4 Ways to Spot a Diaspora Mum
There’s a commonality across Kenyan mums whether they’ve lived here all their lives or spending part of it abroad – so how can you even tell the difference? With the influx of Diaspora mums this holiday season, here are 4 dead giveaways.
1) She asks where she can breastfeed
If she lives in the US and some other countries, while breastfeeding is on the rise, there’s still a high level of discomfort in doing it in public. So much so that almost weekly there’ll be some ‘breastfeed shaming’ incident that flares up online. The Kenyan Diaspora mum assimilated in those cultures will know intellectually that there’s a very different attitude here towards ‘nyonyo’ but out of habit, will be casing the joint to figure out if there’s a clean bathroom or covert corner before wielding out a cape to cover up.
2) She asks where the closest ‘cyber’ is
Poor thing, she really has been gone for a long time! Even though she’s WhatsApp’ing her friends almost daily now, she didn’t realize that cyber cafes are almost obsolete in Nairobi since 3G & 4G networks and Wifi are now widely accessible.
3) She can’t stop talking about how light her suitcase was
With the rise of online shopping and expanded retail options in malls, Nairobians aren’t as starved for products as they used to be. Most of us would immediately send a wishlist or buy stuff online to send to your friend to bring goodies back for you. Our Diaspora family and friends complied out of obligation and are truly amazed to see the requests petering out. So much so that even some are being asked to bring back local products (and not frozen chapos and sausages) but luxury items like locally made make up and skin products.
4) She’s shocked (shocked!) at the price of everything
Let’s face it, Nairobi used to be an affordable and even cheap place to live not too long ago. Many Diaspora mums are nostalgic of spending a few hundred bob going out as a teen and in for complete sticker shock. Some are left reeling at how similar the prices are to buying groceries in California, New York, Tokyo or London.
Much as we are sometimes amused when they come across as being slightly out of the loop, we are glad to have these Kenyan Mums back from foreign soil. Karibuni Nyumbani!