I’m certainly not the first to delve into the subject of #KenyaFeb28. The lovely 3CB, who’s also a writer on DR, touched on the subject on her blog. Another blogger Kachwanya eulogized the event weeks before its perceived death. Let me also clarify that though I am in support of #KenyaFeb28, I do not speak on behalf of the organizers. I just happen to a be a blogger and tweep (@Nittzsah) who doesn’t mind singing the National Anthem
, for the whole world to see and for some politician to get into their thick skull that Kenyans are capable of uniting for a common cause, despite their tribal differences. Should I repeat that statement for the delusional cynics?
Now tweeps and bloggers alike have been dissing this idea calling it a lost cause and its followers a brainwashed lot. It’s all good. Every man, and woman, is entitled to his/ her opinion. But from my observation so far I have come to categorize tweeple into the following categories:-
- Those that don’t know what KenyaFeb28 is about and would rather diss it instead (the Haters?)
- Those that don’t know what KenyaFeb28 is about and won’t ask (the Ignorant?)
- Those that don’t know what KenyaFeb28 is about and have assumed that it is a group of crazed revolutionaries trying to pull an Egypt, (dare I say a Libya?) on this government (the Speculators?)
- Those that believe that KenyaFeb28 has violence written all over it and would rather bury their heads in the sand and not know what it’s really about (the too Chicken?)
- Those that know what KenyaFeb28 is about but would rather not get involved anyway based on some excuse that: (a) they’ll be working that day (b) Kenyans have other channels to air their grievances, if that is the objective (c)singing the national anthem will do nothing to change anything (d)they don’t know the actual people behind this idea (e) their pals won’t be going anyway (f) they think the cops will show up with rungus and clobber their nuts to pulp (g) all the above (the Absconders?)
- Those that know what KenyaFeb28 is about but have forgotten the National Anthem and are not ashamed of themselves (the Unpatriotic?) One of our avid DR readers and a good tweep of mine, @Shiku-K, was telling me how a fellow tweep asked her whether “knowing the national anthem is a measure of patriotism” To this tweep, I’d like to ask – if knowing the Lord’s Prayer is a sign of Christianity, why isn’t knowing your National Anthem a sign of Patriotism?
- Those that know what they’ll be doing onFeb28 and are willing to participate by singing the National Anthem, all three stanzas, in either English or Swahili (Patriotic Kenyans.., and I’m one of them)
Let me reiterate what I said in response to Kachwanya’s post: Anyone who hangs around twitter long enough can sense the air of importance with which tweeps carry themselves. And yes, they are justified to swagger on a hundred thousand trillion. They’re among a select 18,000 out of a possible 40million Kenyans who’ve figured out Twitter and how Facebook sucks monkey balls when compared to it. These same folks, in their little numbers have turned the world’s spotlight on Kenya with such trending topics as #KCPE2010 and #Makmende. And for that, most tweeps feel like an indomitable force. But then I ask, when will Kenyans on Twitter ever do something significant on their TLs and blogs, and by extension – their lives? KenyaFeb28 just calls on them to sing the National Anthem, their National Anthem no matter where they are and who they are with. An anthem they sang for eight years in primary school and another four years in high school. Why do some tweeps suddenly find this a difficult task? Is it because they fit into one of the bulleted descriptions above, except, of course, the last?
KenyaFeb28 is not even asking tweeple to display their chest-thumping, smarter-than-the-next-guy-swag, as is displayed on their witty tweets and great blogs. All your being asked is to unite with Kenyans of all backgrounds, sing your anthem and remind your leaders that as one people, we are the force to reckon with, not them. Or are we too comfortable with our well off backgrounds and our middle class living? Do we have to be subjected to the poverty that the “guys in Kibera , Mathare, Kawangware etc” we assume experience, to rise up and make a difference? And is that how we will always think of these ‘slum’ dwellers- as the perfect protesters, who we will send to the front lines against the dreaded GSU while we happily sit at home and tweet away about how one of them just got shot by a “stray” bullet as we have been so faithful to tweet and twit pic on the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and now Libya.
Tweeps keep talking about how Kenya is a tribal nation, how all 40-something tribes of us are as wide apart as the poles and how we will never unite for a common cause. Indeed, we are good at diagnosing the problem but which one of you tweeps has come up with a solution? Well guess what? The folks behind KenyaFeb28 have; simply by reminding us that we have at least one thing that unites us Kenyans – our National Anthem. And it probably is the only thing that we can hold on to at such desperate times, when the new Constitution threatens to fail us and when the flag we love so much has been insulted by sitting cabinet ministers.
Tweeps, we at least agree on one thing – we want change in every institution. And the first step is to rub off the lines that divide us, more so the tribal lines.
So I hope that you, like me, will heed to the KenyaFeb28 call:-
Amkeni ndugu zetu
Tufanye sote bidii
Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu
Nchi yetu ya Kenya
Tuwe tayari kuilinda