How Kenyan are you? If there was a Kenyanometer that was going around like the tetanus shots, would you be found infected and in need of immunization? Are you Kenyan enough to pass any test including the potassium permanganate one? What does it even mean to be Kenyan? Do we have a unique identity that defines us as a nation, as a people as a state or as a community? Who is a true Kenyan and how do you identify a Kenyan from the crowd?
Clearly the national dress failed even before take-off. The loyalty pledge which used to be one of the symbols of national unity is no longer recited in schools. We barely know more than one stanza of the national anthem and our national heritage that used to be a unifying factor is our greatest source of division. Who then knows what it means to be Kenyan? What do you tell your child to be when you are teaching to be Kenyan? What’s in your Kenyan curriculum for “Think and Act like a Kenyan”?
Who then is a Kenyan anyway? Is a Kenyan that driver who can clearly see an ambulance behind him and hear the sirens and as the others drivers struggle to give way, you are unmoved. It’s not your fault that there is traffic or that we don’t have emergency lanes right? What about the fool that decides that an ambulance needs a chase car risking their own life, the lives of other road users and the lives of the people in the ambulance too. Is that a Kenyan?
Who is more Kenyan, the one that hikes bus fare because it rained without caring the impact that will have on a fellow citizen or the one that pays and validates the one who hiked the fare? Is watching someone stealing from another person and instead of raising alarm, you clutch on to your bag and look the other way Kenyan? What about taking advantage of desperate citizens; asking for sexual favors in exchange for employment, using your authority to intimidate colleagues in your workplace, taking advantage of the people you swore to protect. Could this be Kenyan?
Are you a Kenyan if you as a leader, never deliver on a single promise to your electorate or are you Kenyan if you accept that your leader will never do anything for you to the point of not holding them accountable? Is being a Kenyan abusing your voting right by voting for a leader who does not have leadership qualities just because he/she is from your community? Is being a Kenyan allowing yourself to be used to bring harm to fellow Kenyans? Is it standing up for tribe or upholding cultural practices that are harmful even to your own children? Is being a Kenyan following instructions and orders from “territory kings” without question?
Do you litter your environment without a second thought? Do you make hateful comments about other communities in the name of humor and comedy? Do you use your social media platforms to preach ethnic hate and obscenity? Do you use media to sell wrong values to your viewers or even worse are you compromised to hide the truth from fellow countrymen? Are you one of the citizens who tore up a woman’s dress because according you, she was indecent? Were you the one who instead of fighting for her stood there laughing cheering on and worse still recording the entire thing with your phone? Is this what being a Kenyan means to you?
Was it you who gave that bribe so that the authorities could look the other way and you “got away”? Are you in a position to employ deserving and qualified citizens but you would rather employ your family and unqualified personnel for your own gain? Do you deny deserving students the opportunity to come to your institution after they have worked hard because you “sold” their slots to the highest bidder? Have Kenyans entrusted you with a certain responsibility and you don’t deliver as per the agreement whether as a leader, a doctor, a teacher, a mechanic an employer or employee?
I clearly don’t know what being a Kenyan is anymore but I am sure of what it’s not. Who will tell us who a Kenyan is? Is it you Mr. President? Is it our Education System or our religious institutions? Is it our parents and our communities? Is it our employers or fellow Kenyans? Where will we go to learn how to be Kenyan? Who is that model that for us who desire to be Kenyan will look up to?
Do we need to develop a shot that we can immunize our newborns to prevent them from being un-Kenyan? Who will lay down their life for this cause; that your children and mine and their children’s children would reap the fruit of being Kenyan? Will you?