The story of Kijabe Mission Station as reported in the Standard this week reads like a Utopian dream. The town has very high moral standards dating back to colonial times when severe punishments were meted on anyone indulging in vices. There’s no loud music either from shops or matatus like is common in most other towns. Commotion and disorder are unheard of.
Shops in this place are not allowed to stock cigarettes and alcohol and any new investor has to sign a code of conduct prohibiting him from selling the same and any other immoral products. Any shop keeper found breaching these rules could earn himself an expulsion from the town but if he’s remorseful and apologizes, then he may be allowed to continue operating. This was easier to implement in the past than it is now because most shops were owned by church leaders anyway. The church now employs guards who go round and conduct inspections in shops in an attempt to uphold this rule. But generally these standards are getting more and more difficult to maintain especially with modern life, and employment of professionals from other areas.
Cohabiting, unwanted pregnancies and children born out of wed-lock are unacceptable. Of course they’re unacceptable everywhere but in Kijabe Mission Station it actually works. Men are not expected to laze around with young women – infact unmarried women are not allowed to be in the company of men after 7.00 pm. This must be difficult even though it’s a mission town and parents there must be a very happy lot.
Life in Kijabe Mission Station is not easy for the youth although it works out well for them in the long run. Many are known to take a sabbatical from their constraining hometown to go to other areas and indulge. Others go to colleges in other urban areas and have their big break but when they go back home they have to follow the rules again. Others sneak into the forest to indulge in a puff here and there. Or some other sins.
Now if only all urban centers could be like this place.