Today is the last day of 2007. I have been working behind the scenes over the last month or so setting everything up so that around mid-January I can begin writing pretty much full time on this blog. I feel forced to write this post early because today is genuinely one of the saddest days of this year for me.
Now to put it in perspective, this year I have damaged a lot of relationships with people, done mean hurtful, disrespectful things that made me feel as bad as the person I hurt, I have been homeless and broke and I have been lonely and scared. None of that feels quite as heavy as what I am feeling today.
Today I feel ashamed; It’s currently 7a.m. and sometime around 2a.m. last night we watched live TV streamed directly from Kenya that bore news that Mwai Kibaki had “won” the election.
Now first of all I must confess that I am in deed quite ignorant of the detail and idiosyncrasies of the Kenyan electoral process however a lot of what I have seen and read from a variety of news sources suggests to me that basically Mwai Kibaki stole his way to power. Now to be entirely honest this doesn’t hurt much; in my opinion that’s how the political game is played, there are a large number of ills associated with politics and I know speaking to Africans this idea is nothing new.
What does hurt me is the ridge that this election in such a short time, less than a month, has caused between basically the Kikuyus and for the most part other tribes in Kenya.
Open the Floor
I would like to open the floor to anyone who is willing to speak honestly about why they think the ridge has been caused and what their perception is on the whole ‘tribal rivalvry’ that is currently taking place.
The Kikuyu Reaction
The reaction of Kikuyu’s hurt because a number of Kikuyus are fully in acceptance of the fact that Kibaki might have stolen the election but their thoughts are:
We won! We won! Can you imagine that kahee (for those who don’t know, this is an uncircumcised boy) was almost ruling our country! But Thank you God….we won! It was good that Kibaki rigged it…..but he should have been wiser about it wink wink
The Other Tribes in Kenya on the Other Hand Have a Very Different Reaction:
This is worse than colonialism! This is worse than Moi! Those Kikuyu dogs have had a stranglehold on power since we got our independence and now they have stolen our country. We have two choices:
1) Take to the streets in an epic confrontation that will either end in death or freedom from Kibaki and his Mount Kenya mafia. It is better to die than not be free….
2) Those Kikuyu dogs have five years just five years and then hell shall have no fury like a (insert your tribe here) scorned.
Now these are bad enough. But add to that:
1) No one seemed to be voting for a canidate, everyone seemed to be voting and making their choice- and rest asssured we in the diaspora voted vicariously and looooouuudly- based on who they don’t want; either we don’t want the kahee (This word came up way too many times) or we must get rid of those Kikuyu thieves (and I know every tribe probably has their special name for a Kikuyu)
2) No one seemed focussed on the fact that they were voting in people to perform PUBLIC SERVICE; No one held the leaders accountable to anything. Do you remember 1992 when people were taking to the streets, it was to demand democracy? Do you remember 2002 when rainbow was the right color, we were demanding an end to corruption? Since then it’s been a downhill battle; Oranges vs Bananas may as well have a battle between a team of oranges vs a team of bananas because basically everyone barracked for their team with very little consideration of the consequences of sticking with their team. Raila vs t in such chaos”
Ladies and gentlemen can you imagine if every time we sat down to engage in political discourse we took all these small brilliant ideas that people have to improve our countries and basically used the discussion to formulate plans to make these visions and plans realities. What if we took these vague abstractions and reflected on them, structured them and turned them into manifestos, decrees and codes of conduct? What if every time we left a political discussion we were leaving with a plan of action, just a tiny little thing we could do to get us closer to a shared ideal of what Kenya will look like for all 40+ million of us? What a fantastic alternative don’t you think to the name calling, the irrational insults and the constant pedantic critiques of each other.
Ladies and gentlemen I know that I have rambled for a long time and I want to make sure that I at least leave you with something useful. Ladies and gentlemen:
1) Rather than focus on the poison that is people of other tribes, why not ask the question, what can we learn from the beautiful history of all the tribes in Kenya that can make today better for me and my fellow Kenyans and tomorrow better for all our children?
2) Rather than have discussions on tactic why not take the time to formulate a collective vision using absolutely magnificent tools like Mashada and using all the brilliant tactics we have come up with over the years to get us to this wonderful shared ideal.
Thank you and I wish nothing but blessings upon AAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL (absoloutely all) Africans.