Away from the excitement, the boys’ club is a painful exposure of the inequality that exists in Kenya [Opinion]

"It is unfair that our leaders, in business and politics, cannot relate to our daily struggles"

We shared a Sh195,000 whisky bottle on our last supper – Collymore’s small circle of friends share their best moments

There is no moral justification that there are employees, in some of the companies headed by our so-called elite professionals, who cannot afford Sh10,000 rent – despite reporting earlier and leaving after their bosses have gone to work.

Over the past five days, Kenyans, particularly on social media, have reacted with excitement after details emerged of the exclusive small circle that the late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore belonged to – the Boy’s Club.

The club, consisting of about seven wealthy professionals, mostly CEOs, shared their world with Kenyans as a way of celebrating their departed friend.

There were many attributes of friendship, loyalty, comradeship that could be passed and admired about the boys’ club – but most Kenyans did not realise that the boy’s club lifestyle is a reminder of one problem with the Kenyan society.

Former Gatanga MP, Peter Kenneth, gave his eulogy reminiscing how he his friend Bob pushed him to learn to fly a chopper.

Immediately, I started seeing ordinary Kenyans making fun of the anecdote.

Bob advised his friends to learn flying, the things my friends are pushing me to learn cannot be said in public,” they said in self-contempt.  

Kenneth’s eulogy also included a story where Collymore called to invite him to Manda Island for a weekend getaway.

He mentioned that his buddy personally flew the plane, something they occasionally did.

Then there was the Sh195,000 whisky bottle they toasted in honour of their captain Bob- the expensive suits in London, numerous vacations in European capitals.

The reason why the Boys’ Club has become so viral can only be explained by our growing affinity for wealth and its association with prestige.

It is not that Kenyans in social circles do not drink and make merry, it is that the Boy’s Club can afford to buy one bottle the cost of a plot of land in the outskirts of the city they live in.  

It is not that Kenyans do not take holidays, it is the thought that the Boys’ Club fly their personal choppers for an exclusive stay in Lamu.

Jeff Koinange narrated his shock when Collymore and KCB CEO Joshua Oigara walked to his house in Kitsuru without bodyguards.

These are things that should not be stand out in a just society, they are incidents that the average Kenyan cannot even relate.

Successful societies, even in the most capitalistic economies, find value in coming up with policies that distribute wealth – for the good of both the poor and the rich.

There is no moral justification that there are employees, in some of the companies headed by our so-called elite professionals, who cannot afford Sh10,000 rent – despite reporting earlier and leaving after their bosses have gone to work.

The up-market towering houses are surrounded by slums where they source for cheap labour for household work.

How many have taken insurance health covers for their nannies, gardeners, and security guards? Very few even though the monthly premiums would probably be less than the amount they spend on one lunch.

The boys’ club has only reminded us the painful reality that Kenya is increasingly a country of two nations – the haves and the have nots.

The haves are at a vantage position because they are in charge of policy and the economy – even though most of the hard work is by the have nots.

It is grossly unfair that our leaders, in business and politics, cannot relate to our daily struggles. This reality is a call for the have nots to organise themselves and get representation at the table where this country’s rich resources are distributed among a small clique of elites.

Tony Mukere is a journalist and political commentator. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Pulse Live Kenya

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