World Post Day (9th October, 2018)

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The 9th of October will remind us of the services and value of the post office. The significance of the postal services may not be apparent to the youth of this country, since it has been overtaken by the invention of the Internet and more so the e-mail.

During my youthful days, it was of outmost value when one received a letter. The pride of receiving a letter was overwhelming. In some cases stories were told of students and pupils who wrote letters to themselves just to make their colleagues feel that they were popular. It is not a joke if you come a across the current youth who have no knowledge of writing letter. Thanks to the invention of the e-mail for destroying the creative writing skill that was always seen in letter writing.

One of my sisters was one time lamenting that she could not recall the last time she wrote a letter. Well! I told her if she missed writing letter then she could rekindle that through writing a love letter to her husband, but ensure that she posts it. I spend the better part of my teen at boarding school and I valued receiving letters, postcards and success cards during that time. It was the only way I could keep in touch with family members and friends.

Letter writing was a skill that required good grammar unlike the e-mailing. Student would go out of their way to gram English words in order to use them to impress their friends and boyfriends in their letters. However, letter writing also had some intriguing incidents. For instance stories were told of students who wrote many letters at once and then when enveloping those letters forgot and erroneously mailed their father their boyfriends letters. The student would have sleepless nights wondering what would become of them when their father receives it. There were students who made stamp collecting their hobby too.

 Addressing of the envelope was interesting too. One would be addressed “ditto” meaning “direct it too”. I must confess, not writing an informal letter for a very very long time. I have frequently written job application letters and these has forced me to visit the post office from time to time. Otherwise for most Kenyans what takes them there nowadays are the Government services called “Huduma” and not posting of letters. I have always thought of owing a post office box, but wondered if it would be viable since receiving hardcopy letters is next to impossible of late.

The postal services in Kenyan seems to lack innovation and ideas, it has remained dormant by offering almost the same services for years and seemed stagnant in terms of expansion. When I was a student in South Africa I admired the services offered by the post office there. Postal service offices were in the University and in Estates (Residential areas) there were post office boxes provided, this should be emulated by our country.