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Season of blackouts in the week that marks our nationhood signal gradual but sure decline

Energy CS Davis Chirchir. [Samson Wire, Standard]

There have been many blackouts in recent days, the most talked about, of course being the nationwide power disruption that the utility provider typically, though strangely characterises as a “disturbance” to the national supply grid.

That insinuates an aggressive, vigorous or even violent activity to evoke the word Kenyans love best: kinyang’anyiro.

Only that a “disturbance” is a passive notion without any resistance by those on the receiving end. One might say that it’s Kenyans who suffer a disturbance to their lives when Kenya Power interrupts electricity supply.

I’ll not question the emphasis placed on the national airport, over other installations like hospitals, where patients facing life-threatening conditions are imperiled by power interruptions, or newborns who need incubators to have a chance at life. This viewpoint was well articulated by my friend Bonnie Mwangi.

Rather, I’m interested in another blackout that was given a wide berth by local media: Our 60th independence anniversary. Since it’s a long time since I was in the newsroom, I have no idea what’s the explanation for the muted celebration.

Once upon a time, that sort of milestone necessitated full blown reviews, analysis and reflections on the state of the nation, to project the future ahead.

My optimism was premised on the extensive coverage devoted to our 50th anniversary celebrations, and the expectation that ten years on, our nationhood is coming of age.

Or maybe not. Perhaps we have grown into grumpy folks who feel regretful about how we have lived in the past, and we do not wish to be reminded about the passage of time, and the eventual but guaranteed decline.

By AFP 16 hrs ago
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