There’s this obsession of Kenyans wanting to own every piece of land in the country, a thing that has left money wallowing in poverty rather than thriving.
Another major trap a majority of Kenyans fall into is getting arm-twisted into building a rural home they really don’t need.
Daily Nation columnist Bitange Ndemo addressed this in his popular column saying that a lot of Kenyans end up wasting their capital by constructing huge rural homes that they don’t necessarily need.
Most of these homes are used once or just twice a year–normally during the December holidays.
“People are taking loans to build double storied homes in places out of this world. Reason. Society demands it. It is a home where you will be buried. It is said that you will embarrass the clan were you to die and you have no home. Africa is preoccupied with death when the living cannot feed themselves.
“Of what sense is it when someone puts up a KSh20 million home in a rural area only for the relatives to raise money to pay school fees for children after his death? These are houses that no one will buy, sell or rent because graves dot the home. What is the value of culture,” he wrote.
If you can’t find any reason why you should make a two day visit to the village as a person with a family or be buried upcountry, then I don’t think you’ll find any reason as to why you should commit more than Ksh 1M in a house you’ll never use for 360 days of the year’s 365.
“I regret why I put up a house in my rural home while I suffered in the city. The house was dead capital. I could not rent it to anyone yet I had to pay somebody to take care of it. In fifteen years I have used it twice,” wrote Dr Ndemo.
Essentially, we are not saying you shouldn’t build outside town. What should be your focus is constructing something you need and most importantly that you’ll use on a daily basis to avoid misusing your capital.
We know that the importance of the house is beyond it’s potential sale price in the market place. We know that the house is the theatre of social reproduction; it is a home,” says Walter Omenya, an architecture and sustainable urban developer.
“This is where children grow, where guests are entertained, where the family blossoms…. Many houses are our homes, where a chunk of our identity is constructed.”
“These are reproductive aspects of housing linked with “use value”, rather than “exchange value,” he noted.
“Nairobi is too crowded, too polluted to even raise a family. As routinely as possible, go to the village and breathe some fresh air. Also, as South African philosopher said, the rich go on vacation over Christmas, the poor visit their parents in the village.
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