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Kenyan men spill the beans on skipping handwashing after visiting washroom

By Winnie Mabel September 23rd, 2023 3 min read

Team ‘nitakojoa hapa’ are the top culprits of urinating in public, even next to a sign that says ‘usikojoe hapa’ (do not urinate here).

You’ve probably seen them. Roadside hawkers, public service transportation drivers and conductors, watu wa mjengo. The world is their oyster and they will urinate when and where the call of nature demands it.

Well, now it would appear that even if they do make it to a washroom, kitted out with an unlimited supply of running water and soap, some people, mostly men, refuse to wash their hands and proceed with life as if they did not just walk into a conference room full of all sorts of germs (read toilets).

This was revealed by a number of Kenyans on X (formerly Twitter) who gave reasons why this is a common occurrence and how people react to this behavior.

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The conversation was sparked by renowned hotelier Mohammed Hersi who asked, “My fellow men, wash your hands after doing your thing at the urinal. Chances of a man walking out without washing their hands from my observation are very high. If you are a man reading this, next time you are in there observe for yourself and if you are a culprit Wacha Ushenzi (stop the stupidity).”

A number of people responded to Mr Hersi and for the sake of ‘kuchezea chini’, Nairobi News will not publish their full names in the sampled responses below:

“I stopped shaking hands ovyo ovyo I only gota people,” said Mr J.Z.

“Sometimes I look at the toilet taps and if I didn’t touch anything else other than my d… I trust it’s cleanliness than that tap,” said Mr S.A.

“A former colleague lady used to decline shaking men’s hands, claiming we men don’t wash our hands after doing our thing,” remarked Mr WSM.

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“The key question is, Sir, is the emphasis more on washing before or after the urinal business. Hear me out,” opined Mr A.B.

“Holding that thing is like holding your nose or ear, do you wash your hands afterwards?” asked Mr N.M.

“Nko na sanitizer; I don’t trust water in hose closets,” said Mr K.D.S.

“I think we should wash our hands before….imagine touching yourself first with hands that have touched everything else!” countered Mr. B.

“I always wash my hands before touching my penis in the urinal and those who see me wonder why. But my penis is definitely cleaner than the hands I’ve been shaking and surfaces I’ve been touching out there. I avoid shaking hands with you Muslims though. And you know why,” said Mr C.Q.

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“Many Kenyan men pee on the road side, on the inside of an open driver door in a traffic jam and on hedges near side walks. Washing their hands is the least of their problems. Nothing shocks me anymore about these men,” commented Mr J.K.

“Your hands are dirty from touching everything. Your thing is clean and stored in a clean cotton bag. Please wash your hands before the urinal,” said Mr R.S.

As the conversation raged on, a data collector/analyst opined that two out of every three men he has seen in Nairobi fail to wash their hands after visiting the washroom.

I love data, I collect it everywhere… for it gives you unique insights. As per my observations in the malls and airports, 2 out of every 3 men in Nairobi metro just pee and walk right out. And I have been collecting this data for almost 10 years now. Mohammed Hersi is spot on,” said Mr Edwin Dande.

What do you think? Is this an endemic or pandemic?