It is August 2017. The weather isn’t very predictable. Even chaps at the Meteorological Department are confused. There will be famine in Kileleshwa, and hailstones in Embakasi. Kenyans are advised to walk looking at the sky, they stammer at a press conference, while distributing media releases with a blurry downloaded map of Kenya.
Unfortunately, the weather is the least of Kenyans’ worries. In any case, aren’t we used to converting our cars into canoes when the heavens sneeze. Kenyans have bigger things to worry about. Bigger things that are literally a matter of life and death. These bigger things are elections. It is an election month, and people are acting like this is it. Its either ride or die, baby. Its what we have all been waiting and preparing for since the creation of the world.
Meet Mr. Nobody
On a certain pot-hole infested road, the walls are covered with colourful campaign posters as Kidero grass struggles to remain conscious and relevant. Suddenly, a convoy of intoxicated youths shouting their lungs out and insulting motorists pass by waving placards and posters of a certain Mr. Nobody. As the entourage snakes through the dirty road, the swash bucking Mr. Nobody sitting on-top of a newly imported Range Rover Sport (I swear drug money is real) is busy soliciting votes while promising to deliver literally everything under the sun and the extraterrestrial galaxy, once elected.
Since of course he is from our tribe, we overwhelmingly vote for him, conveniently ignoring his personal integrity, character and well-know sins. Months later, the mouthy Mr. Nobody now possessing a newly leased self-esteem, coupled with a newly-acquired body language and audacity busts forth like a supernova into his red carpet-laid political galaxy, only to disappear in thin air until the next election, where of course we will still vote for him because he’s one of our own munduwanyumba.
In the meantime, we conveniently forget that he’s the same quirky chap who while begging for our votes promised to build an international airport in the estate parking lot, where our young people will freely export their Sakata Season 4 dancing skills and our housewives their kitchen garden vegetables directly to East Germany. He even had the audacity to promise his now-defunct Warembo Na Mheshimiwa busy bodies that he will legalise ‘muguka’ and prostitution once elected.
But then again, why should we remember about his many ridiculous promises? Si, mheshimiwa was simply looking for votes, we joke as we hop and jump over bricks laid in the middle of the road to avoid stepping into the smelly, algae-infested water that has remained stagnated there since days of the Roman Empire.
But then again, how can we hold mheshimiwa accountable, yet he has convinced us that all our problems are caused by the opposition party and other related imaginary enemies? In fact, mheshimiwa has perfected the art of empty rhetorics, abuses and name-calling that we can’t simply wait to rush home every evening like mad-men to watch his next political extemporaneous and fluid salacious insults that are always delivered with sheer mastery of a virtuoso by our very own son of the soil.
We are treated like idiots
As mheshimiwa is busy swimming in our naked praise and admiration of him, he knows that soon enough we will start asking questions and become agitated about insecurity, corruption, constant water shortage, youth unemployment, environmental degradation etc. So, just like a wise village rat that knows the way to the granary, he calls for either a press conference or does those much loved meet-the-people tours.
Its that time to be played like idiots, you know and cool the tempers down. There he sternly and angrily threatens, warns, and puts everyone on notice, who he claims is fighting him politically. He passionately appeals to our emotions that he knows our problems and he could have already addressed them, were it not for his political detractors. He egoistically winds up by launching a widely publicised a kazi-kwa-vijana project that involves graduates with Masters’ degrees cleaning trenches and cutting grass. He then pays them money equivalent to a one-night stand with a broke, low self-esteem prostitute in downtown Kinshasa.
As mheshimiwa is busy signing suspect deals, abusing the law, looting public money and enriching himself, his ever loyal supporters are in the meantime busy abusing each other on social media, while posting, liking and retweeting his Public Relations inspired tweets. Of course, they do this as they struggle to make ends meet. Watch the dollar rise like summer temperature in UAE. Buy fuel, flour and essentially all basic commodities at ridiculous inflated prices.
But why should we hold mheshimiwa accountable when we have our political rivals to attack, abuse and insult. In fact, why should we bother mheshimiwa when we have to worry about: Daily getting stuck in traffic for hours. Queuing for rationed water in our estates, always on the look-out for rogue police and criminals, bribing our way to access public services among other issues? We silently go about our daily struggles and hustles (its acceptable as our new normal, donge!) as we wait for the next election to vote even more of our own munduwanyumba’s, while still waiting for change, development and a good life.
As we all seem consumed in debating – actually arguing – about this sugar monster, as we always do on many other issues of national interest. Perhaps its time, we as Kenyans, step back and ask ourselves this simple question: after all has been said and said again (coz nothing ever gets done) – whose interests do our very own tribalistic leaders serve?
You here busy using your data bundles and airtime shouting your lungs out about the sugar deal, defending and attacking, abusing, and praising whoever – do you really think anyone gives a crap about your opinion? As long as we take a tribalistic or political stand to deliberate of issues of national importance, nothing will ever get done. Change will only come in Kenya when our politics become ideological, issue-based, and not based on ethnicity, personalities, demi-gods and warlords.
Image Credit: twitter.com