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It's a pity Kenyans are full of negative energy

By Mark Bichachi | July 2nd 2020

President Uhuru Kenyatta during a virtual campaign meeting with permanent representatives of various countries to the United Nations hosted by Kenya ahead of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) elections. [File, Standard]

In the wake of Kenya’s win at the UNSC, social media was flooded with questions as to whether the victory would help address Wanjiku’s bread and butter issues. The negativity was palpable and many of my friends tried, in vain, to explain how it would benefit the nation. I will not dedicate time to explain the obvious, but instead I will focus on dealing with the black hearts we must have to ask such questions when everyone else is celebrating.

Kenyans act like parents who are puzzled when their child tells them they won a Grammy award, wondering why the child didn’t do the right thing and become a doctor. Our negativity is palpable, vile and wholly unnecessary.

Veiled as holding government to account, Kenyans take on devilish amounts of vitriol to express their constant and insatiable dissatisfaction at anything done by government right or wrong.

Even before the results of any activity are made clear. The nation remains poised to utter obscenities in the wake of glorious victory. Allow me to give an example, when Manchester United or Arsenal play and lose, Kenyans are more willing to stand by these foreign football teams than they are to stand with their own nation when it wins. They take time to understand every player, every coach and even the finances of the team. They will bet their life savings on a team win and yet totally neglect paying their taxes and blame government for not delivering services.

I shudder to imagine what the naysayers would have said had Kenya lost. No doubt, we would have been treated to a plethora of abuse and ridicule.

It is just like the SGR project where we complained that we were taking on too much debt. We chided the government for asking for money to extend the SGR to Kisumu. Soon after the Chinese refused to give us the second part of the loan, we complained why government had failed to procure the loan.

Our negativity knows no bounds. I wonder loudly when our politicians call Kenya a dictatorship. I wonder how they are able to say that and still be free to wander in our streets, tweet their obscenities while pretending to be victims of an imaginary state that is dictatorial. The same political class now says that parties entering into post-election coalitions spell doom for multiparty democracy. They forget that they themselves are in coalitions and the office of Registrar of Political Parties has not been shut down. They create ghosts in their own minds and decide to run from their own imaginations.

The political class depends on the negative hearts of Kenyans to believe any kind of vitriol they spew out. Our hearts are fertile soil for negativity to grow. Political cooperation is more important than political opposition. It is cooperation that brings about balanced Bills, balanced policy and a more unified country. Pray, tell me does the marriage between CDU and CSU in Germany make chancellor Angela a dictator?

The same negativity is thrown at the BBI. Even when the average Kenyan can’t find a single point within the BBI to dispute. Therefore, without such evidence many rubbish the BBI based on conspiracy theory and imagined intentions, forgetting that within the BBI are many cures to maladies that have affected this nation for eons. But our black hearts refuse to see hope even when it slaps us on the face.

We forget that there is nothing better than national conversation in times of peace. BBI is a peace time document that requires us to read it and apply what is good. It does not hurt to accept something good even though we suspect everyone and everything. At the very least, apply the adage, "baniani mbaya kiatu chake dawa". You can’t refuse medicine because you don’t like the tribe of your doctor as BBI is indeed medicine.

Similarly, asking what the UNSC seat means in terms of our stomach needs is to look at life in a very myopic way. American patriotism is a business and they make a lot of money selling their flags. Loyalty and patriotism is a benefit to the nation, a benefit money can't buy. We forget it is Nigerian patriotism that has us watching Nigerian films in Kenya, it is Tanzanian patriotism that has us dancing to Bongo music. Similarly, it is patriotism and national pride that is the first benefit of the win. Of course, there are benefits to our maritime border dispute, our fight against terror and regional influence in general but those should be obvious to those who are positive.

Finally, if only for the sake of our sanity. We can’t live forever in this dark place. We can’t be this negative. I wonder always how the ever negative and abusive Kenyans survive. How does their blood pressure and stomach acidity cope with that much bile? Isn’t happiness and laughter medicine for the soul? Kenyans relax, calm down it is not all bad. Celebrate the wins and enjoy the limelight. Remember hope always springs eternal.

Mr Bichachi is a communications consultant

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