In one of New England’s cemeteries, there is a tomb and the following words are on its epitaph:
“Beneath this stone, a lump of clay, Lies Arabella Young, Who, on the twenty-fourth of May, Began to hold her tongue.”
The words of that epitaph shout this message to you Moses Kuria: If you fail to control your tongue, it will control you. Hateful words are like irretrievable arrows released from an archer’s bow. Once released, traveling through the air toward their target, they cannot be withdrawn, their damage cannot be undone. Hateful words pierce like a jagged blade, ripping at the heart of their target. Loose words can lead a nation to genocide, an individual to the docks, ethnic cleansing, hatred or even war. Post-election violence was a fruit of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21 informs us that “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
In my studies on communication and culture, I learned that all cultures are the same, just different. None is superior to the other and none inferior to any other. Culture is from God, he is the master creator who designed the world intricately, putting everything in place to reflect his glory including cultures that might look weird or funny to us. From the Asmat tribe of Papua New Guinea to the Zulus of South Africa, from the Nubians of Sudan to the Maoris of New Zealand, from the Somalis to the Mijikenda of Kenya; all these tribes and cultures were created by God. But how can we claim to love a God whom we have not seen but ethnocentrically judge other tribes he created? Why do you judge other cultures according to the standards of your own? Or how can we claim to follow God when we hate and curse those made in his likeness?
While you Moses Kuria, seems to be convinced that you are a Christian, I’m irked by how you contradict every single scripture that speaks about unity and what Christ accomplished on Calvary. Maybe you have forgotten about the Pharisees who looked down on the Gentiles simply because they were different. What makes you different from the white imperialists who thought that by enslaving Africans, they were doing them a favor? Is there any difference between you and the architects of apartheid?
In what light will you be discussed in the annals of history when you are no more? Do you want to be remembered as a merchant of hate or a bridge builder? A man who reconciled warring communities and put enemies on the same negotiating table or a man who spent his energy dividing communities? While controversy sells, why would you waste such a big national platform by constantly hating instead of loving? Do you know that hate is a far much bigger & poisonous burden to carry than love? Why would you sacrifice a legacy of being a unity advocate, peace ambassador and a transformer at the altar of hate? Why would you trade your birthright of greatness for a mediocre bowl of soup? Whatever you have been doing is not sustainable. No leader has ever risen to the pinnacle of success through tactics you are currently experienced at.
The likes of Tom Mboya, at 31 years of age, were already representing Kenya at Lancaster house, Dedan Kimathi became a Field Marshall at 25 and Jesus, whom you claim to follow, at 33 had already made an indelible mark in the world’s history by dying for it. You Moses Kuria, at 43, must stop being proud of this title ‘the undisputed leader of abuses and controversy’. You can further Vision 2030’s goals of Cohesion, unity, politics of substance and economic empowerment by stopping forthwith your constant attacks and demeaning of cultures that don’t look like yours. Let your speech be seasoned with love, grace and tolerance to help build the spirit of nationhood. It is never too late to work on changing what you will be known for when you are gone. In 1888, Alfred Nobel’s brother Ludvig died, and a French newspaper mistakenly ran an obituary for Alfred, which called him the ‘merchant of death’. This happened after his famous invention of dynamite, which he thought, would end all wars but was seen by many others as an extremely deadly product. On November 27th, 1895, not wanting to go down in history with such a horrible epitaph, the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel created a will that established the now famous Nobel Peace Prizes. Even the Bible agrees in Ecclesiastes 9:4 where it reads as follows:
“Anyone who is among the living has hope — even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!”
But sadly, there is a Moses Kuria in all of us. Though it might not be as visible as his, we still have preconceived prejudices against each other. Kuria just projects our thoughts. Indeed, a drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts. We pretend to be middle class, urban raised people yet we sub consciously hold negative sentiments towards each other. Our survival instincts take us back to our ethnic cocoons when a slight opportunity arises. We are all Pharisees, judgmental and proud in how we view other cultures. We are together during rugby matches, concerts and any forum that is fun oriented. But with slight provocation, the contents of our hearts are laid bare in form of prejudicial statements, thoughts and actions.
Let’s all take advantage of any opportunity we get and unite this nation. We all have unique platforms where we can begin a journey to place tangible accomplishments on our CV’s as mentors and people who further ideals of tolerance as opposed to demeaning certain communities. At the end of it all, God will require from us an audited account of how we used the platform he gave us. Will we be accused of squandering it or using it for God’s glory? Let’s live by 1 Cor 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” Let us all add positively to efforts aimed at unifying this already badly fragmented nation. Do your part in rebuilding the tattered fabric of our society.
Follow the writer @dannishodongo