3rd world?? What does that even mean? 🤔Are the 1st and 2nd world countries better than us? So what, we are broke and cannot help ourselves? But is that really true?
Let’s look at this step by step, shall we… Africa is known as the dark continent. Probably because we did not have electricity before the 1900’s. But we did have the sun right? It couldn’t have been that dark. Oh wait, come to think of it, it might have been. We had a large forest cover that was thick which could have blocked the light from getting to the ground. Oh well we’ll never know… So the whites, British to be exact, thought they would come to Kenya and enlighten us and we became the Kenya colony in 1920. Well that is when they made it official but we all know they had stayed for quite a while before that. From the history I learned in school and the set book ‘The River Between’, the Kenyan people fought for their freedom. The Kabaka guy, Mekatilili Wa Menza and Dedan Kimathi are just a few of the freedom fighters we read about almost every year.
A few collaborated as they were taught about the Good news and introduced to education (these were the guys who followed the saying that ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’). They knew that their weapons were nothing compared to the guns the whites carried with them everywhere. At times I’m not sure if I am happy about the whole colonizing thing or not. I mean sure the Gospel came to Kenya and we were able to access education and utilize most of our unused brain. But on lazy days, I curse the colonizers… I mean instead of going to class and sitting through a long tiresome lecture about the Maxwell’s equations or Bell and Schrodinger (Man I hate this guy😒😒, scientists are weird though. Why did they go ahead and see things that were supposed to be invisible?? Now we have all these things that we are supposed to know and are very difficult)… Uh-oh, I am way off topic. Where was I? Ah, the class. Instead of being in class, I could be somewhere in a forest digging for food maybe. Considering my age, I could have been married with some kids. Well over three I’m guessing. That’s a downside, but it would have been the norm. Walking in animal skin and bathing in the river… aaaah that would have been the life😎!!!
But hey, getting colonized was okay I guess. So here we are in the 21st century and it feels like we are still on a leash. We are still surviving on grants, deep in debt and cannot solve our own problems. The last few months I have attended a few conferences and it just hit me that we are so dependent on other countries. Not to sound ungrateful or anything, trust me I am full of gratitude. How is it that 54 years after becoming an ‘independent’ country we don’t live up to the name? I love our country and would not prefer to live anywhere else but honestly some times I am highly disappointed in ourselves. When I was seated in the UON towers, 6th floor, during a session in the Triple Helix Conference, a question came to my mind. “ARE WE STILL COLONIZED?”. I think the answer came to me just now. No! No, we are not colonized. We have handicapped ourselves. Kenya may seem well off from a far, but we are not doing anywhere close to good. In a population of 44 million, 42% live below the poverty line.
That is like a machine that has an efficiency of 58%. Anyone knows that is not good at all. I remember there was a time when we used to say that foreigners cause war in African countries and meddle in our affairs to drain our resources. That may or may not be true, I don’t know and frankly I don’t care for now. I think it’s high time we stop shifting the blame. We take debts and grants from the world bank(or whoever) and for a moment there, we feel rich. Then we divide the cash among different ministries and counties with the intention of making change. Instead they land in people’s pockets thus the rich grow richer and the poor stay poor. We dwell on giving political solutions instead of technical ones. I mean how else would you explain the same road having to be repaired every rainy season, yet the same contractor will be hired time and time again? Right now the roads are being built by the Chinese. Does that mean that we do not have capable guys to do the job? Every year, well over 2000 engineers graduate from the universities. Where do they all disappear to? How is it that the youth are constantly crying that we lack jobs yet the doctors and teachers, in fact all professions, are complaining that they need more people? Strikes have become a day-to-day thing since that seems to be the only way to communicate. Inflation is a nightmare yet our salaries remain a constant. I know I sound like I am just pointing out what is wrong. That is exactly what I am trying to do.
Kenya is a great country with huge potential and brilliant people (or is it just the ones surrounding me? Nuh, I don’t think so). Why don’t we take up responsibility for our own problems. I believe the solution is within us. I mean the problems are our own after all right? Let’s start with the coming elections. Let us all show up to vote and nominate great and honest leaders. Let’s be peaceful. Don’t harm your long term neighbor because they have different views from you. In fact, kura yako ni siri yako (your vote is your own secret). What is tribalism?? We should refuse to be split by something as trivial as tribal lines. WE ARE KENYA🇰🇪!!!
I invite us all to go read our National Anthem and sing it as a reminder of what our country is all about.