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Archive for September 25th, 2007

Making a difference

Posted by African Press International on September 25, 2007

This world is a world full of conflicts,

There are those who would like to make a difference,

If they get the opportunity to make a difference,

And we know that making a difference is the greatest gift,

Let us all join, do our best and make a difference.

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Let us not be misled to think we can ostracise the Kikuyu simply because Raila says so

Posted by African Press International on September 25, 2007

Author : Kioi Wa Nagi
Commentary: a reaction to:https://africanpress.wordpress.com/2006/11/19/kenya-raila-odingas-hate-for-the-kikuyu-community/

I am a Kenyan of Gikuyu descent and I do not regret that like former AG, Charles Njonjo. There is nothing wrong with anybody belonging to any community in Kenya. What is wrong, my fellow Kenyans, is to lump all your frustrations on Kibaki and by extension, the Gikuyu.

Just like the rest of the Kenyan ethnic groups, we, the Gikuyu, have our share of smart people, stupid people, lazy people, busy bees (by the millions), cute women, handome men, ugly women, ugly men, thieves (by the thousands) and even saintly people. In a word, we are like everybody else and we are not begging to be from the Railas, the Luo, the Luhya, or from anybody else.

We only beg from God not from anybody. And unlike many other ethnic groups, our bonds are lose in times of peace and we prefer each to be on his own; doing their stuff and leaving the rest to cater for their own. Yes, this trait is somewhat ‘unAfrican’ (where societies have strong but losening bonds), but you’ve got to re-visit Kenyan history to learn that the British had an insatiable appetite for our lands and took everything that we had.

The impact of British rule, you ought to know, was heaviest in Kikuyuland than anywhere else in Kenya. By the time they were leaving, as attested by the book, ‘British Gulag’ they
had killed + or – 100,000 of us. They also ‘uprooted’ us, which is why you find us all over Kenya and elsewhere.

Even before anybody talks about Gikuyu leaders, they’ve got to understand the internal dynamics of the community and its class system, which has, more than any other community, produced extremely rich people living side-by-side with extremely poor, but hard-working and hopeful ‘holoi poloi.’ Again we are like every other Kenyan community.

And I’d like to reiterate that we do not go around begging the Railas of this world. We like doing our own stuff, which is why we are silently going about our business and saying nothing even with all this anti-Kikuyu activities.

The reason? It is simple, we do not consider this to be any threat to us. Indeed, most of us will definitely vote for Kibaki and if all other Kenyans want to sack him, then let them go ahead and do so. After all, those who have cared to check electoral statistics will realisethat when other communities came out in large numbers to vote for Kibaki in 2002, only about one million of us (a mere 30 % of registered voters) came out to vote. The figure was less during the 2005 referendum.

This apathy is why Kibaki had to go to Nyeri over the weekend to plead with us to go out and vote in large numbers. But why the apathy? It is simple; most of us, -probably unlike other communities- know the deceit with which politicians treat ordinary people and we are not convinced that electing the Kibaki’s, the Railas or the Moiswill add any more sufurias in our homes.

Kibaki might have done some good for the country, but millions of ordinary Kikuyus know this can only be translated into real benefits for themselves if they worked hard. We know and teach our children that nothing can come out of laziness. Just imagine, what would a road do to a community if its members do nothave things to transport to the market. How would taking electricity to remote areas help much if people do not tap such electricity for productive purposes.

We, the Gikuyu realised long ago that what can benefit from our own sweat. That is why millions now own one or a few grade cows or planting coffee again after uprooting it when Daniel Arap Moi destroyed the coffee subsector.

So Kenyans can go ahead and elect Raila if that is what they want. But they should ask him to seek votes by some other means rather than pegging his campaigns on anti-Gikuyu sentiments. We are not moved!

Raila should also know that for 24 years, Moi tried to kill everything Gikuyu (banks, tea, coffee, schools, land-buying companies, our sons and daughters in the clashes of 1992 and partly 1997 etc..) We did not surrender! Before Moi, the British killed hundreds of thousands; subjected millions of us to untold sufferings and nearly destroyed the entire community in a genocidal campaign that has little historical parallels.

Following what took place, we are no longer moved by mere posturings or shadow boxing..which is why we prefer to keep quiet; ignore these anti-Kikuyu campaigns, and go about our business as if Raila has never been. Raila will only be a threat to us if he wins elections and goes ahead to try what Moi did. But we will welcome his presidency if he leaves us alone to do what we’ve always done; produce wealth for this country.

Those who care to re-visit history will realise that we, the Gikuyu, taught everybody else in Africa how to start an uprising and stick to some common understanding. That was then, yes, and we now want peace to bring up our kids like everybody else in Kenya. We also want a peaceful coexistence with our brothers and sisters in Luo-land, Luhya-land, Kalenjin-land and elsewhere.

We have lived harmoniously this far and our brothers and sisters have a lot to offer to us and we believe we have a lot to offer too. Please let us not be misled to think we can ostracise the Kikuyu simply because Raila says so. He is one person and if at all he gets to power, he will need all communities to pay taxes so that he can pay the police and the army, fund road projects or even get a salary.

He should not think we owe our existence to him. We only reflect our attentionto God and will be there even after Raila has come and gone, (that’s if at all he comes.)

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