Of Kenyans and Our Peculiarity

Aquila has been observing again, and this is what she has to confess this week.

Thinking up this post, it’s funny, was gonna write ‘Of Kenyans and THEIR peculiarity’…was going to be quick to abscond(I love this word) my Kenyan status for this one. And it just so happens that when many a Kenyan speak of the not-so-good about Kenya or Kenyans for that matter, we talk about ‘them’…It’s come to be that the term ‘Kenyans’ isn’t associated with a lot of good. Heard of how Kenyans managed to con Nigerians out of a business and I thought, ‘dhings are dhick’!!!

Anyway, we are a peculiar lot,we Kenyans. Hatujielewi. Allow me to inject this post with a dosage of our national language,which we have so corrupted. Hatujijui. We have no identity to ground us. Initially,this came about after attending a musical event I was sure would be sold out. Simply because it was a cocktail of musical genius that went unappreciated,in my modest opinion. This was an event put together by Kenyans,for Kenyans. The irony, very few a Kenyan attended, depsite very many misleading promises. I’ve always thought that if nothing else can unite us as ‘Wakenya’…music would. If not a sense of national pride, if not our leaders…at least music would.This year has seen an uprising of brilliant talent, all local. Brilliant events, all homegrown. And it’s only beginning,this second half of the year is bound to be something else. Yet, sisi Wakenya, hatutaki kuappreciate.

Here’s the thing, as Aquila sees it. We stand at a very crucial threshhold. There’s many doors in front of us as a nation. We need to realize that we are the proverbial flag…’Bendera hufuata upepo’. We are too easily waylaid, and for the life of me, I cannot tell you what’s the one thing that unites Kenyans. And so we have a choice to make. Shall we be united by a common foe or a common positive entity? What,as Kenyans,shall we align our heavily unused loyalty to? I could easily advocate for music,seeing as ‘niko kwa industry’. I am at band practice, and as we play the National Anthem, I realize just how much we do not appreciate its power to unite…to liberate,to bring forth peace….all virtues mentioned in its wordings…

We need a new perspective. We need to find a starting point to unite our hearts’ cry,and truly set us on the elusive path of justice. It may be music,it may be something else. But, we need to identify what unites us..else,when the next mighty wind comes blowing across this nation, tutataparanyishwa! (just sounds best in Swahili).

Stop,and think, dear Kenyan. Where does your national loyalty lie, in dreaming of a utopic nation and doing nothing to realize it? In pointing out what’s wrong with our nation and crossing your hands and bowing down your head,waiting for someone to do something? In passing up on opportunities that are blatantly before thine eyes, opportunities to rekindle that dying flame of loyalty to your motherland?to your kinsmen,fellow Kenyans?

Someone started a campaign to realize that loyalty that has so abandoned us. Najivunia Kuwa Mkenya. Kenyans didn’t agree,they said, Najihurumia Kuwa Mkenya. I say, Sijui Kuwa Mkenya. But! I am working towards changing that. By appreciating every good Kenyan thing that displays itself,by appreciating any Kenyan defying all odds to dare to be different. Musically, intellectually…in every possible way.

Nataka Kuwa Mkenya!


By Nanjira

Perched at the intersection of tech & governance, media, culture.