First and foremost, I begin by making a reference to the keynote quote by one of the most celebrated human rights activist by the name Martin Luther King Jr. He mentioned that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” The late icon unequivocally highlighted aspects of equality, love and transparency. Therefore, peace and love are important in all societies and are sources of harmony and symbols of principal living. Therefore, they are paramount and unifying aspects that ought to be given dire considerations. In Kenya, for instance, there is a marked deviation contributed by ethnicity, impunity, corruption, nepotism and greed. All of these vices have what it takes to unravel the kind of agony our sovereign nation has undergone and still undergoing.
Two and a half scores down the line (52years) is quite a long period of time for change to be realized within the borders of our country. Comparatively, case studies and the truth of the matter shows that Kenya and Asian tigers like Singapore, were British colonies and at one point in time (1964) were the same in terms of economic growth and national development. In spite of being viable and young, they were given the responsibility, to steer and bolster up development.
However, with the short time lapse, one would attest and verify that there is a huge discrepancy in terms of development. One region has recorded worthwhile development that has never been witnessed before while others including my sovereign nation are still dining in the remnants of their colonial masters in the name of Eurobond and aid hence lagging behind economically. At worst, we even lend them funds which they invigorated into development and then leapfrog to middle income level states. For our country, we have exalted ethnicity which has given rise to greed hence cascaded into a down spiral effect of underdevelopment.
Nonetheless, maybe to comment on a few, we need to open up and redefine our perceptions and innate ways of looking at things. Young children all over the country often grow having a strange mindset regarding their own brothers and sisters from different ethnic backgrounds. For instance, seven year old children, say Omollo from Siaya, Kinuthia from Kiambu, Nassir from Wajir and Kiplangat from Nandi and the entire Kenya represented will attest to you that they live complex lives dominated by strange convictions regarding certain tribes. One utterance we may have heard of is “I sincerely don’t like them, they are not good people you know!”.
These children would grow, acquire formal education, and obtain nice academic accolades while at the same time upholding the status quo and that is ethnic hatred. They will galvanize themselves tend to modify their language and even change their vocal accents. Their message will fail to reciprocate love and maturity acquired from education but only to find themselves heightening ethnic rivalry in their areas of affiliations.
There is a question as to whether such behaviors are innate or learnt. We must accept that the environment plays a central dimension in so far as behavior and cognitive development in children is concerned. Environment could be parents, societal perceptions and beliefs and some of them are offshoots of ethnicity and regional prejudices. Therefore, our goals should be geared towards behavior change right from a single individual to the entire nation. By doing so, we will make a future that will view and appraise other colleagues with respect and love. This will help to preach peace and love thereby enhancing a united nation. Furthermore, equitable development will be realized and many developed nation. Let us shun ethnicity and regional rivalry for the betterment of Kenya.