The Tumour of Tribalism

The following piece is by a young guy called Sam. He’s a Form 3 student at Nyang’ori High.

He’s really good, as you’re about to see, and he’s looking for opportunities to hone his craft. His email is Werambosam2000@gmail.com. Mail him if you can. Let’s encourage those who are coming after us 😊

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Where were you in 2007/2008 when we were up in arms against each other? What do you think about the tribalism curse in this our Kenya?

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I was five years when my mother and I joined my father in Eldoret, where he had been transferred from Nairobi the year before. I was born in Nairobi but I would spend the rest of my childhood and part of my young adulthood in Eldoret.

My first best friend was Jackson Kipchumba. Jackson and I attended the same nursery school and we were classmates throughout primary school. I fondly recall Tuesday evenings in the year 2005, we would hang out at his house watching WWE Wrestling on his family’s 14-inch black and white television set.
We were too young to realize that we belonged to the two supposedly avowed political enemies the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin. All I knew at that time was that my uncle Mugo’s family had been victims of “clashes” in Molo in 1992 and 1997. We were also vaguely aware of a nearby small town peculiarly named Burnt Forest that was a hot spot for these mysterious clashes.

My other childhood friends included Otis (a Luo), Fred Masaba (a Ugandan), Wambua (Kamba) and Evans Ontori (a Kisii). But we never identified or described ourselves by the prevailing tribal stereotypes. All that stood about Otis was that his father was seldom around, Fred’s family always had cassava at their house, Ontori and Wambua were very light skinned. Tribe never factored in our distinctions.

As I grew up and became more critically aware of my wider surroundings, I realized that the relationships between us children were a far cry from those of our respective parents.

The tribal tensions between some of our parents were palpable, to the extent that some of us would be banned from visiting our friends’ houses. The reasons were not very clear to us children, our parents knew better, we assumed and obeyed without giving it much thought.
Then hell broke loose in 2007. I was in school at Kisii and I had gone home for Christmas holidays which coincided with that year General Elections. The long and short of it is that I no longer call Eldoret my home; my family had to flee when the violence broke out following the contentious re-election of Mwai Kibaki. Our home was looted and decades old trust among neighbors broken.

My mother, a widow at the time, had to hop around several towns before finally settling in Nairobi. The tribal post-election violence of 2007/2008 had made me an IDP and forever changed my life.

That is why I watched Cotu Secretary- General Francis Atwoli address a great gathering of Luhya community members with great apprehension. I was greatly distressed at what was happening and frustrated that no one seemed to be bothered by it.
In the TV news that evening and newspapers stories the following day, all and sundry seemed concerned about was whether Musalia Mudavadi would be accepted as the true spokesman of the “mulembe” nation.

Across the great political valley, Jubilee politicians from the Luhya community distanced themselves from the gathering. But I could not applaud their action, not for the reason they gave because they supported President Kibaki, and not because they opposed tribalism.
Mr. Atwoli tried to justify the choice of Mr. Mudavadi by show casing the “scientific” nature of the process of choosing the spokesman. The best some critics would do was say that the days of tribal chiefs were long gone. However, I am more concerned about the fact that the idea of a tribal chief today, especially when that chief is also an apparently democratically and constitutionally elected leader, is a dangerous one.

I cannot possibly be the only one seeing this dangerous potential. Perhaps I am just naïve and trying to fight a losing battle. What is the role of the media in this? Where is the voice of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission? Or do we wait until people start fighting or realize that something is wrong? Isn’t prevention better than cure?
I believe such gatherings as the one we witnessed on the last day of 2016 should be illegal, especially when the people championing them are heading national institutions and supposedly promoting national values. Leaders should speak against any such accolades given to them by their tribes-men (Who may not know any better)

Within tribalism, there are many groups which represent the positive and negative aspects that exist in all cultures, places and groups which define the unifying and the distractive force which has been illustrated in many movies like Romeo and Julliet which perfectly introduces the distractive force of tribalism.
I really don’t like dragging Kenyans to topics that fundamentally weaken our society but I have to say the truth in order to help mother Kenya. What is the truth about the destructive impact of tribalism in the society? In the light of the current truth and facts, tribalism is ugly, evil, archaic and awful even in older days.
The failure to recognize and confront the adverse consequences of tribalism in Kenya, especially on social and economic development is hindered by political opportunists – in their push for political spoils. As a matter of fact, more than 75% of Kenya’s population are apostles to tribalism, but when we come together, we will root out the devil of tribalism.

We now have a government of educated and vibrant Kenyans who know what tribalism is and what ways they can use to eliminated it.
It is true that Kenya’s political-elites promote tribalism in a hundred and one ways but people can change. Tribalism in Kenya arises when one ethnic group exalts itself higher than the other which as per now can be a problem likely to be solved. The British and other colonialists used tribalism in Kenya to divide and rule local communities which suppresses our unity.

We must come together and pull our resources together to attain one common goal – UNITY and we can. All in all, PEACE, LOVE AND UNITY.
#Outdo tribalism in Kenya.

BY: SAMASAP.

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Peace, Love and Guidance y’all.

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Finally

If a white man gets to start a blog, call it the colonialist then go ahead to mention ati innumerable benefits of colonialism

I am then obliged as A PROUD AFRICAN WOMAN to use mine to attack such degrading views and educate y’all on us.

Henceforth, I shall fight this Babylon that is always trying to tell us black is not beautiful, black is not intelligent.

This forum, well at least my half, shall only be used to crown Africa.

I don’t even know whether to go one step further and only post in Kiswahili but then how will that one who said to me “bEfORe tHe WhItE mAN tHeRe WaS nO mORe tHaN oNe StOrEy bUiLdInGs iN aFriCa” understand this.

Uuuummm.

The Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure constructed in 2580-2560 BC can be seen from space.

Tonight signifies a turn.

01:01AM.

Peace, Love & Guidance.

Sunny Spice

Today we were out of the exam room kitu 3 minutes and people were already downing shots. Nayo nayo haha.

My Sunny Spice.

Today you were so pretty. Did I tell you?

When you came to us with your sunglasses on, you had this perfect aura around you I knew I just had to write about it here.

You were like a beautiful flower I just wanted to look at.

You were like a beautiful painting that draws your breath away.

You were like a soft soft hue in the sky.

I wish more days like these on you, on us all.

I can’t even do justice writing here about you.

You were just darn lovely to look at Sunny Spice.

Peace, love and guidance y’all. A NEW MONTH IS UPON US 🙂

Blessings.

A Woman Is Hurting

SOME FEMINISM

Her husband burnt all her clothes yesterday. The police won’t help. Hizo ni shida za  nyumbani.

She got flowers yesterday. He’s really trying to make a 5th child happen.

She almost singlehandedly brought up four sons. Another, four daughters.

She just got her rainbow baby after a miscarriage. A blessing.

She is facing a due date without a baby in her womb. She miscarried. There will be tears.

Her husband of 30 years isn’t home with her but is cozied up in another woman’s bed. This other woman is 24. She’s 54.

She is hurting because the man cozied up in her bed is another’s. She’s 24. He’s 55.

I’m a feminist. I am. Proudly so. I call for equal gender rights and enjoyments. I am African, I am Black, I am a Woman. Today, however, I’m not feeling empowered by my femininity. I feel like she failed me or I failed her. Either way someone did some failing & now we are here, ricocheting between sorrows and joys.

There will be tears.

A Goodbye of Sorts

Empress Swamiii is back. Well, kind of.

I took a hiatus from this blog this one day I felt like I might be oversharing here. I deleted all the posts I had authored & never really thought about this space anymore.

I was in a different vibe, a consuming one yet all the same fulfilling. I felt I had outgrown this blog. To be honest, I’ve always been conflicted about this space. What did I want to write about, is this my diary the internet can read whatnot. And also, I didn’t think that many people were on here really.

I’m morphing into something different, something new. I really have since a certain lovely day. That’s another thing. I’m awfully swooned about someone. Really in the deep end here and it feels so exhilarating. Like taking a long trip somewhere earthy, freeing and balanced. It really is nice, for us who were sometimes children in pain. Ba, doesn’t it feel like we’ve always been together?

See, we both truly understand what it means to have family.

I love writing here though. I looove it. This rekindles a certain fire within me every single time. It’s like some type of highness. 77%.

So this is a goodbye of sorts because the old needs to be shed. I don’t want no attention but I have a message that I want to chant so loud. So fucking loud.

It’s about the messages I’ve been getting. Everything carries a message btw. The frequency is really loud. I’ll tell y’all about it.

We’ve been reading books. Getting really educated for y’all. I won’t come here mincing words at all. State of Africa, Kenya’s Looters & Grabbers, Plato, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.

However, what’s been coming to mind lately, more than others is Groundings With My Brothers by Walter Rodney. I was blessed to have this book in my hands a couple of times. I’d walk through Soweto heading to Ba’s feeling so proud to be black and rasta. The cover is red, gold & green. Malcolm X, Kwame Nkrumah, Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey & His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I.

It’ll probably become a bit political

Or maybe not. I’m still Empress Swamiii.

And it is the Age of the Aquarius after all. We are all becoming more aware, aren’t we?

Peace, Love and Guidance y’all.

It’s June already!

Good vibes always. Sunny Spice. Jah guide us.

 

Nairobi

Just read a post by a tourist who had been to this our city.

The comment’s section is filled with akina “You’re brave for travelling there”. “I heard it’s called Nairobbery”

The poor chap had a horrid experience walking from KICC to sijui where. Mara his backpack was almost snatched oh he lost his brother in the commotion oh hawkers were hounding them.

Bro. They’re all over us too.

You see what they don’t tell you wazungus in those travel agencies is that even for us Nairobians the CBD is a hustle.

No one ever wakes up to go take a walk in town. No one. You go to town only when you have serious business with it and when you do you’re in and out. Chap chap unless wewe ni wale wa kuzubaa Archives.

With all its misgivings, we love our city proudly. Same way we can’t disown Sonko. Yeye ni wetu hadi 2022.

We know the CBD is crowded, (because many of us are hustling) we know some crooks can try and make away with our bags,(because many of us are hustling in this economy that’s just enriching the politician) we know there are some unsightly corners…

And given that we’re privy to this we up our game, go into the CBD with a fighting spirit and disappear into the Kenyan crowd with no qualms about it.

That’s why we are a proud lot. We know who we are, what we’re hiding and what we are always trying to be.

And like my friend says ” It’s the way of life here. You either survive or you don’t. Either way Nairobbery is ours”

And we love it.

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Happy new month y’all.

Peace, love and guidance.