Politicians Are Geniuses!
By Ndung'u N
| January 20th 2017
8/08/17. The much awaited and anticipated day. No, its not the day Christ comes back with His army of angels, neither is it the day the sun will stand still. It will be just a normal August day but with one minor difference- elections. On this day, Kenyans will dutifully wake up early in the morning and proceed to polling stations.
The seriousness with which we take elections is admirable, to say the least. We literally start talking and planning for the next election hours after one is concluded. We have even graduated to planning for an election a decade in advance!
If the same seriousness and planning was applied to more important issues like combating poverty, hunger, unemployment, illiteracy, corruption, incompetent public officials, the radicalization of our youths.......you get what I mean, Kenya would be in the big leagues alongside economic powerhouses.
That is where the genius of politicians comes in. They have managed to slowly but surely reprogrammed our minds to focus not on pressing issues but on the most trivial ones.
In a day and time when nations are racing to build the tallest structures or launch expeditions to the moon, we are busy arguing about which tribe has the biggest kahunas.
While we are on the topic of a tribe, let's take a moment to delve a bit deeper into this seemingly 'important' matter. What is a tribe? The question in itself seems to have a straight answer, but does it? Take a moment to think about it, what makes you a member of tribe X or Y.
Some would say it's the language, to them I ask this: If I learn another tribe's language, do I then become 'mtu-wao?' Furthermore being in a country where the majority population is the youth, most of whom can hardly construct a full sentence in their mother tongue, can we really claim that tribe is language?
Some would say it is the culture, to them I ask this; what culture are you talking about? The Oxford dictionary defines culture as 'the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively'. Going by this, then very few, if any, have a tribal culture worth talking about, let alone bragging about.
Let me defend my position on this.As more and more of us relocate to the urban areas and become 'learned friends ', our tribal culture becomes more and more irrelevant.The names we give our children and our general way of life is a testament to this. Our continued relations, inter-marriages especially, dilutes culture even more.
With this in mind, I think it's safe to say that what we have today is popular culture. Not in the sense of music but in the sense that culture is what the people of the day make it be. I will go as far as saying that what we view as culture died the day the first white man landed on our sandy beaches.
You will agree with me that tribe is the last thing any of us should even look at when electing someone. All this talk of 'Mulembe nation'.....'Rift Valley nation' ......'Mount Kenya nation' is simply put, BULL CRAP!
However, you could take comfort in the fact that we are not the only tribal nation under the sun neither are we the first people to be tribal. Since before Jesus, humans have been killing over 'tribal supremacy'.
The politicians' genius is further shown in their alliances which are made and broken, seemingly out of the blues, to suit their convenience. But are they really random? Could you honestly say that these men and women are the sworn enemies they make us believe? I think not! They argue before us yet feast and make merry when the cameras are off.
A perfect example is Ruto and Raila. A decade ago the two were united in ODM. The former was a very vocal supporter of the latter and maintained that the election was rigged and refused to accept the outcome. During this time, the Luo's and Kalenjins were a united front against the Kikuyus.
Today, they are enemies and as the dutiful loyalists we are, the Kalenjins and Luos are now at loggerheads. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell us how damn we are.
These people, whom we only see in the media and have no relations to whatsoever, determine whether we punch or hug our neighbors. Neighbors who help us in ways that no politician ever would. If that is not a genius I don't know what is.
Bob Marley said, "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery". That is exactly what we need to do. You have a brain of your own, do not let any politician think for you!
JFK once said, "Ask not what you country will do for you but what you will do for your country." It is high time we put the interests of Kenya before our very own. This 'mtu-wetu' 'baba' na 'mama' buffoonery has to and must stop.
It is a time we get to make our vote count. If you are going to wake up early in the morning to vote, let it be for someone who has the nation's, and not tribe, best interest.
As I conclude, I will let ponder on this; A politician thinks of the next election, a statesman thinks of the next generation. You decide who falls where.
DISCLAIMER 2: Opinions are like ass holes, everyone has one!
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