When I was in school my two best friends were from Nyeri and Meru.

I was not exactly the cool kid coming from Nairobi and all that mumbo jumbo because they were an exposed pair. Fantastic girls: Leah and Brenda. The only thing I won at was lying. Ooh I can be a pathological liar. Especially when I aim to impress. I get embellishing to a degree that surprises even a politician. Every time they asked me anything about Nairobi I would paint a picture of a modern day Eden. It was the capital city after all.

They saw Nairobi through my eyes. The skyscrapers in Upper Hill,the architectural perfection of the Westend building and the magnificent Delta house. I  always mentioned the new face ABC Place and the ooh so bewildering  Yaya. Nairobi was so hip according to my narration that Sarit Center was a second grade hang out joint. Now that the city is littered with shopping malls built to state of the art standards at every turn, I wish I was in school. For no other reason than to concoct stories of the capital, wueh. Lies, pure salacious banter. Like there never existed the largest slum this side of the Sahara in the capital? If you joined in the conversation you would think that Mukuru Kwa Njenga was a newspaper vendor and not a shanty centre.

You probably rolled your eyes so much you might need spectacles by now. Kisumu dwellers especially.

But be honest, when somebody asks you to tell them something about Kisumu, where do you prioritise? Do you start with the chaos or you highlight the tranquillity of the lakeside city? My point exactly. People will always want to paint their town and city in perfect light. To show how cool a people or they are.

The urbane Migosi, the affluent Milimani, the hype Kenya Re aka Route 44 (you know it’s Kisumu when a hood comes with an alias) and the all time wannabes of Tom Mboya. That’s all well and good but this is not the real Kisumu.

Where is the face of Kisumu you may ask?

It is where reality is in touch with real people. All the neighbourhood mentioned above are marred by people striving to show off to each other, beat one another and triumph over everybody else. It threatens the existence of the rest of Kisumu. The other Kisumu that appreciates infrastructure and significant development. Like Nyamasaria.

Nyamasaria is the open gate to Kisumu.

It is inviting! It is bold! It is Nyamsaria. While you are here, you start to experience the city life.

The road towards Nyamasaria: Photo Courtesy – Tonny Omondi

There was a time that nobody came from this area. Everybody came from Kisumu but never specifically Nyamasaria.

Now, a few years later, kila mtu is either from Nyamasaria or has built in Nyamasaria.

How times change right? I went in to find out why suddenly everyone wants to associate with a once” uncool” area.

Well I didn’t physically go I finagled (yes there’s a word like that) and implored the residents  and the wannabe residents to feed me with the information. It’s actually impressive.

Nothing pulls investors to a property better than infrastructure. Good roads and networks particularly. I mean communication is important as is water availability and a functional drainage system. But just how much would you need a running sewer at 11 o’clock in the night on a rainy day stuck on a bad road? Better still, what good is excellent Wifi when it doesn’t allow you to move from your house to the market in good time? And let’s face the truth here, we can always borrow water and pipe it to our homes, try bending a road to pass through your area.

We are in agreement no? Yes? Maybe? The ayes have it.

There is  magic happening as we speak in Nyamasaria. A gem in the making and a money minting hub coming up. For the moment its called the Kisumu – Nyamasaria road. A road construction project set to utterly revolutionise the face of the area. It is going to give it a complete turn around. Fact is nobody invests 5.8 billion shillings on a project that will not have an impact. Unless they are Donald Trump, because that is his salon bill. Nyamasaria – Kisian road starts from Nyamasaria and proceeds towards Busia via the almost completed Kisumu bypass and ends at the Kisian road junction. As it meanders through all the localities between Nyamasaria and Kisian, it creates a ripple effect. Like a golden-egg laying goose without bias. Drops  a golden egg as it proceeds.

This development is the metaphorical coin landing in a pool of water. It falls centre but touches the furthest tip. Works done courtesy of the road include upgrading a section of the land between Nyamasaria – Ondieki junction into a dual carriageway, the new bridge, a single bituminous carriageway, Kisumu southern bypass commencing at Nyamasaria and ending at Kondele with overpasses in between (they shall quickly be labelled flang overs). The Otieno Oyoo junction and Obote road being constructed into a single carriageway.

Perhaps the icing on the cake  is the dualizing of Oginga Odinga and Busia road. Once this is completed then leads to the new Kisumu International Airport, people will no longer need to ride boats, board peng and use Mbukinya to see an aeroplane. Heck maybe the Diaspora populace from Rongai will come to Kisumu to see aeroplanes.

The point is, while you are killing yourself with a KShs 5 million loan to acquire land in Kitengela to show off to your urban friends, there is a property in Nyamasaria that will post a 60%  appreciation waiting for you like come baby come.

Wisen up, duog dala 🙂

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