Monday, October 22, 2012


There is romance in the air. A story that would put any penned by ol' Will Shakespeare to shame. Romeo and Juliet? It would make that read like those rambling compositions we wrote as kids where the sole purpose was to throw in a mention of tom tom drums. It's a story spun and told by Kenyans and the only thing I can compare it to is that opium of the prepubescent girl, Twilight. Don't ask me how I know what prepubescent girls read because that's irrelevant to the topic. That story is the tale of one William Ruto. And the tale is called Kenyan Politics.

So for the lucky among us you may have no knowledge of either Kenyan politics or Twilight. You are blessed. Stop reading. For the rest of us I will try to draw similarities. First Twilight is about a disturbed girl (Heavens I hate Kristen Stewart) who can't decide between an old crusty guy who happens to be a sequined vampire and a younger one who just happens to be a werewolf. So yeah, just normal teenage filled angst. Same thing happened to me when I was 13. I was the werewolf.

Then there is the second scenario. A politician being pursued by two suitors. And we are loving it. We are eating it up like ugali saucer from Mama Benta's. The media has us glued to out screens every single time they follow one Bill Ruto from random hotels and in people's homes trying to figure out what his next political move is. This dude could just be having an affair with multiple women and we would be none the wiser because all we want to know is whether he was meeting Raila or Uhuru.

Hope the similarities are coming out clearly. The only problem is I can't figure out who Edward or Jacob are in this case because people go crazy over that whole Team Edward and Team Jacob stuff. Which is the same thing we do with our political leaders. Even our Jacob and Edward have had beef from back in the day. Way way back. Their daddies had issues and they just carried it forward. Ultimately Bella (Who I hate more since she showed up on my blog) makes a choice and kinda has to live with people on both ends trying to make a meal of her.

That's where the similarities end. No one here is an innocent victim waiting for salvation. That said the Kenyan political scene is way more savage than a pack of werewolves or vampires could ever imagine. And thus the die is cast. It looks like the next president is going to be chosen by Bella Swan while she tries to figure out who will tend to her needs better. 

I love watching the political discussions on social media. There is a sense of patriotism that wells up inside me when I see ordinary Kenyans (and some not so ordinary ) demanding better. Asking questions. Starting trends. Being the revolution and the evolution. As at the last opinion polls 8% of adults didn't know who they were going to vote for. In open discussion I think many would want to have us believe they are not sure. But deep inside we know. We always know. And that knowledge scares us. 

Who will take the princess home? 
Just like Twilight, Kenyan politicians have rabid fans. (See what I did? Do you). The only problem is that most Kenyans can't give you reasons for supporting the people they do. A 12 year old can give you more reasons for their 1st choice high school than a voter can for their candidate of choice. We are unable to have a clear political discussion because we are scared of losing. Because either Jacob or Edward has to win. 

I happened to be watching Newsroom just before I wrote this. We keep asking for that kind of discourse. To talk about the facts. What are these promises being made by the guys who want to rule the country? The truth is we don't care. (Cue to the outrage) You honestly don't. All you care about is the least casualty to your interests whoever wins. That's why Kenyans will wax poetic on social media about democracy and the facts then retreat to ushago  to vote. Where it's ok to be among your own people. To go with the flow. 

And thus it's not just Bella who has a choice to make. We do too. To rise above our very base fears and allow an honest political discussion or settle for the tried and tested ways. If you think that we aren't ruled by our fears then tell me this. During the debates if Ole Kiyapi wipes the floor with all the candidates, do you think Kenya will vote him in as our 4th president? Honestly.


  1. This is a wonderful piece and good job on the analogy. 

  2. Glad you guys enjoyed it. Might as well make it completely obvious.