EASTLEIGH, Nairobi- It's now official. The Easleigh council of elders[ Guurt Izili] a board mainly made up of Septogenarian[seventy somethings] Kenyan Somali businessmen has unanimously passed a resolution declaring the Toyota Probox the official commercial use station wagon in that region.
The Probox replaces the Toyota L-touring and it's sister wagon the G-touring which have faithfully and reliably served the region as the ultimate commercial wagons since 1996.
"Before that am not sure what was the official wagon but what am sure of is i really am going to miss my Petrol engine, 1498cc, 262,900 km,Automatic baby " said an emotional Abdishukri Welli aka Abdi Warabe wiping a tear off his eye as he traded in his L-Touring at the Walay autos for a Probox to beat the August 31st deadline.
"It was like a member of the family" he added.
Indeed most Somalis treat their station wagons as a member of the family just like a pet lover does which presents problems for the elders.
"Most families don't want to let go" said Dawood one of the elders.
" But we understand that's why we allowed them to spend as much reasonable time as possible to say goodbyes before ushering in the new era of Proboxes.We are also carrying out free counseling sessions to make them understand change is the only constant in this life" added Dawood.
What about those who don't want to let go at all especially those who just bought their first L or G touring recently- Dawood admit there is little they can do about that but strongly believed peer pressure from business associates, family members, Imams and clan will eventually carry the day.
"The Kenyan Somali is a civilised lot. We understand ours is a tightly knit community which places high value on family. Instead of brute force and unnecessary fines we are tapping into that soft power to eventually achieve our goals" explained an optimistic Dawood.
As of press time, Dawood had already acquired his brand new snow white KBM Probox as a good example for others to follow suit.
" The preffered colour is white specifically to match with our robes during Friday Prayers but i understand we Somalis are so religious we wear robes seven days a week and because we also have a keen eye for Islamic fashion. They come in different colours from Islamic green to Kaaba black. So i believe the verdict is out" said Dawood addressing a press conference of local journalists outside the Sheikh Yusuf Masjid 7th street.
Though critics admit the Probox has slightly more trunk space, improved technology and more or less the same maneuverability as it's predecessors the L and G series of wagons, it has no curves.
"it looks like bread" said Ali Sugow Dhahir a restaurant owner.
At the moment the directive only applies to the Somali community which are a majority in Eastleigh since as they put it "the council respects and recognises the freedoms and liberties of other communities in the area" but elders would like to see it apply to everyone without necessarily violating their freedoms.
The Guurt Izili is considering passing another resolution boycotting transportation services from non-Somalis without a non-compliant station wagon.