I have restrained myself enough. Long enough have I focussed my energies on matters more instrumental to my personal life and of those worth lending my mental faculties’ abilities too. Intellectual property, international humanitarian law, investments and securities, and the persistent dabble in matters history, science and literature. It’s a satisfying life. It is also an ignorant one. One that tries to block out the morass that goes on daily around the average Kenyan, being fed lies, corruption and substandard service.
Before, I found it easy to comment on daily political events, maybe spurred on by a certain naivety that adolescence gratefully endowed me. Even then, the demagogy never failed to escape me. I can thank a proper exposure to ethical concepts in my childhood for that, as well as some forays of my own into unchartered waters.
And it is with such exposure in mind that I choose to discern the past year (and two months). We have been fed the usual lies by the Government and its equally inept opposition, and begged to turn equally blind eyes to the realities that face us. Instead, the powers that be propose an all-so-predictable form of combativeness, whose effects lay way too fresh in our minds. Nevertheless, hapless Kenyans rally to a call for action.
Mass action, they call it. The masses rally. Why? Because it’s a democracy. For what? Because he said so. So who is he? He’s that guy, you know; one of those scions of a greater age in whom hopes of millions supposedly lie. He says, we do. Why? Because we must dialogue. DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS! And after the rally, what then? Throw a few more stones, eh? Or hear of another hundred slaughtered in the Tana Delta and blame it on the other side?
And in the alternate corner of the ring (because that is what it has been drawn up to be: a championship battle of sorts), foolish questions of manhood are brandished in the air, garnished with an air of bravado and passion to engage the not-all-too-discerning masses.
In the middle ground of all this, stands a goody-two-shoes middle class, ever happy to sit in their air-conditioned apartments, complain about slow internet that can’t allow them to stream today’s news broadcast, strewn with the usual political garbage. Keyboard warriors: laptops and tablets at the ready, tweeting and posting with witty abandon (if at all that is possible), blogging and updating Facebook statuses whenever the boss isn’t looking. Ironically enough, I almost fit oh-so-smugly in that category. It’s sad, I know.
If I do, then it’s unfortunate. But I will try to play my part. Speak my mind and try to sway wayward thought where it may be. Challenge thoughts and speech that misleads by shining the light of reason and logic, aware to the possibility of even my own logic being misinformed. The mark of great men is being able to entertain other peoples’ opinions without having to accept them.
And so I will pose my opinion to the faceless yet presumably great men and women who happened to stumble upon this clueless rant.
When a Government you fervently support and voted in, voting “six-piece” from the ground up, only for each and every level of it to serve you the very same raw deal this nation has received for 51 years, what say you? Do you continue to blindly proclaim unquestioning loyalty, or do you hold them to task? When they repeat the same hatred-filled vitriol of 07/08, and you, (supposedly) educated and all, feed into it openly because (s)he’s your tribesman, of what good are you? When you get the chance to right your wrongs, whose effect you have endured for the previous five years, and yet choose to prolong you own suffering, who do you have to blame? Mwiba wa kujichoma….
And to the ever combative mass actioners on both sides of the divide, claiming that we must rally to Baba, to protect our Uthamaki, how much of Baba and that uthamaki put bread on your table in the morning? When’s the last time you had bread on your table anyway? The darned thing now costs as much as my fare to town! You claim you want dialogue, very well. That seems like a fair request. He says that that should only apply to matters not already governed by the Constitution…well that’s legally sound. But you all refuse to budge, for what?
I’ll tell you what. Political mileage. That’s what a disillusioned electorate offers, especially one marred by historical divisions that seemed to have been whitewashed over. You are pawns in this expansive and emotion-ridden chess-game. The kings and queens already have their endgame sorted out, their more beneficial affairs running all-so-smoothly in the background, even trading with each other. Typical Machiavellian society.
Summarily, I’m angry. Angered by the nonsense I see daily. I’ve seen colleagues, some whom I shared my most intellectually enlightening years with, sucked into the bowels of the monsters that rage this nation. Tribalism, corruption and demagogic politics are what they breathe daily, behind the scenes, afraid to show their true colours. Even present colleagues, in the halls of legal study, predictably drawn into the heated arenas of politics, turning blind eyes to the very legal reason and logic they are infused in daily.
Above that, however, I’m sad. Sad that in little over twenty years, we’ve seen the very push for democracy that Kenyans died for reduced to a notion personal gain for a few political elite. Sad that every day I leave the house, my security is not secured. Between me and my night’s sleep lies a grenade-throwing, gun-wielding fanatic who falsely believes himself to be Muslim. And in support of his mistaken actions stands and equally bewildering security system, strewn with exotically cooked (pun intended) stories, theologically-motivated policing solutions and misplaced accents (actually this one just makes me laugh). There’s nothing more disconcerting than someone trying to reassure you of your safety when he doesn’t believe in his own, armoured vehicle and all.
15,000 personnel rallied at a whim to “protect” a rally, while hundreds die at the valued Coast where we expect tourists to valiantly visit. Who are you fooling?
As it stands, this nation needs help. Not aid or just anything, but something like a desperate grab at the remote and hitting “RESET”. We can’t go on like this. A lying Government unsure of its own self, an equally inept opposition more focused on the next elections that being the people’s watchdog and a deluded electorate feeding into the lies self-serving politicians serve them.
It will take time, a long time, but there are a few good men. I will do my part, which I’m still trying to figure out. I’m no activist, just an angry Kenyan who thinks being a keyboard warrior isn’t enough. Our country needs us.
PS: I will leave with you with a few curated thoughts, some that I agree with and other that i deplore but include, just for perspective.