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Unusual’ number of Diaspora home for holidays

Posted by Administrator on January 4, 2012

An unusually large number of Kenyans living abroad traveled home this festive season to be with family and friends as they celebrated Jamhuri day, Christmas and ushered in the New Year.

The numbers of the Diaspora in the villages, streets of urban centers and major tourist attractions in Kenya was so unprecedented as to be easily noticeable.

“I’ve met not less than twenty Kenyans that I know very well from Lowell, in Massachusetts, either in the streets of Nairobi or Thika. I come home every Christmas and this is the first time I’ve seen these many folks from my neighborhood back in the US,” said John Njuguna, a Kenyan resident of Lowell, Mass.

Sammy Rurigi, a Kenyan resident of Bear, Delaware in USA who was on vacation in Kenya now sees his country differently. “If you don’t travel away from home and experience how life is out there, you are not in a position to fully appreciate what your country has to offer. Kenya is the best country in the world and I look forward to coming back every holiday,” he said after celebrating his friend’s birthday at Taidys restaurant near T Mall in Nairobi West.

Topi Lyambila of London, UK said there were many ‘London’ Kenyan faces in the streets of Nairobi during this season unlike any other. “What is encouraging is the fact that many of them are not just here on holiday but to follow up on some investment venture of some kind. This is very good for our country in the sense that its people spread around the world are responding to the call to invest at home,” Topi said.

Elkanah Odembo, Kenya’s Ambassador to the US, confirmed that his office processed an unusually large number of passports for Kenyans preparing to travel home for holidays.

He said the Kenyan embassy in Washington, DC was almost overwhelmed with the applications.

“I’m told by my officers that the number of passport applications by those wishing to travel home was record breaking. They have been processing more than 1,000 applications every month unlike in the past when they would process just a few hundreds the whole season,” said Odembo.

The surge in the numbers of Kenyans living abroad visiting home especially during the last two festive seasons has been attributed to a renewed sense of optimism and patriotism among the Diaspora in their motherland especially after the passage of the new Constitution.

The current Kenyan constitution does not only for the first time, recognize the Diaspora as an important part of the Kenyan society, it also places them at the center of the country’s development within the framework of Vision 2030.

“The benefits of Kenya’s progressive Constitution are just starting to be felt. If you consider that we have had in excess of 3 million Kenyans living out there with huge potential both in cash and kind who have always desired a chance to invest and be part of positive changes taking place in their motherland, then this upsurge does not surprise you,” said Odembo.

Mr Odembo adds that when many Kenyans living abroad visit their motherland, they help in boosting the country’s economy and shore up its foreign reserves. “We want as many of them as possible to come home and spend some of their hard earned dollars at home. This is good for our country’s economy. It also improves social relations and inspires many both at home and away to work harder to improve their lives,” said Odembo.

Mr Odembo wished Kenyans both at home and abroad a happy and prosperous new year.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000049368&cid=4&ttl=%E2%80%98Unusual%E2%80%99%20number%20of%20Diaspora%20home%20for%20holidays

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2 Responses to “Unusual’ number of Diaspora home for holidays”

  1. ITHAVETHI said

    Wanasema mara kwa mara, na kwa lugha muipendayo ya Kiingereza, kuwa “Mashariki na Magharibi, nyumbani ndiko kwema.” Nakubaliana na msemo huo. Lakini maana ilofichika kwa msemo huo ni upi? Hebu nijaribu tu kuuchambua na kuutegua. Ya kwamba wewe nami tu Wakenya kutoka Kenya, hio sio siri. Huo ni ukweli.

    Kuolewa na kumuoa Mmarekani au Mhamiaji yeyote kutoka mataifa mengine ya ulimwengu haibadilishi kutokuwa Mkenya. Kuipodoa podoa nywele na uso wako ukawa kama wa mzungu haukubadilishi wewe kuwa hicho unachotarajia kuwa. Kama wewe ni mwanaume na unajirembesha kwa kutumia vipodozi, kupaka uso wako kwa dawa ya kung’arisha ili uwe mororo, huku ukivaa hereni, makorokoro na kujisiriba huku ukidhania utajiosha Ukenya wako, unajindanganya mwenyewe. Huu tunauita USHOGA. Lakini wewe ni Mkenya, upende usipende.

    Kama Mungu alikubariki ukayapata makarasi, ewalla! Lakini ukivisoma soma vijikaratasi hivyo, vinakueleza kinaga ubaga na kwa lugha sanifu kuwa wewe ni nani. Tabia ya kuongea Kiingereza ili uonekane utu wako ni wa hali bora zaidi, jameni tuikome. Tufunze watoto wetu lugha ya mama na lugha ya taifa. Tujivunie kuwa Wakenya. Watazame Wamexikani, Warusi, Wachina, Wakorea, Wajapani, na kadharika. Waonyesha upendo wao kwa nchi, mila na desturi zao kwa kuhakikisha kwamba watoto wao wanazungumza na kuiandika lugha ya wazazi wao au lugha ya taifa lao. Ni kwa sababu wanajua, baada ya mambo yote yale, watarudi kwao walikotoka. Usingoje hadi pale utakapo rudi nyumbani na watoto wako na kushinda wakiuliza nyanya na babu zao, “What!!!!!!!!!!!” “What’s that!!!!! What did he say??

    Sikubahatika kuwa na uwezo wa kukifahamu na kukizungumza kiswahili kama wenzetu, lakini kidogo ninachokijua, kinaniwezesha kuyaokota masaa ya kutosha na kujiwezesha kujikimu katika nchi hii ambayo wengi wetu wanaikimbilia au wataikimbilia hivi karibuni. Kumbuka kilichotuweka pamoja ni kuamini kwamba tuna nasaba, tulijengewa desturi na wazazi wetu, ikiwemo ya kimila na kidini.

    Usidanganywe kuwa ukiwa Marekani una uhuru wa kusema na kufanya chochote upendacho. Nisemapo ni kuwa isingumze ujivunie lugha uliolelewa nayo, na kiswahili ambacho ulifanua mitihani katika kila kiwango cha elimu yako. Diposa Wakenya wanarudi nyumbani. Na wewe je?

  2. Mohamed Baswaten said

    Ndugu umezungumzia kitu muhimu nacho ni lugha ya Kiswahili, lakini nimeona kuwa lugha hii inazungumzwa sana na sisi wa Pwani tunaoishi kaskazini mwa Amerika, kuliko ndugu zetu watokao sehemu za bara. Wao wanakizungumza Kiswahili wanapokutanika makabila mawili tofauti, lakini ikiwa kundi moja wote ni wa kabila moja, basi huongea lugha ya kabila lao na hata wazazi wao pia majumbani huwaongelesha watoto wao lugha ya kinyumbani na wala si Kiswahili. Ingekuwa bora kueneza lugha hii yetu na kuisambaza utamaduni wa mila zetu za nyumbani kwa ndugu zetu wa Marekani wenye asili ya ki-Afrika wanaposherehekea siku Kuu yao kubwa ijulikanayo kwa jina la Kwanza kwa kutangamana nao..

    By introducing our traditional dancers to join our Afro-American brothers and sisters in celebrating Kwanza festivals we shall help them to adopt and expand their ancestors’ African cultures.

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