“Enunciate your tribe; let it decide your circumstance,” a friend spoofed via a phone call yesterday when I asked her how I would approach an assertive legislative matter without having to give out an old dirty brown envelope, because I wouldn’t even afford to buy a new bahasha to begin with. With an era where a tribe decrees your integrity; I was beggared, My mind was ridiculed with questions. I am half tribe, something explained perfectly in an article- The Last Tribe by Jackson Biko. What if I met a hostile tribal receptionist? Or the Mkubwa was just too rigid to the idea that tribal borders is an interference to development rather than a flammable material to conflict? A couple of nose bleeds cut my journey short, I do not know if I will get a cordial person or a myopic person on my rendezvous to the public office.
Have you ever entered a public office and the first thing you catch is the receptionist having an accent from your tribe and you smile? If you have encountered myopic tribal individuals, they make it easy for one to say, “That is not tribalism; it’s consolation in Kenya.” Unanticipated in such a scenario, you can afford to smile and state your order of business. If you are in urgent need; you steer an accent as well. I have done it before because; I was that determined! I once entered an office in Western Kenya and immediately got myself into the mood of- “Naesako ona mukupwa. Niuliseko, nawesa chua ni wapi ntapewako sile form. Ntapatako wapi sile form sa I’T.” But unless I am getting my I’D daily or have issues to sort out with a company crippled by nepotism- I am doomed! I will need the brown bahasha and I cannot afford it. Those are the lengths we go to; to get public services that we pay taxes for. Another day, I pulled a Kale accent, trust me my grandma will be proud of my Kalenjin roots and accent, not theshameful level I stooped at. That was rock bottom’s basement! BUT Guess what; I got quick service!
Yesterday evening in the bus on my way home; I eavesdropped on two Kenyans contending on ‘political’ matters, but the funny thing is; they were approaching the same issue. It would have been a dynamic and enlightening argument had it been assenting, but they had methodized their arguments in a tribal idiosyncrasy to the extent that they didn’t realize they were both complaining about the government. They were condemning the commander in chief for inadequacy in reinforcements, the pungent debt to the increasing nepotism, bribery, crime, crookedness, malfeasance, fraudulence and extortion.
So; whom do we blame? There are CORRUPT ministers, CS, Government officials, very rigid and conflicted civil society and cunning elected leaders, there is BILLIONS of shillings lost and then; there is us! We do not have a united ground. We are no different; we have tribal based political affiliations among ourselves! Most days, we conflict on grounds of tribes rather than ideologies. The same ideologies will never occur along different tribal lines. A Luo will barely point out Raila was wrong in a given context and a Kikuyu will battle a Luo in honor of the president- even when a certain policy affects them both. That’s how comfortable we are with disdaining the core issues and hating each other on tribal lines. This; is a major bestowing factor to underdevelopment in the country which contravenes sustainability.
Guess what? Regardless of whom is president or what tribe you are; mashinani in any area are the same. We still pay taxes and we go through similar societal issues; despite the fact that we do so in an extremely different magnitude. We might be facing different challenges dependent on culture and geographical location; but it is the same circumstance – we all need innovation and sustainability. By now; I do not have an eligible presidential candidate in mind. No one has convinced me they are going to change the state of the nation. Truth is; the Kenyan government debt to GDP is up to 53%. What team is going to work competently for the eminence of the nation?
We should embrace the bond that we have as Kenyans online and extend it to real life situation. How about we call out BS when we spot it? But again; some people are so addicted to oppression, they will do anything to be oppressed. Correct me if I am wrong but: There is a bond that I have come to experience that comes with wearing the Kenyan wrist band. I have made friends off it. “Where did you get yours made?” We often ask each other. It is the perfect conversation starter. An identity actually. Can we just embrace a mentality where Kenya is a nation and it needs a face lift to make our lives admissible? Can’t we use our tribes as a strengthening factor to fight against political shenanigans rather than pacifying them? It is time to talk sustenance! Is it? Because this cruel marriage must work as we have no other home and as Ndii’s article, “let’s talk divorce” aligns our plights- especially the possibility of losing lives for a war that could be avoided; perhaps we should go our separate ways and talk divorce. Regardless; can I have my upkeep as we ?