According to my birth certificate, I was born in Kitale General Hospital in Trans Nzoia. Who cares? Am glad you asked. Honestly, no one cares. Not even me. Allow me to explain why I brought it up in the first place.
See, like many of you, I am tired – dead beat! (If you right click on the word tired it will show you other synomyms that might help drive the point home). We can’t keep coming back to this conversation year in year out. We have got to deal with this issue once and for all.
Last week the social media was awash (right click) with hate speech and incitement and abuse and fliers and photos and opinions and speculations and arggghhh… enough things to make you explode! (After using the word explode, I now have security agents listening in as well)
Sadly, as we always do when something bad happens and we feel helpless, we played the tribe card. What a shame. I read a heartbreaking account of how someone spent the night on the toilet floor on the Daily Nation Online, but when I got to the comments people were talking more about tribe than the trauma that person and many others will have to live with! Suddenly, we had become one! (And with one I mean individuals).
If our young generation commonly referred to as the “xaxa” generation (ages between 16 -25 years) are so bitter and bold to talk so loosely on social media about another tribe, where is our hope as a country? I thought my generation was so radical in denouncing our father’s tribalism that we even came up with names like “Neema Imani”. Hadn’t we outrun this hatred? How is it then that our younger brothers and sisters have already “been affected” and have taken the war to unfathomable levels on Social media?
Here is some truth you may not want to hear (it’s a bit foolish for me to engage in this conversation but it’s necessary). You and I have failed our country. More than anyone else, you and I should take responsibility for where we are. First of all let’s get this idea that if a president is from your tribe, everything is working for you. You are a fool if that’s how you think. We have had two kikuyu presidents right? Well do you know that in the last 11 years I have bought milk and bread at the same cost as everyone else? No special price because the president is from my tribe!
I went through school like everyone else. I don’t have an honorary degree from state house. I have to go through campus like everyone else – and pay. There is no bursary or fund for the president’s tribe. I stayed without work for a couple of years and just like other Kenyans, I too worry about my security. I too want a safe environment to invest my future in. I get a cold like everyone else and when I go to the hospital, the doctor doesn’t give me priority because of my tribe. I get in line.
I wish they asked for my ID when I go to the supermarket or board a matatu but guess what, that old fifty shillings you got as change came from me. When a driver speeds I fear for my life just like you do. My landlord doesn’t care about who is in state house, if its end month he understands one language – rent! I don’t have benefits at work because of my tribe. If I don’t perform as per my contract, I will lose my job regardless of my tribe.
None of the presidents know my name we have never met we may never do. My fate is the same as yours and same as that kid being born in most remote part of this country. So guess what my friend, you are you worried about your country? So am I. If this country burns to the ground, (FYI that will be you and I who will do it) there is no secret tunnel that leads to State House and a door that has a password in my tribe. Nope. If we burn this country to the ground for whatever insane reason, you and I will share the same fate, brother.
So if you think that the president is doing something wrong, most likely so do I! If you think that the president is making bad decisions and that more focus needs to be put on making sure that citizens are safe, well, that makes two of us. You voted for the president so that he can work for you and so did I. Do you feel like some things are not going as they should? Guess what so do I!
Is the point home? No? When your child is sick and you rush him/her to hospital do you sit and wait for a doctor from your tribe to come and treat your child? Don’t you just want anyone who can help your child? I am so sure that if I took today’s newspaper and looked through the obituaries there must be some people from the president’s tribe who have passed on and there is nothing he can or will do about it. The family will mourn like any other.
Lets a talk about retaliatory groups or whatever your tribe calls them now that they seem to be “our tribes” salvation. When these groups sit and plan to revenge “our blood” will that bring back my loss? When you cause pain to innocent people because of their tribe in the name of fighting back for your community, how are you helping me get back what I have lost? Who appointed you to be my tribes’ watch guard or spokesperson? What qualifications do you have to occupy that role? So a politician somewhere gathered a group of people and commissioned them to work for us? A politician?
Come on Kenyans! None of us before birth was given an application form to fill and tick which tribe they want to belong to. But now that we are here, can we make what we have work for us? I did not choose to be born in Trans Nzoia but that’s where I was born. If you wake up one day and evict me where do you expect me to go? Where would you go?
I am so tired. I am tired of politicians or anyone else including “clan heads “using us as dogs; fetch this bite that sit, down boy, bad boy… Surely by now we ought to know better. Let me tell you what your regular leader and politician wont. You are a side show in his theatrics. While you were busy fighting this and that community, your President, his Deputy, The CS, The Judiciary and your local Mps did not deliver on their promises – unless of course incitement and hate speech was part of their manifesto.
My point is this; we are all affected by the same things. High cost of living, unemployment, insecurity, poor education and health service and many other things. Chasing you away from my area won’t make my MP deliver on his promises. If we don’t have schools in our area, burning down your house won’t make us educated.
As long as God has given you and I today, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our children and most of all to our country. Don’t fall for the lie that this country belongs to the president or the Governors or the MPs. It belongs to you and I. When they are gone and often it’s pretty soon, their kids will be in international schools and their businesses will be thriving. You and I on the other hand, will still be here. Our children will still have to go to public schools, public hospitals and public toilets. So before that public servants leaves office we better make sure that everything public is at its best condition.
It’s not about tribe; it should never be about tribe. It should be about a better country for you and me. No matter where you are and no matter which community you come from. You should be getting the best services. If we are not, someone is not doing their work, and that person should account. Do you know what you want? That’s where we all need to begin these conversations.