I’m going to do three things today.
First I’m going to tell you why I do not care -and frankly, have never cared – about our new constitution. Then I’m going to tell you why I’m not a patriot. But let me start by telling you why you’re all cowards.
It’s 2010: 80 years after Harry Thuku formed the EAA, 60 years after Kenyatta was imprisoned as the leader of the Mau Mau; half a century since over 150,000 innocent Kenyans were dehumanized during the Mau Mau Uprising, with over 1 million others being displaced and held in concentration camps. It’s also been 40 some years since we brought down the Union Jack and raised our own flag and yet here we stand acting like a bunch of senseless slaves.
Here we sit, comfortable in our couches and our lives, content with talking about how f*cked up everything is; and even more content to not do anything about it.
Proud to be Kenyan at a time when being Kenyan means being a part of corruption & police brutality, being parcel to pathetic road systems & overcrowded prisons, illiteracy, backward cultures, racism and tribalism… More dramatically, proud to be Kenyan not despite those things but because of them.
Here we stand, a nation of the poor, disenfranchised and discriminated against, holding our heads high as though the fight has long been over. They say if you can’t beat them, join them. Kenyans stopped trying to beat them with the previous generation. Our generation; the first truly free generation; consists of sheeple who follow Western trends blindly and have mastered the art of finding the easy way out. Be it in crying foul and sitting on benches outside the Hilton Hotel waiting for jobs to descend from the sky, or in becoming professional beggars with hair braid schemes that never come to fruition; we are afraid of the struggle, the sweat and the blood we’d have to shed. We are the generation of complacent professional beggars. We’re afraid to push boundaries and as such allow our leaders to control which walls to push in and when.
Now, just to be clear, when I say “we” or “Kenyans”, I don’t mean all of us. I just mean the critical mass. Because at the end of the day, the critical mass is all that matters. Because even if 100 people decide to move left, there’s 40 million more who can move right. And this doesn’t mean all 40 million need to be behind a cause: in fact, you don’t even need 20 million. All you need is a dedicated million or two to put their feet down, raise their fists up and say “Change something or we will.” That’s all you need for a revolution: a dedicated number of people to get angry at everything that’s wrong. And not get angry and start fighting each other, but get angry and do something about it.
Instead we sit at home throwing verbal darts at the 9pm news and then go out to party any night of the week. Celebrating. As if we won something.
The constitution – bless the souls that worked for it – might as well be bad toilet paper if this is the population we’re going to rely on to enforce it. A people that expects the government to ensure we got our due. This government? I’m sorry, am I meant to believe that the last constitution had enough provisions for them to thrive and get rich, but not us? And if so, how exactly is this one going to be different? Kibaki, Raila or otherwise, THEY DON’T GIVE A SH*T ABOUT YOU, ME OR ANYTHING WE REPRESENT. Nobody will spoon feed you anything. You have to fight for your own rights. Stand up and demand them. We keep this nation moving, together, we can make it stop and listen. Constitution or not, we should all be resolved to make a change.
But alas, that won’t happen.
Many times, I bite my tongue for fear of sounding like a complete hater, but let’s be real, as a unit of people, we DO NOT have our act together. We don’t speak with one voice because we’re constantly bickering and arguing with each other. And we do this for so long, that the most corrupt among us slither their way up the ladder. Once they do, you know what we do? We still our hands out and start begging.
A wise friend told me that people get the leaders they deserve. Next time you look at our leaders and shake your head, don’t feel disappointed in them, feel responsible and ashamed in yourself and your people. For all the complaining we constantly do, isn’t it amusing that the government for the past few decades consists of essentially the same people playing musical chairs every election.
If the leadership is the problem, why don’t we just get rid of them? All of them? Why aren’t there more politically active youths really kicking up dust and preaching revolution? Instead, we bank our hopes on this guy and hope that this time, maybe this time, after 3 decades of being at the helm of this sinking ship, this time he’ll actually do something. I mean, doesn’t it kinda piss you off that ‘Hope’, according to the youth, looks like this?
Clowns, jesters, goons, and pariahs disguised as businessmen or lawyers. And that’s just the best of them. The rest of them – the majority at that – are oversized parasitical leeches and sloths in business suits sucking the sap out of this country and its people. When times get hard, they tighten your belt and go on vacation. When times are good, they tighten your belt even more and take their friends on vacation too.
Greed rules this country in ways some people will never understand. And not because they’re stupid either. It’s simply beyond their realm of comprehension. You can’t possibly explain to a hard working cleaner in a building who rakes in 5,000/= a month that Sonko didn’t flinch when he lost 100million, can you?
The gap between the rich and the poor is not thousands vs. hundreds of thousands or hundreds vs millions. In Kenya, it’s a battle of pennies vs. billions and if you don’t have enough to play the game, you shut up and stay on the sidelines.
And those sidelines are crowded with professional beggars, proud of their condition, scared of what they deserve, hoping for change to come.
I refuse to be one of them. I refuse to be comfortable. I refuse to be content and – because a change is needed – I refuse to be proud of this country. Because this is not the Kenya We Deserve. It’s not the Kenya We Want. It’s not even the Kenya we work for. This is the Kenya that’s been shoved into our lap like prison gruel by the fat fingers of greedy wardens, as they say “Eat it or starve.”
I’d rather starve than partake in this. I’d rather they say I’m not a patriot because I plan to change my country; forcefully if need be. Why?
Because I’m more Malcolm X than Martin Luther, more Huey P. than Mother Theresa. I don’t believe we can take this lying down and they’ll eventually realize the wrong in their ways. Kenyans that they are, they KNOW what they’re doing is wrong, and are proud of it. So although I may not do it on this blog all the time because…well, it’s tiring and depressing and ultimately pointless, I do so in my personal life. As we all should. It’s not about getting in the comments and being up and rowdy saying “We aren’t content, we aren’t complacent”. OK, fine, then what are YOU doing about it? At the end of the day, it’s about getting out there and not masking your anger. It’s about sparking the revolution we’ll never see if you content yourself with…this.
Like Malcolm and Huey, I look at the people I belong to and hang my head before I raise my voice.
It’s sad to see people resigned to being disadvantaged.
Apologies for the occasionally colorful language. This was written in one sitting. One very angry sitting.