Many Nairobians are familiar with the psychometric test. These are the questionnaires that many of us encounter when we are looking for a job in large multinational firms.
You can also come across these questions when an enterprising human resource professional in your company insists that you do it, in order to show their bosses that they are actually working and not spending the whole day on Facebook.
Those who do these tests end up in internationally-recognised personality types like sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic. When you are categorized in any of these clusters, then the company that you work for will be able to know how to motivate you to produce more.
If you are sanguine for instance, the employer will know that the best way to ensure that you work harder is to appeal to your need for people’s admiration.
They will then recommend your boss to come to your desk and say how well you are doing in front of colleagues so that you are motivated to produce even more.
The only problem for some of us here in Nairobi is that these theories for temperaments and personality types were developed in the ancient Greek times.
Unfortunately, we haven’t heard much from our local based intellectuals on the temperaments of locals and how those who want to live and work with them can cope with their peculiarities.
I want to announce a breakthrough in this personality science with an emphasis on Nairobi folk. The four personality types you are likely to meet in Nairobi include:
1. Shida inaishi kwangu (problems live in my home) personality – This persons is inward looking; everything in the world is seen through the prism of the problems the person has.
This person owns all problems, big or small. If there is a report in the news on an illness for instance, they will remind anyone who will care to listen that they too have a similar illness to deal with, or one with just as much pain and suffering.
And if they do not have the illness, they could one day be victims or they have to pay the bills for someone who is suffering, thus they too suffer. The strength of this personality type.
Strength: They will own your problems thus ensure that you feel better about your own life situation. Weakness: Their constant complaining can be very depressing to anyone who has to deal with them regularly.
2. Al Shabaabian personality – People with this personality type tend to uphold a very high moral code in everything they do. Their words, which come strongly in any situation tend to be guided by several sources including the Bible or the Quran. They often use phrases like; ‘in our days’ and ‘in our African culture’.
All of their actions, unlike their words, will be guided by self interest so they will tend to surprise those who are close to them. This is because they will sometimes do some of the most morally repugnant things without batting an eyelid.
Strengths: They will be very vocal about a cause when the need arises as they tend to have all the right arguments from years of vocalising various issues.
Weaknesses: They will shock some people with their actions at times as it is very difficult for anyone to match their lofty moral standards. Even them.
3. First lady Kenyattan personality - These fellows are the solution driven ones. To them, evidence of a problem is just a challenge to be sorted out.
Where there is a need, they will start looking to help either materially or otherwise. They are often seen at the forefront of walks and marathons championing for one cause or the other.
Strengths: They will put their heart and resources into various causes to help their communities. Weaknesses: Not everything needs a solution. Unfortunately these folks will find it even when things are fine.
4. Mjuajian personality – This personality type is more concerned with being perceived as very smart. It doesn’t matter the circumstances. Whatever the discussion on the table, their arguments are the most clever.
They are the ones with the contrarian opinions for argument’s sake even when they don’t actually believe in whatever they claim is their opinion. They will be the ones to see the flaws in anything that is being forwarded to the general public, be it quails or other pyramid schemes.
Weaknesses: Their cynical attitude can be very hard to deal with on a regular basis.
Motherland, Ngong Road.
Along Thika road is a famous place called Motherland, where Nairobians like hanging out. Recently, I was surprised to learn that the owners of that pub had opeed another one along Ngong Road. So last Saturday, I decided to visit the new pub for some experience.
Just like the Thika Road one, the Ngong Road pub has makuti (palm fronds) roofing. On that particular day, several cars, which according to my evaluation belonged to high income earners, were parked outside.
This was contrary to my expectation because from the outside view, the place didn’t look so classy, to match the social status of the patrons. At the entrance, there was butchery where one could buy their favourite goat meat at what seemed to be decent prices for Nairobians.
When I walked inside, I found a very small pub with a counter to the left and several booths which were separated by makuti walls. To the left was the washroom which was very clean.
I wasn't planning to stay for long so I ordered for a cold beer which was brought by a friendly waitress in a white blouse. The drink was retailing at Sh170 and being a very warm day, it was much welcome.
Looking around, I have to admit that I was not really impressed by the general décor but I suspect that was not the main attraction for the punters who visit the place. It did however have a TV or two overhead which allowed people like me with a cable TV fetish to follow football matches.
Despite being not very appealing, the pub seems to attract higher end clients. It was a very male older audience with majority of them being in their thirties and above.
A quick recap of the venue:
Good: Conveniently located, clean washrooms, TV for the sports fanatics, decent pricing for Nairobi, disability friendly.
Bad: Lousy décor, the makuti doesn't inspire should a fire break out.
My verdict: You will find guys doing their business deals quietly in the pub.