In but two days, 2019 will be gone and we will usher in a brand new 2020. As is the practice the world over, we have been and will be wishing one another a happy and blessed New Year. These wishes and prayers are predicated on the fact that God in His divine design, has set times and seasons, so that life is not one long dreary journey. Like a comma in a sentence, the dawn of a new day or a new week; the coming of a new month or new year, provide appropriate punctuation to life. Thus, every New Year offers us a distinctive chance to not only right previous wrongs, but to also step out into brand new adventures.
Yet, you and I have listened to speakers and readers who never pause at commas, nor stop and full stops. They are either too engrossed with their speech, or too engaged in their reading, and are oblivious of those little marks in a sentence that make comprehension easier and listening to a pleasure. The consequence is that, no matter how powerful the speech, or interesting the story, the listener is robbed of its import. The weary readily doze off into a snooze – too bored or too tired to stay on. The speaker’s message is thus lost, and the reader’s objective seriously compromised.
It is a fact that in Kenya, our national conversation is unpunctuated. Politics dominate our every gathering – village barazas, church services, and funeral meetings. The politics of elections have dominated our national psyche, without a comma, let alone a full stop. Ours is a nation in a perpetual election campaign mode from one election to another. And our politics being primarily ethnic-based, tensions are often precipitated through rhetoric and actions of political leaders that express an exclusionary and highly territorial form of nationalism. Though these ethnic groupings are often sold as good for us, nothing could be farther from the truth. Yet, the script is so predictable as to be boring – even annoying. Many ordinary folks are getting tired or bored.
I may be the only one in Jerusalem, but I had never heard of King Kaka, until his infamous Wajinga Nyinyi production. My immediate judgment of the man was clear and straightforward – whatever he was up to, he had crossed the line. Under no circumstances can insults ever pass for free speech. That would be an abuse of both the law of the land and the Law of the Lord. Jesus Himself made it clear in Matthew 5:22, “whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the fire of hell.” It was thus obvious that King Kaka had crossed the point of grace. He had called us and our leaders, idiots! Then I listened to the poem – or spoken word as we call it these days.
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There is no doubt that Wajinga Nyinyi was designed to provoke, irritate, yes, even annoy. It well succeeds in so doing, with skill and effect. On the surface of it, the author fits the bill for those destined for Hell fire. Yet, on careful analysis, this is an expression of the deep-seated feelings of many Kenyans and an indictment of all of us. At the very minimum, some feel bored by the empty political rhetoric that is totally unpunctuated. But more seriously, there is a disillusioned angry lot that is not about to snooze off as speeches drag on with no signs of hope. In a sequel by Frasha, he mentions some chilling words – I am ready to be killed; in any case I am already dead!
The fact that King Kaka has received almost 2.5 million views on You Tube for Wajinga Nyinyi in less than a fortnight, should make us pause and reflect. On two occasions, Jesus Himself called some two people fools. The one had made riches his god, staking his whole future on his overflowing barns. The other had built an extremely beautiful house, but with its foundation on sinking sand. In Kenya, the insatiable worship of wealth among our leaders readily situates them in the first category, while our consistent political gullibility easily places the rest of us in the second. As we cross into a New Year, and with the BBI and 2022 dogma getting louder, it behooves every one of us to make a personal resolve to mend our ways, if we are going to enjoy a truly happy New Year. Wishes alone will not suffice. But, Happy New Year!
- The writer is the presiding bishop of Christ is the Answer Ministries. [email protected]