When the plane that was carrying the President of Rwanda, Juvénal Habyarimana and his Burundi counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6, 1994, was shot down over Kigali leaving no survivors, anarchy began in Rwanda.
A tiny nation known as the country of a thousand hills witnessed the worst genocide, around 800,000 people were massacred by people they considered to be neighbours. But before that, the political rhetoric had taken root.
The politics of US vs THEM was perpetuated not just by the politicians but even by a section of the clergy. The country was then thrust into the global limelight but all for negative reasons.
The same seeds of the unfortunate trend are taking root in Kenya. We are beginning to balkanize the nation in Jubilee vs CORD zones – US vs THEM etc. But if at all we have forgotten, let me take this opportunity to remind us: Negative ethnicity is evil, corrosive and disgusting. Negative ethnicity is inhuman, unacceptable and a monster that we must all fight together.
We can never sugar coat that ugly reality, we can never bury our heads in the sand and hope that one day it will grow wings and fly away. We cannot apply makeup on the back of a stinking pig that is negative ethnicity.
Every day as I check my social media pages, I see a lot of hate messages being peddled around by youth who are supposed to be the light of our nation. Young people from various backgrounds, some of whom have fought tooth and nail to get to where they are today spark hatred among their fellow age mates and colleagues. It is rather unfortunate that these very young people who are busy peddling ethnic bigotry, work, drink, date, travel, invest and spend time with members of other ethnic communities.
Who has bewitched our young people? Who is whipping your emotions to take advantage of you?
When I log off social media and watch the television, it is no different. The news has been turned into an altar of division where the fountain of negativity and ethnic vitriol flows freely infecting unsuspecting minds. The kind of negative rhetoric that some politicians keep uttering every day is pure garbage and should not be aired by any news channel. The media needs to come together and give some of these leaders a blackout for the sake of keeping the Kenyan people united.
What shocks me most is that a majority of Kenyans swallow their filthy words hook, line and sinker. For them, their political demigods cannot be wrong. Even when they incite a tribe against another tribe, a sense of blind loyalty takes over and in a euphoric manner they cheer their tribal gods. This madness must come to a screeching halt.
Why do we fill our mouths with razors, and hope that we won’t spit blood?
Our leaders are talented at issuing fancy speeches but poor at walking the talk. We are a nation so consumed by trivialities like which tribe is superior rather than focusing on how we can make Kenya greater. It is rather unfortunate that we continue to use our strengths as innovators and trendsetters on social media to peddle tribal bigotry. Why should we destroy the influence and image we have built?
Kenya is a good country but our politicians shame us daily and it is very sad that we give them the platform to do so. Why do we listen to divisive politicians then complain when we fight? We are simply choosing to lie down with dogs but when we wake up with fleas, we complain. I am now more convinced that we need to procure a space ship and transport some of these shameless divisive leaders to space and leave them there. I am sure they would be of great company to one another. We cannot and should not wait for their venomous words to take root before we act. That would be too late.
As Kenyans, we are one and as the saying goes, wise people use their tongues to count their teeth. The blood that runs in our veins is the same. We might be speaking different languages, or even have different cultural practices but we are one. We are members of the human race. Our destiny is so tied together like the hip joint. If we tear one, we tear all.
I want to urge ordinary Kenyans, we are the majority. The politicians who keep on dividing us are very few. If we choose to vote with our heads, and not emotions, we will take charge of our destiny. The potential of this country is so great. Do not be misled and ruined by people who will go back to their mansions as you run back to your shanty after fighting for them. I want to condemn in the strongest terms possible the continued use of less privileged people to gain political mileage. Do not agree to be exploited. If a leader wants to help you, let him help you at no cost. After all that is his mandate.
What happened in 2007/2008 will forever remain etched in our hearts. We sank in one of the deepest abysses in the history of this great Republic. Over 1,000 lives were lost but for what? Your life or anyone’s life is not worth giving up because we differ in political ideology. Let what happened be reminder of our foolishness and let us refuse to be blinded by the selfishness of our leaders. We cannot slide back into that pit again.
In the history of Kenya’s existence, we have been faced with great adversities. Kenya has dealt with pandemics, natural disasters and tragedies that threatened our very existence. In the midst of all those challenges, the strength of Kenyans was tested to the limit. Some people crumbled like chalk and gave up, completely letting defeat flood over their souls as they surrendered to whatever lot fate apportioned to them.
Kenya is made stronger in moments of adversity. The challenges we face act as a soul purifier; the very same challenge that was meant to break us, cleanses our impurities. Let us watch what we say in our homes because as the old adage goes, the ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people. May we all arise, in common bond united to protect our land and the people of Kenya.