This is a special bonus episode of CWT, Githae is a 58-year-old village elder who mediates disputes and lives in Tatu City, Kenya, near Nairobi. Here is the audio, video, and transcript. Here is the episode summary: In his conversation with Tyler, Githae discusses his work as a businessman in the transport industry and what
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This is a special bonus episode of CWT, Githae is a 58-year-old village elder who mediates disputes and lives in Tatu City, Kenya, near Nairobi. Here is the audio, video, and transcript. Here is the episode summary:
In his conversation with Tyler, Githae discusses his work as a businessman in the transport industry and what he looks for when hiring drivers, the reasons he moved from his rural hometown to the city and his perspectives on urban vs rural living, Kikuyu cultural practices, his role as a community elder resolving disputes through both discussion and social pressure, the challenges Kenya faces, his call for more foreign investment to create local jobs, how generational attitudes differ, the role of religion and Githae’s Catholic faith, perspectives on Chinese involvement in Kenya and openness to foreigners, thoughts on the devolution of power to Kenyan counties, his favorite wildlife, why he’s optimistic about Kenya’s future despite current difficulties, and more.
COWEN: What do you do that the court system does not do? Because you’re not police, but still you do something useful.
GITHINJI: What we normally do, we as a group, we listen to one another very much. When one person reaches that stage of being told that you are a man now, you normally have to respect your elder. Those people do respect me. When I call you, when I tell you “Come and we’ll talk it out,” with my group, you cannot say you cannot come, because if you do, we normally discipline somebody. Not by beating, we just remove you from our group. When we isolate you from our group, you’ll feel that is not fair for you. You come back and say — and apologize. We take you back into the group.
COWEN: If you’re isolated, you can’t be friends with those people anymore.
GITHINJI: When we isolate you, we mean you are not allowed to interact in any way.
COWEN: Any way.
GITHINJI: Any business, anything with the other community [members]. If it is so, definitely, you have to be a loser, because you might be needing one of those people to help you in business or something of the sort. When you are isolated, this man tells you, “No. Go and cleanse yourself first with that group.”
If you find his Kikiyu accent difficult, just read the transcript instead. This episode is best consumed in a pair with my concurrently recorded episode with Harriet Karimi Muriithi, a 22-year-old Kenyan waitress — the contrasts in perspective across a mere generation are remarkable.
Current Affairs, Education, Food and Drink, Law, Political Science, Travel, Uncategorized