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Glittering ‘funeral homes’ In Kenyan Villages...

Mangele

Village Elder
#1
You must have seen it, that tree-lined driveway leading to an enormous palace worth a fortune atop a hill in the village.

The gate is shut and unguarded, the lawn overgrown, the compound deserted and eerily quiet, apart from termites nibbling away at the mahogany door frames.

The owner, a local boy who resides in the city, pops in once in a while, and save for Christmas when the place is spruced up and lived in for five days of partying, the reclusive mansion is millions rusting with disuse. It’s home for bats and famished cockroaches, mosquitoes, rats, wasps and spiders. Why do Nairobians sink millions into village residences that they have no use for?



Mosaic Limited Mall,Mosocho, Kitutu Chache belonging to the late former Minister Dr Zachary Onyonka. Photo: Eric Abuga

Apparently, some cultures dictate that sons must put up huge edifices back in the village, even when they virtually spend their entire lives in the city. It is all about cultural attachments and status.

https://www.kenyatalk.com/index.php...sks-where-is-donald-kipkorir-nowadays.174001/

“Why spend lots of money on a property in the village that has no resale value and no rental income? They are largely for prestige and to prove one’s status. When a father gives his sons inheritance, he expects them to put up houses, even when they don’t need them, in the village. So this trend will be hard to shake off, says Daniel Ojijo, the Executive Chairman of Homes Universal Limited.

“I began to regret why I put up a house in my rural home, while I suffered in the city. The house was dead capital. I could not rent it out to anyone, yet I had to pay somebody to take care of it. This is not just my story. It is the story of Africa’s investment decisions and mixed priorities,” Dr Ndemo wrote in a local daily.



Joseph Murumbi's palatial home fell to neglect and vandalism and is now hosting a primary school. Photo: Eric Abuga

While a clique of Kenyans have lived in cities for decades without even a mud-walled hut in the village, others borrow huge loans to put up ‘palaces’ that remain idle.

Dr Aquilars Kalio, an Egerton University Economics lecturer, observes that whereas it is important to have a house in the countryside which is the final resting place for many Kenyans, having a big, unoccupied house does not make economic sense.

“It is all about yearning for respect from peers and to be conspicuous in the village; to feel good when people point at the mansion and say,
‘That is so and so’s house’,” says Dr Kalio.

Bishop David Muriithi of House of Grace says big rural houses are culture and perception driven.

“You don’t want to live in a mansion in Nairobi and embarrass yourself when friends come to your village to find you have nothing. I have one in the village, but I have never slept there,” says Bishop Muriithi.

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The home of former politician Stanley Githunguri. Photo: Eric Abuga

Interestingly, Dr Ndemo links what he calls ‘dead capital’ running into hundreds of billions to death. Indeed, many politicians spend the better part of their lives in Lavington, Runda and Muthaiga, as their humongous houses remain desolate for ages until they are hurriedly spruced for burial ceremonies.

“It is a home where you will be buried. It is said that you will embarrass the clan when you to die and you have no home. Africa is preoccupied with death even when the living cannot feed themselves. Of what sense is it when someone puts up a Sh20 million home in a rural area only for the relatives to raise money to pay school fees for children after his death? These are houses that no one will buy, sell or rent because graves dot the homestead. What is the value of culture?” poses Dr Ndemo.

But Dr Kalio says some of these homes are built by people who could be disposing of ill-gotten wealth. He says people who steal money get confused and become irrational. They dispose of it by erecting white elephants, a mistake, he says ‘real’ billionaires never make.

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/ent...DUL7AxR8FztYNap68zcExWXt1X_9xfrA-ecU66jwEPIoI
 

Simiyu22

Village Sponsor
#5
I will never build a house in Ushago. Thats dead capital. You build a house where you live. Recently on a visit, my uncle gave me keys to his house just incase we needed extra room to sleep since we were a large party, and "we dont let guests sleep in hotels". I got there in the morning and started making sleep plans. So opened the house. He hadnt visited in a few months. There was dust everywhere except the kitchen and master bedroom where he goes directly to when he visits. Dead mites, roaches, cobwebs, cracks, etc. There were rooms you could tell hadnt been opened in 5 years. I hired help and spent the whole day cleaning so that the visitors had somewhere to sleep.
 
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poyoloko

Village Elder
#7
I will never build a house in Ushago. Thats dead capital. You build a house where you live. Recently on a visit, my uncle gave me keys to his house just incase we needed extra room to sleep since we were a large party, and "we dont let guests sleep in hotels". I got there in the morning and started making sleep plans. So opened the house. He hadnt visited in a few months. There was dust everywhere except the kitchen and master bedroom where he goes directly to when he visits. Dead mites, roaches, cobwebs, cracks, etc. There were rooms you could tell hadnt been opened in 5 years. I hired help and spent the whole day cleaning so that the visitors had somewhere to sleep.
Even a little semi parmanent one? We wacha boss..
 

Simiyu22

Village Sponsor
#8
Even a little semi parmanent one? We wacha boss..
I just crush at my dads. Its embarassing but hey, traditions are changing After all I spend one / two nights and I am gone. Theres another reason why. Adjacent to my dad is his cousin. 6 boys he has. They still cultivate so they need as much land as possible. They all built their houses inside a main area. You walk out one house right into another. Why not just build a huge main house and share. After all, non lives there permanently. Now let me not factor their kids. They are now in high school. Where will they build?
 

chap

Village Elder
#9
I am not against kujenga ushago but honestly saa hii it won't make sense for me. The last time I went there was like 4 years ago.

My bonobo uncles including my father have erected big houses with many rooms. My beta cousins pia wamewekwa wamejenga manyumba huko yet huku nairobi wanastruggle.

For me saa hii najenga residentials angalau I get income. Hopefully zitaisha by this year. Once I retire I will go build a ka small house huko ushago and enjoy my sunset years sampling young...
 

thesavage

Village Elder
#10
I just crush at my dads. Its embarassing but hey, traditions are changing After all I spend one / two nights and I am gone. Theres another reason why. Adjacent to my dad is his cousin. 6 boys he has. They still cultivate so they need as much land as possible. They all built their houses inside a main area. You walk out one house right into another. Why not just build a huge main house and share. After all, non lives there permanently. Now let me not factor their kids. They are now in high school. Where will they build?
Genius! Most people in the 70s, 80s, and 90s used to build mammoth houses. Guys should be able to fix them up good for their kids, and then have a small shack to themselves.
 

jerrydubiz

Village Elder
#18
I'm planning on building one, but it won't be a huge house, it'll be a 2 bedroom holiday cottage with nice compound with trees, flowers and shit. Building a mansion that you don't live in is silly. But bonobos are obsessed with primitive display of status even when it's totally irrational and against their best interests.
 
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#20
I just crush at my dads. Its embarassing but hey, traditions are changing After all I spend one / two nights and I am gone. Theres another reason why. Adjacent to my dad is his cousin. 6 boys he has. They still cultivate so they need as much land as possible. They all built their houses inside a main area. You walk out one house right into another. Why not just build a huge main house and share. After all, non lives there permanently. Now let me not factor their kids. They are now in high school. Where will they build?

Na si muishi county zenu, mjenge county zenu. Nairobi mnakuja kutafuta nini?

If you stopped this rural urban migration and focused your efforts within your home counties how fast would Kenya grow???
 

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