"A bagusii professionals and members of the business community react to continued attacks on Chief Justice David Maraga during a press conference at United Kenya Club in Nairobi on Saturday.”
That was how The Standard put it on Wednesday. Pitifully, only members of the Kisii elite seemed to see any need to react to that example of Kenya’s ethno-racial tiny-mindedness.
Why didn’t any educated Kenyan of English, Kamba, Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Maasai, Scot, Sikh or Somali origin participate in that protest? The answer stares at you like Medusa’s face. It was because Mr Maraga is not a member of any of those ethno-racial communities. Had he been a Kalenjin, Kikuyu, Luhya or Luo, no man or woman of Kisii origin would have bothered.
As long as ethnicity remains their predominant attitude to certain national events, how do Kenyans hope to develop as rapidly as possible into a mono-cultural nation?
If, as long as you are a Luo, you will protest only when a Luo individual is wronged, where are we headed in our alleged journey to arrive at nationhood as soon possible?
If any mistreatment of an ethnic Kalenjin or an ethnic Sikh or an ethnic Norwegian neither touches your feelings nor urges you into any action, where are we headed in our alleged march towards a single multi-ethnic and multi-racial nationhood? Where, in every circumstance, we know ourselves only as tribe and races, never as Kenyans, how can we ever arrive at that destination?
It is a question which every Kenyan brother, cousin, father, mother and sister must ask because it is crucial to that nationhood to which all of us claim to aspire.
Yet the Abagusii case shows indubitably that our country remains millions and millions of rough nautical miles away from that urgently desired social destination.
The glaring fact that tribe and race remain the first thoughts that invade the minds even of those in charge of Kenya’s social upbringing shows just how far away Kenyans remain from the shores of what Michael Blundell – the famous colonial liberal of British origin – might have called So Rough a Wind, so rough an ethno-racial hurricane.
Yet, in our country, even in situations like Mr Maraga’s – where education, training, experience, character and attitude should be the only qualifications – so many irrelevancies continue to stand in the way. Where that is the rule in every other situation in our country, it is we ourselves that we condemn to a permanent attitudinal, cultural and even technological standstill.
In that very same way, we arrest ourselves into a permanent go-slow, very like Mzee Kobe’s, and shall never arrive at that destination of which our founding fathers and founding mothers once dreamed when they grabbed all available mental and other weapons to liberate us from Euro-British racial tyranny.
Yet, in fact, Kenya’s multi-tribal and multi-racial situation is a blessing in disguise, a rich resource untouched. For every ethnic and racial group has resources of its own which it can fully contribute to the nation of the kind to which we aspire only if the political climate fully conduces it to contribute there.
Every tribe and every race has special experiences from which it has learned and stored a great deal of practical wisdom special to it. Whenever you aspire to wealthy nationhood, the secret lies only in collective discovery of how to doff all mental negativities against one another so as to be able to dovetail your ethno-racial experiences and skills into a single mind-hand machine with which to fly your country to all the riches of outer space.
Among the problems of racism, tribalism, sexism and sectarianism is that they force a country to lock out of key development situations a myriad of high minded and highly skilled individuals.