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Let us make money from our traffic jams

Sunday December 9 2018

Heavy traffic jam starts to build up at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Heavy traffic jam starts to build up at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Our traffic jams should officially be named the Eighth Wonder of the World. They are simply an awe-inspiring spectacle that we should share with the rest of the world.

After the outrage that happened on Monday this week in the CBD, The Kenya Tourism Board should vigorously start marketing our traffic jams as a tourist must-see, alongside the wildebeest migration and our beaches.

And if they don’t snap up this potential revenue generator which I am convinced could earn Kenya billions, I will take it on as a side hustle.

Simply put, our traffic jams deserve a thesis or two, a blockbuster movie, heck, they deserve an award of some sort.

By now, you can tell that I was caught up in that horrendous jam on Monday, and five days later, I am yet to recover from being held hostage in one position for four good hours.

This cannot be good for the heart. This is how healthy people get heart attacks from nowhere and drop dead.


Many times, I was tempted to just get up and walk home instead of just sitting there gazing out at the sea of unmoving vehicles. I started my journey out of the city centre in daylight, but nightfall found me still trying to get out of the city centre.

If you work in the capital city, and if, like me, you cannot wait to escape from this uninviting, congested, dusty and chaotic jungle in the evening, you can imagine how torturous it would be to be kept here against your will for an extra four hours.

Like every Kenyan that was caught up in that merciless gridlock, I blamed Nairobi Governor Sonko for that senseless and time-wasting traffic jam in and out of the city centre.

I was so frustrated, had I come across a group of people burning Sonko’s effigy, I would have energetically and single-mindedly shoved them aside like we Kenyans do when fighting to board matatus so that I could do the burning myself.

That jam brought out the worst in many of us.

If this traffic madness isn’t resolved in the near future, I foresee how we greet one another changing. Instead of the usual how are you? Our conversations will start this way:

“How was the traffic jam this morning?”

“Oh, fine, I got to work at 10am just like yesterday, so everything is fine, I have nothing to complain about.”

“Oh, that’s good, traffic jam on my end was also okay — I managed to get to work at 11.30am, which was a huge improvement because yesterday I arrived at the office at noon.”

Our legendary traffic jam out of the way, we would then discuss other matters.




The writer is Editor, My Network magazine, in the Daily Nation [email protected] Twitter: @cnjerius.