10 smart ways to survive cold season

A couple cuddling. (Courtesy/iStock)

The cold weather has come armed with knives and pangas. It is chilly enough in Nairobi that many are wondering if this is New York after all. Being June, this is just the beginning of our local ‘winter’, and we will be shivering for a long time to come. So how are Nairobians surviving in this weather?

  1. Apologise to your ex

Being caught spouse-less in winter between May-July is like finding yourself without an umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm. For the boo-less, nights last an extra four hours. The chill has been responsible for reviving several failed relationships. At the end of the day, there’s no point in dying of hypothermia just because your ex broke your heart.

  1. Attend a political rally

They say people are dishing out goodies at political rallies. Ati all you have to do is fight your way to the mheshimiwa’s car, and you will emerge with a fistful of chapos. So, really, if you acquire one of those Thermos flasks which can fit in one’s backpack and fill it with tea, you can leave that mkutano wa mashabiki with a full, warm belly.

  1. Stomp on the devil

If you have ever been part of those praise and worship sessions in which people use words like ‘riswa’ and ‘shindwe’, then you know there are few things that can raise your blood pressure faster. One session like that, with the full complement of singing and stomping the devil, heats you up right to the core. Give it a try on Sunday.

  1. Date a Luo man

There is a group of people who are not suffering from this cold like the rest of us. That group consists of people who chose to surrender their hearts to gentlemen from the lakeside, and those who signed up for character development from a lady of the mountains. The stress and pressure of dealing with those people is like a warm flame that starts in the chest. If they feel cold, all they have to do is scroll through bae’s phone and that heats them right up.

  1. Work from home

It is almost inhuman to have to wake up to the sounds of rain, stack up on three layers of clothing and then endure hours in traffic just to get into an office with large open windows. Si Covid already showed us we can work from home? Isn’t the company internet the same as you pay for in your house? Baas. Reports can still be filed from the comfort of your gas-filled duvet.

  1. Chai ya mchana

It has taken time, but people are finally beginning to empathise with Luhya folks, whose feeding programmes contain several breaks just for tea. All gatherings big and small call for parties to sit down together and sort things out. Over some tea. With the unending cold, most people are realising the benefits of having a pitcher of tea on standby.

  1. Physical activity

Kenyans never need an excuse for their favourite physical activity. In the event they do not want to risk emotionally transmitted infections, though, there is always the option of taking a quick jog to the supermarket, cycling to town and back, or doing a few pushups after waking up.

  1. Gikomba duvets

Those supermarket blankets simply won’t do. Covering yourself with them is as effective as scooping up pneumonia and pouring it directly into your own chest. Even those Gikomba duvets fight for their lives when they come up against that 3am cold that has sharpened its canines. The only viable option is to assemble all your bedding and bury yourself underneath it.

  1. Move back to the village

You know what the villagers have that we don’t? Open fires. They have fireplaces, and firewood, and huts where they can burn those fires. The closest thing to that we have is that noisy neighbour who owns a jiko, one they loudly light just when you’re settling into your living room, the smoke blowing right into your windows. So, if you want to escape the cold, take a trip and say hi to your grandma. Then sit with her beside the fire while she roasts maize.

  1. Shots and shots

They say drinking in cold weather is actually counterproductive, that the liquor actually takes heat away from your body. But have they ever upended a series of shots of the expensive stuff? Those things light a fire in your chest, and that fire blazes a path from chest to belly to bladder. Perhaps, you can down an entire bottle to keep the fire burning. 


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