Tuesday, May 22, 2012


People keep trying to remind me I am Kenyan. It is the oddest thing. I will be sitting there, having my dinner, trying to come up with the answers to world peace (like every Tom, Dick and Harry) when some guy showed up on my tv screen. Then he prattles on and on about how what being Kenyan means to him. I hardly ever listen to him because...well because being Kenyan means I tend to ignore people when they tell me stuff I already know.

The first time that happened I was thrown into a complete panic. The dude got on my screen and finished the whole speech with "Mimi ni Mkenya. Wewe ni Mkenya. Sisi ni Wakenya!" Dude, I just freaked out. I remember diving into my wallet to find my ID card like an addict looking for a fix. A politician looking for a sound bite. A high school girl looking for Trey Songz' lyrics. See? Utter chaos. I fished it out and stared at it. Yes. Turns out the guy on tv wascompletely on the money. Turns out I am Kenyan.

So now I walk around town and see stickers with 'Mkenya Daima' emblazoned on them. I am assuming it's a campaign directed directly towards me. I tend to wake up every morning with this crazy idea that I am Polish or German...What? One of those really tan German or Polish people. Don't be racist. They exist. I go around town being polite and handing out flowers and ribbons to little children and feeding the poor then someone just jumps out of the bushes and proceeds to ask me weird questions.

But really? Mkenya daima? I don't mean to be a stick in the mud but then again that's something I don't quite seem to forget. I wake up knowing I am Kenyan. I didn't think it would wear off at some point. Like I would wake up one day and it would have faded off like an old shirt.I remember I am Kenyan when I get on the mat and Mwalimu King'ang'i shakes that blasted kayamba. Why? Because I start wondering whether under Kenyan law assault with a deadly weapon covers kayambas. It's in the cop's "gijana unaenda wapi?" and the patron's "Niletee kama yake."

There is a state of affairs being peddled where we think to be Kenyan is to lose our identity. Like you are supposed to be patriotic and that should be the end of it. We didn't have chaos in 2007 because we had forgotten we are Kenyan. We don't get robbed blind by the political class because we are Kenyan. We don't put food on the table, or get struck in traffic or rock at TPF because we are Kenyan. We have to be individuals first. Individuals who aspire for so much more.

A simple question posted on a friend's facebook wall. He asked "What has Uhuru Kenyatta done for this country in his political career?" Simple enough, right? A day later, the comments were mostly about how Raila has done this or that. The rest were insults about how he could post such a question. I am sure the results would have been the same if the personalities were reversed. And these were responses from smart people. Graduates. The cream of the crop. We see it everywhere. New minds weighed down by prehistoric thinking.

So spare a moment when you are casting stones against 'those politicians' who we have come to demonise and think about where you stand on any issue. What is informing those ideas? I never forget I am Kenyan. I can't. This isn't condemnation of those patriotic campaigns. But without a change in how we think...in how we view the world, then being Kenyan just may not be enough.


  1.  You're too spot-on right now...Well said. I once tried to say the same thing but it got lost in translation/exasperation.

  2. Truth be told, the folks killed and those who killed in 2007/8 were equally Kenyan. Unless we have a change of mindset, we will remain in the same shit. I stand up guilty as charged, I refrain from all politics and rightfully get the leaders I deserve. But still, am disillusioned everyday, seems hopeless completely!

  3. The root of your concern lies within the accomplished feat of y=1/x as a global governing principle. Read about this math function. It is very basic and very obvious, which is why it is almost impossible to see. If you graph this function, then imagine that graph to be symbolic of a person's development, you'll notice how no matter what your values for y and x are, the graph never touches zero. The implication for personal development is a life without the luxury of self-indexing, because whenever you approached the value of zero (seeing your true nature in a mirrored reflection that has not been corrupted by proximal stimulus) the inner workings of the function speed you away from that true zero point. You may easily, make this analogy applicable to city, state, nation and country. Hence, any revolution fails due to the root-cause of this function at the core of our global collective psyche; embedded in this function is the feature of mutually exclusive competing interest, and sects...the demands of nationalism destroying the ontic dialogue of self...self locked in competing interests with the demands pseudo-second self gorging on proximal stimulus. The ontic dialogue of distal stimulus is left orphaned on all development fronts. More can be understood by reading Goebus Ontological Dialogues [in] verse participation mystique.