Why have Kenyans ‘gone gaga’ over Safari Rally in ‘NaxVegas?’

Where is it happening? Where else other than in the great county of Nakuru!

There’s some mystique, some aura, some undeniable gravitas about Nakuru that attracts big things.

And by the way, Nakuru is the acting last born in category of cities of Kenya.

And yes, the big automobile sporting event has pitched tent here in Nakuru. Literally!

The beauty, the festive mood, the camaraderie is unmistakable!

Nakuru City has in recent past acquired some philandering notoriety though. It is now cheekily referred to as Naxvegas.

This isn’t an altogether positive tag owing to the negative connotations associated with the pseudonym (nickname).

Naxvegas is a poor imitation of Las Vegas known for its excesses.

Known as the sin city in the USA, they say “what happens in Vegas remains in Vegas”.

So you don’t go yapping and talking and rumouring about who you saw partying with who and where and when! Sshhhh!

Well, I’m told ‘its going down’ in Naivasha, a peripheral town of Nakuru!

And if you don’t spin a Subaru then you got no ‘swag’ and style or so the young souls in our staffroom tell me!

Africans, always hyping about what we don’t create.

We don’t even manufacture bicycles or even bicycle breaks!

What’s the big deal about owning a Subaru in Kenya a friend of mine asks elsewhere here?

The Japanese rule the highways in Africa and beyond!

‘The car ahead of you is always a Toyota’, they proudly proclaim.

What invention are we proud about?

What the ‘wannabe’ happy go lucky generation do not perhaps know is that Subarus have been here for decades now.

The greatest indigenous rally driver of all time Patrick Njiru used to drive a Subaru.

At one time the world champion Bjorn Waldegard left the Toyota Team and drove a Subaru.

I tell these superficial young men that those of us acquainted with wisdom know that the ideal life isn’t the fast paced competitive melodramas and other needless runs through a self serve consumer paradise!

That there’s a higher measure of success and happiness than the number of top end gadgets and glossy cars one can zoom in on the life on the fast lane.


Values are handed down by our parents. They include hard work, respect for other people and their property.

Empathy for the vulnerable in Society, helping others and honesty in our dealings are key tenets of good life.

These young fellows call me ‘mzae‘ (old man) without swag or style.

Whatever that means; That as they head to Nakuru City’s appendage, Naivasha, I should stay at home or better still go to church.

The side shows in Naivasha seem more pronounced than the event.

My age mates should go slow on this for obvious reasons.

You may want to slug it out with youthful souls via cosmetic means, but the cost might overall be too costly.

Just graze within your reach. It’s safer that way, experience tells us.

So the artificial love for the Subaru has gone an octave high.

The speed demons are on the loose on the fast lane.

Overtaking them is an offense I’m told!

The African! I live next to one of the busiest highways in East Africa and I’ve witnessed the unprecedented madness as noisy Subarus cruise by to Naivasha. Who will safe us from ourselves?

Nonetheless I am also told this world event is gonna inject a whooping Sh6 billion shillings into this battered economy.


How the money experts arrive at that figure I’ve no idea.

For those hitting the road to Naivasha, have your times under the sun!

Nyantino is a NAKURU City based teacher, book author and columnist at The Scholar Media Africa: www.scholarmedia.africa

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Mwalimu Gichaba Nyantino is a Nakuru-based teacher and author and Columnist "THESE, THAT AND OTHER" at The Scholar Newspaper and scholarmedia.africa


  1. I love this brilliantly authored Subaru piece. I expected the great teacher to plunge me into the Vasha car race, the teams,the expectations,the fan moments only for him to bemoan the generational gap between the old and young who think they possess bragging rights… Let the new generation bring on rhumba,Benga and we will give them a run for their money with a jig, oho brother. Before this we had our Joginder Singh and Seeka Mehta winning rally races and we didn’t travel all the way to Vasha to watch the East African Safari Rally but those cars came looking for us in our village roads and hovels where we luxuriously watched them negotiate the muddy ruts .

    I love Mwalimu’s superb use of language, the apt imagery and punchlines… This is good work, omotondo.

  2. Hahaha
    What an apt rejoinder to my write up. I’m quite analogue Nyagaka. I don’t even know which teams are in this safari rally… What captured my imagination is the hype..the sideshows and their implications… And meanings…


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