Why are the much touted peaceful Kenyans at war with themselves?

Since I do not have political hair on my chest, and I do not wish to have them, I am never very keen on the so-called big stories and tend to read the briefs which do not make any sense to political analysts.

My job, though, dictates that I read them, but if I had a choice, I could have ignored them altogether because the more Kenya's politics change, the more they remain the same — and Kenya's big stories are just about politics.

Thus, I read the briefs, the stories that say so a lot about the Kenyan society, and give an insight in to the collective mindset of a nation which is at war with itself, yet keeps on blaming foreigners.

Whenever I start reading those briefs, and I encounter a sentence with the word "killed" my mind races to a forum I once attended and where some non-Kenyans gave an indictment of the Kenyan society.

One of the gentlemen acknowledged that when it comes to online wars, Kenya wins hands down since Kenyans have taken on almost every (African) country that crossed their path on new media platforms, and beaten black and blue with words.

These are a people who are winning wars with their fingers — going atwitter on all media platforms till the adversary throws in the towel and issues an apology and/or withdraws the statement that so much offended Kenyans.

He was quick to point out that once, a certain enemy beat Kenya in this so-called online war.

For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.

During the Westgate Mall attack, AlShabaab started thumping its chest online and Kenyans started hitting back in their characteristic style.

Unfortunately, the terrorists were not backing down, and Kenyans had to appeal to Twitter Inc to close down the account — only for Alshabaab to open another one and start taunting Kenyans.

Every time an account was closed, another one would come up and start taunting the hurting Kenyans who did not know whether mattresses were exploding or their gallant soldiers were shooting in the air to celebrate their victory over safes and such like contraptions that hinder their progress when they want to rescue cash and other valuables.

And so, the gentleman concluded that Kenyans needed such "strong" enemies who can put them in their place, and show them that the world does not revolve around them as they tend to think.

The most interesting observation the gentleman — who is a respected African because of his insightful, incisive, well-researched and informative articles — made is that Kenyans tend to dismiss others because internally, they have no respect for one another.

"Kenyans have not seen strife and they do not know what suffering is. They have not been traumatised enough and that is why they have little regard for each other," he said.

Of course Kenyans in the room were silent, and they did not know where this gentleman was going with narration.
But his most chilling verdict was yet to come: "Kenyans need to kill each other some more and more openly like they did in 2007/ 2008 then they will learn to respect each other because currently, they are engaged in a silent war against each other."
What? These foreigners were not done.

The gentleman who spoke after him also echoed similar sentiments, starting with the Mau Mau fighters and running through to the gangs who attacked others during the 2007/ 2008 flare up, and concluded that unity has eluded Kenya as a country, and Kenyans as a people and they are constantly at war even as they keep on saying they are a peaceful people...

Whenever I read the briefs in the papers, or watch the news roundup, I get the same feeling as those two foreigners who I can vouchsafe are not enemies of the State or the nation, but were just stating the bitter truth which Kenyans love to avoid.

That Kenyans fear hearing the bitter truth about themselves, or the country is not in doubt. When it is pointed out to them how bad things are, they fall back on worse nations, and say how they are better than those bad countries as if there is something wrong with being in the list of the countries with the best practices.

More often than not, the briefs have only grim stories — stories about deaths and mostly people who have been killed by their relations, friends or acquaintances over very minor issues that could have been solved in a conversation.

Just the other day, a woman was killed in Naivasha by her neighbour over a teaspoon! Of course Kenyans will argue that was an isolated case, a minor incident, a freak accident and nothing like a trend that can reveal the collective murderous mindset of Kenyans.
However, such "freak accidents" are a daily occurrence in Kenyan communities, and not talking about them will not make them reduce, and neither is dismissing them on the account that there are places which are worse off.
Children getting killed by their parents because they ate before the meal time; siblings killing one another over a shot of illicit brew; sons killing their fathers over a cigarette; daughters killing their mothers because the latter denied them permission to go for a dance; uncles defiling babies and later killing them...
These minor incidents, or the freak accidents are legion in Kenya, and they are treated casually as normal family feuds that will probably end when the victims are buried...
For Kenyan families, violence has become the preferred mode of communication and respect for each other, or for life, can only be a foreign concept, an idea which is being peddled by those foreigners who are hell-bent on disrupting Kenyans' lifestyles.
Numerous reasons can be advanced as to why Kenyans are on a murderous rage, self-consuming infantile rage which makes them see their neighbours, parents, relations, acquaintances as enemies who should be eliminated.
Is it rural-urban migration and thus, pressures of living brought about by high cost of living and poor standards of life?
Could it be high levels of unemployment and rampant underemployment which has made so many idle, and bored so much so they attack people close to them as a form of sport or entertainment?
Or is it that stress, and depression — First World Problems — have crept upon Kenyans and eroded their ability to see reason, or to reason and they can only express themselves through violence now that they cannot afford to seek professional help?
Is it years of frustration — the so-called historical injustices — that have led to the pent up anger, and negative energy and Kenyans can only express themselves through violence against their kith and kin?
Kenyans' affinity to violence because of minor issues is not confined to the family set up, and blows are exchanged at entertainment spots and on the roads daily as if some prizes are up for grabs.
So when will Kenyans realise that the problem is within, mainly at the family level, and the so-called foreign aggressors care less?

Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.

Get the latest summary of news in your email every morning. Subscribe below

* indicates required
Westgate Mall attack, AlShabaab