WATCH: Why Jamaica Makes Kenya’s Dee Mwango Feel at Home

Kenyans hold a profound admiration for Jamaican culture, finding it vibrant, welcoming, and richly layered. This sentiment is vividly expressed by Kenyan YouTuber Dee Mwango in a recent conversation with her friend, Shorn, where she passionately discusses her experiences and impressions of Jamaica.

Dee Mwango’s love affair with Jamaican patois

Dee Mwango’s enthusiasm for Jamaica is palpable as she recounts her travels and interactions in Jamaica. She highlights the country’s unique blend of linguistic charm, noting the sweetness of Jamaican Patois—a language that she likens to Nigerian Pidgin. This language, while distinct and less formal than standard English, encapsulates the island’s cultural richness and adds to its allure.

One of the most striking aspects of Jamaican culture for Dee Mwango is the genuine warmth and hospitality of its people. She marvels at how Jamaicans, from strangers to locals, make visitors feel appreciated and welcome. This is particularly evident in how they interact with African visitors, often expressing a deep sense of kinship and admiration. She shares numerous anecdotes of Jamaican men and women showering her with compliments, showing interest in her culture, and even inviting her for meals and outings. This friendliness and openness significantly contrast with her experiences in other parts of the world, including Kenya.

Jamaican cuisine is delicious

Another cultural element that she appreciates is Jamaican cuisine. She fondly speaks about the delicious and diverse food, from the staple rice and beans cooked together to the ubiquitous plantain, which she seldom finds in Kenya. The culinary practices, she notes, are not just about sustenance but also about community and shared experiences. She also mentions her delight in discovering Jamaican beverages, like the popular red sorrel drink.

Dee Mwango’s love for Jamaican culture is further deepened by her experiences in social settings such as clubs, where she observes a level of affluence and generosity she finds remarkable. She describes scenes of men splashing money in clubs, creating an atmosphere of exuberance and celebration that she hasn’t encountered elsewhere. This display of wealth, combined with the genuine appreciation for visitors, paints a picture of a society that values both enjoyment and hospitality.

A sense of safety and unity

Her observations also touch on the safety and community spirit in Jamaica. Contrary to the often negative media portrayal, she stated that she feels safer in Jamaican downtown areas than in some parts of Nairobi. She emphasizes the protective nature of Jamaicans, especially towards women and foreigners, making it a welcoming environment for travelers.

Kenyans like Dee Mwango view Jamaican culture as a beautiful example of warmth, hospitality, culinary delights, and vibrant social life. This admiration is rooted in personal experiences and the profound connections they feel with the people and the environment. Her reflections underscore a deep appreciation for the unique cultural attributes that make Jamaica an appealing destination for Kenyans and others alike.

Photo – Shorn Arwa