Archive for September, 2009

appreciating our cultural diversity in Kenya :walking the talk!

September 3, 2009

Kenyans always wax lyrical on the issue of pride in our unique cultural mix. This, unfortunately, is just hype. Most of us simply pay lip service to such statements and in actual fact hate each others guts. 


This is the reason why we easily go on a killing spree at the least of excuses, and then blame the leaders ostensibly for leading us into temptations.


The presidency has always loomed large in most Kenyans’ minds as the epitome of non appreciation of some cultures, especially those whose population cannot allow them to attain the presidency. This feeling of marginalization is not without merit.  Apparently, once a person gets the presidency he appoints his tribesmen to all the plum jobs-

among other fringe benefits such the Mau


This might not necessarily be true given the fact that very few people of the said tribe actually benefit. But this is beside the point because as the saying goes, justice should not only be done, it should be seen to done. It’s not remotely funny that a certain Mr.Koech,a political analyst, having very insightful knowledge of what’s wrong with the country would get himself tangled and trapped into the same primitive belief. In a recent ‘Citizen TV’ program he went as far as stating that his community’s cows are dying along a water pipeline due to lack of water, chiefly because the ministry of finance and the treasury is staffed with members of one community. If such a learned fellow can reason like that, why would you expect a mere villager to reason any different. They’ve never had the president come from their tribe and even worse, they don’t visualize that as a reality in the near future. In such a case it would be easy to cultivate resentment towards the tribe who seem to be benefiting from the presidency.


The only way forward is to ensure that even those ‘small tribes’ get to have the presidency. This will have various effects:


First, it will practice the preaching that all cultures in Kenya are equal; and that none has a monopoly on the ability to produce presidents.


Secondly, it will be easier to convince Kenyans that there are not many benefits that accrue to the tribe just by virtue of the president hailing from ones tribe. As things stand now, one is hard-pressed to convince members from ‘small tribes’ of this fact given that every other Tom, Wanjiku and Njuguna from Mount Kenya wants to be the president!


Thirdly, it will be a way of walking the talk that we value and appreciate our unique cultural diversity; that we value every Kenyan no matter the tribe.


By making sure that each tribe has an equal chance of leading this country, we shall free ourselves from this tribal baggage being peddled around by politicians, called ‘tribal unity’. In effect, this equality will thaw the tension prevalent among members of different communities allowing normal social interactions as Kenyans thus contributing to eventual ethnic healing.


We could start by prevailing upon the Kikuyu to shelve their presidential ambitions for at least two term… I know, it’s not gonna fucking happen!