Obama. Not Kenyan enough for Kenya

November 12, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, November 12 – Kenyans from all clans, tribes and religions have basked in the glory of the historic election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president of the mighty United States of America.

Politicians and other mortals in Kenya are falling over each other trying to be the closest to the iconic leader of the free world.

He is my cousin! I gave his father a job! I went to school with his father! I drank whisky with his father! His grandmother’s neighbour is my aunt’s choir member!


Most of these opportunists would have rigged him out or rejected him outright on the basis of his clan, tribe, religion or even his skin colour if he had the misfortune of having the Audacity of Hope in Kenya.

With the bigot in all of us Kenyans waiting to pounce on a chance to discriminate against anyone who is not one of us, Obama’s dream of being elected to any office would have faced the preliminary obstacle at the councilor level.

In East Sakwa ward in Awendo Division of Rongo constituency, being Ja Kogelo is the most effective form of rigging. No descendant of Ogelo has ever been elected a councilor in the area despite them being about forty percent of the population.

Being a man of many ancestries and homes, Obama may have tried to win a seat in Kendu Bay, Karachuonyo. There his chances of getting elected would be tending to zero. No foreigner (non-descendant of Rachuonyo) can be elected. It is a historical fact that Obama’s grandfather relocated to Kogelo from Kendu Bay after having enough of the Jadak (settler) taunts.

The most obvious place for Obama to try to strike it rich by becoming a member of parliament is Alego Usonga constituency, the ancestral home of his father and grandfather.

The problem is that since God created the earth, no son of Kogelo has ever been elected as an MP.

Being an urbanite, Obama would have been convinced that his chances were better  in Kisumu town. But there, it is a punishable offence for anybody not from the KKK (Kisumo, Kajulu and Kano) to harbour political ambitions. He would also have had to contend with the Baghdad Boys at the Kisumu Bus stop.

Being "elitist’ and not accustomed to the culture of gonywa (give us something), he would have struggled even to attract one hundred people to his rally.

Perhaps somebody would have misadvised him to contest in the more cosmopolitan Nakuru Town Constituency, which is a melting pot of Kenyan tribes. His skin colour would have been his undoing. Nakuru people have something against a chotara (half-caste).

Running out of constituencies to call his own, the most next logical place to carpetbag would have been Nairobi.

The problem is that Obama has never been a councilor; he has no private militia and probably has not faced the knife.

Mombasa? Wewe ni mutu wa bara bwana! (You are from upcountry, we cannot vote for you!

What if being so ambitious, Obama went straight to contest highest office in the land, the presidency?

He would have been forced to form his own party or, at least, buy one online. He would also have to buy a few parliamentary aspirants to give his party a semblance of national outlook.

Obama would have been a marked man for being bought to spoil the chances of his tribesman who is seeking presidency on another party.

Would the evangelical Christians support Obama? Not with that Hussein middle name. He would have also been accused of trying to introduce Sharia law and Kadhi’s courts.
Being an apostate Muslim, it is unlikely he would have been embraced by the Council of Imams.

Obama was wise not to consider running for office in Kenya. He would have gone nowhere with such ambition.


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