I love my breathtakingly beautiful Kenya. Mine is a great nation, home of the great runners who drink the tasty and healthy mursik.
Mine is the great East African giant, home of M-pesa. Mine is the home of real ugali – nowhere else will you find our kind of ugali– soft but not too soft, hard but not too hard, yet really tasty. My people are warm and welcoming. We have a rich cultural heritage and traditions (unfortunately these are quickly being eroded). My people are the Turkana, Maasai, Luo, Kikuyu, Meru, Luhya, Kamba and many more. We are diversely blessed. Our differences are our strength. My nation lies on the equator and has a pleasant tropical climate. Mine is indeed a beautiful nation.
My main problem with my people is that we are okay with being poor, dying of preventable disease, substandard education, corruption, the gap between the rich and the poor, selling our nation to the highest bidder, laziness, dead aid, fighting one another and not having a sense of patriotism or national identity. We are okay with selfish, myopic, naïve and vision-less leaders who do not care to think. We are even more okay with borrowing laws that we cannot interpret within our context. We are okay with competing for limited places in the ‘national’ schools (left by the colonialists) other than improving all schools in the republic so as to increase the standards of education.
It is sad that we have had 53 years of independence in my country and malaria is the leading killer disease. 20 per cent of my people live on less than a dollar per day. We have 1 physician per 10,000 people. 60 per cent of the 3 million people living in Nairobi are in the slums. 50 per cent of our physicians practice in Nairobi where we only have 3 million people. Approximately 30 to 40 per cent of primary school pupils fail to transit to secondary schools.
I live in a country where the elite carry out research, not to offer solutions, but to get funding. Our greedy intellectuals blindly follow rules and guidelines designed by the donors. We dance to the donors’ tune. We proudly go after the proverbial carrot on the stick without questioning why we cannot chart out and execute our home made programs. Most unfortunately, we all admire these intellectuals because they are paid in American dollars. We are proud of our sometimes greedy civil society that serves foreign-owned or controlled organizations. We admire their big houses and nice cars. After getting enough money, they run for political office. We then elect them and give them power to fight the same civil society organizations they vehemently served.
My people love international aid – an instrument used by foreign governments and organizations to corrupt our leaders and to blind them from the problems of their people while they serve the interests of the donor countries. Can’t we see that if foreign aid would develop any place, Africa would be the most developed continent in the world?
We glorify the western media that teaches us to hate ourselves. We hate our food, our language, our mannerisms, and the texture of our hair and color of our skin. We celebrate and consume western and Chinese junk without question. The western media consciously portrays us as unable to manage our own affairs and as a people that need them for survival and existence. This we readily believe. We readily accept that they are a superior race and they have a duty to civilize the inferior us. My people, let us open our eyes.
My problem with Kenya is that we do not realize our value. We deserve better. We can be better. We have to be better. We have to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery. We have to work hard and shun shortcuts. We have to be producers and not just consumers. We have to stand up to bad leadership and negative ethnicity. We have to change our bad attitude and the negative self-image. We have to demand for quality education for all our people. We must improve and encourage math, science and engineering education. I believe with good education, we should be able solve our problems instead of relying on others. Finally my Kenyan brothers and sisters, we have to discover ways to integrate our useful traditions with science, modern medicine, commerce and evolving culture.