Priceless life's lessons from King Charles tour

She emerged from nowhere. She captured global imagination for the next 17 years.

The king's media images this week remind us of the privilege that is ageing, the exhaustion it brings along, and the brevity of good times. The dashing royal prince of yesteryear is now a floundering elderly king, with lumbering motions.

Time plays on us tricky games that even she cannot reverse. Yet we can take solace in societies such as Chinua Achebe wrote of in the words, 'Age was respected among these people, but achievement was revered.'

There is space for everyone in the room of life, the old and young alike. Achebe sums it up in the words, 'You will have what is good for you, and I will have what is good for me. Let the kite perch, and let the eagle perch too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break.'

But the wing of the British colonial experience in Kenya refuses to perch. A great many Kenyan voices have said a royal apology is what would be good for them. Here, the king prevaricated.

He made assertions that approximated to an apology. But a categorical apology was not made. Royalty does not apologise.

In the Kingdom of Buganda, they had people of lower birth than the Kabaka, called Abenyambi. We have them, even here in Emanyulia.

The Abenyambi were buck stoppers, even when they had done nothing. The name is pejorative. The less said of it, the better.

The United Kingdom's Abenyambi already apologised to Kenya, long ago, for the excesses of Britain's colonial presence, to the extent that such an apology can be made.

As part of the Lancaster House Talks (1960-63), they provided a fund for a million acres of land from the White Highlands, for Africans displaced by European settlement. A more relevant question is what we did with the one million?

Another apology was issued earlier, in 1923, virtually at the start of the colony.

The Duke of Devonshire issued a White Paper, in which he pronounced the supremacy of African interests in the colony.

The Devonshire White Paper may not have achieved much in its time, but it set the country on the road to self-determination.

Again, the question is, what have we done with our Uhuru?

Demanding apologies from people can be a waste of time.

In a survey of African non-fictional writing since 1769 (titled Two Centuries of African English), Lalage Brown reproduces a 1782 letter by Ignatius Sancho. Ignatius was an African slave born on a slave ship in 1729.

He was later freed and became an abolitionist of slavery. He states in the 1782 piece, 'Contrition, the child of conviction, serves to prove the goodness of your heart.'

You cannot extract an apology from someone unless, of course, you just want to hear an empty formation of words. Repentance is internally self-referenced. A voluntary product of your dialogue with your soul.

The true measure is that the repentant also reforms. Europe colonised us for unfair access to our resources. Has it reformed?

-Dr Muluka is a strategic communications advisor