.
There have been stories about how people come from all over the country to come look for tourist at the coast. Invested heavily on foreign language classes and even trying to win them via the internet and bringing them to Kenya.
But there is this part about the native people at the coast trying their luck to win the tourist and try to make their life better.
It all starts when a small kid sees his bigger brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts always spend most of their time at beach hoping to get a European lover.
The stories at home are what they will do when they get one and how their life will change for good. Stories can also be how so and so got a European lover and now they are in Europe living a good life and their families too.
So as the kid grows he/she knows the solution to their problems lies at the beach and not at school where they are beaten almost daily and forced to do arithmetic that won’t help them in life or solve their finance situations.
By the time the child reaches class seven (remember might have repeated the lower classes severally) he or she is almost 16 years old and can speak German is lives in Kilifi county and Italian if lives in Malindi, or can be conversant with both languages.
They usually learn from their elder siblings, family and friends who are already at the beach mark you they can speak it fluently but can’t write a single word of it. The only foreign language that they can’t speak is English. Surprising!!!!
Most of the beach boys and girls who prefer to be called beach operators drop school at standard seven and start going to the beach to try their luck in solving their financial problems. That’s where the story begins.
First the beach operator starts as a tour guide for the tourist offering bush tours that is taking the tourist around the villagers, remember they don’t have licenses so they do this while hiding from the tourist police.
The bush tour entails taking them to the villages to see them and at least how people in the villages live, every photo the tourist takes has to pay the villages or the family they have took. By the end of the day the beach operator is paid by the tourist and still goes to the villagers whose photos were taken to share the money given.
If all goes well the beach operator gets a licenses to be taking around tourist and not create problems with the tourist police, which is seen as a big achievement there. With this license one can get a job in the hotel as an animator which is also known as air ticket as it’s believed it’s the easiest way to get a European lover
The duties of animators in the hotels are to entertain the tourist and make sure they don’t get bored while in the hotel. So they organize beach football or volleyball, swimming with them or playing with the tourist just to keep them busy.
As they interact with the tourist they try to win their trust and confidence and volunteer to do anything for and in return to take them out of the country. As the tourist stay is over, the lucky beach operator will have hooked one and already have travel documents.
The tourist goes back to their country and after some time sends air ticket to the beach operator. His or her problems will be solved if when reaching Europe should try to look for a job to do, where mostly they became house helps or waiters in hotels.
The luckiest one which happens one in a million will marry the European lover and start a life there. If not so they usually come back after 3 or 6 months after their visa has expired but still keep in touch with the tourist to help them financially.
When back home they join their friends at the beach who didn’t get a chance to get a European lover and the circle starts again.
For one to say they are benefiting from the beach life one has to be having more than 3 European lover who send them money or frequent visit Kenya, or a lady who happens to get pregnant for the tourist and he takes full responsibility of the kid.
From this whole scenario you will agree with me that getting rich from the beach life is as hard as one can spend their entire life there. That’s why some of them seek the services of witchdoctors’ masters as they are called here, as far as Tanzania or Congo.
By the end of the day, if they get the money they still misuse it in luxury life and buying vehicles they will sell after 3 months as they can maintain them.
That’s why the learned from up country come to the beach with more knowledge than the natives, get the European lover fast and easy and know how to manage their finances leaving the natives complaining that they have come to spoil their business.
My advice to my coastal brothers and sisters lets go to school first, get the knowledge then come rock the beach.