24-06-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
Malindikenya.net's theme of the week, heralded by the fourth Freddie and Sbringo parody that forms part of the "Festival of Sardinia 2" prize competition is about buying property in Kenya.
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The song "Il residenza che non c'è", apart from satirically recounting an extreme situation, refers in particular to the Malindi of the eighties and nineties, when the explosion of the Kenyan coast as a holiday and winter holiday destination, was echoed and pushed by the economic boom in Italy, with people who were inclined to make investments and at the same time dream of the "good life" in the tropics.
And so, alongside the many opportunities that the Italian Malindi offered, there were also individuals of dubious repute who looked like prominent businessmen and property developers (the same cry that later became a cry of alarm or a curse, such as "aaal ladroooo").
They were able to promise anything: from the purchase of land to facilitations to design, build and prepare the dream home of the unfortunate and perhaps multiply it by others, so as to return the investment in a short time.
Then, implacably, Africa would arrive, the scapegoat (or rather, the buffalo), for whom the deal was not quite as imagined.
So disputes arose, court cases ensued and the Italians can proudly claim to have created a new class of Kenyan professionals: lawyers, notaries and judges.
Clearly in those years the ground (often without title) for these fixers was fertile and many secured their pensions after risking jail and lynching.
Today, things are very different, but as the saying goes (he who has bread has no teeth, he who has ugali also eats without teeth), now that there are almost no more Italian scoundrels around, the opportunities are gone.
When 20 million could buy a cottage by the sea, when an acre measured one acre and not half, when a piece of land cost a quarter of what it was worth because there were four owners (unbeknownst to each of the buyers). Usually in addition to Arabic, Kenyan, there was also German and the Italian of jokes.
In Malindi, the sale of land "à la Totò" has been in vogue for years; some people have started to build their dream house on a piece of land that was not their own (and often the real owners of the land, in possession of the title deed, have let them do it until the end, thanking them very much) or have found themselves having to share it with an Indian family, a lawyer from Naivasha or an entire village in the hinterland.
From the sale of the coliseum to that of the residence in Casuarina, in short, it's a short step.
As the song of the week says... if you haven't heard it yet, here it is.
It's a nice way to take us back to times gone by that we hope will never come back.
Waiting for the rebirth of Malindi in other forms, with residential and hotel tourism that is more and more conscious, respectful, honest and eco-sustainable.
To be able to say one day, "it all seemed dead and instead...it's resort!"
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