Friday, May 3, 2013

Kenya: Captive of Past Sins

Re-reading "Cut Off My Tongue" by Sitawa Namwalie..reminds me of the many issues we have swept under the carpet of "peace" we have responded to the calls from within our 'separate enclaves to internalise and mythologise the language of tribe"..we have returned to our "experience of tribe/sharp acid on the tongue/clanging metallic noises/a rising tide of bile/a watchful expectation of ugliness rearing its head/reaching out to grab cake for itself/eating quickly/greedily"..we have resorting to type, this is the state of most Kenyans: "Tribe makes me act secretly/I read the newspapers/watch behind the news/scan the streets/count the members of the..council/on and on  I tally the  numbers my tribe emerges/In my mind I add up all mounting disadvantage/to store in my prized basket of grievance/I am expert at computation: 12.25% of my tribe in the cabinet/I am no longer conscious of what I do/You see, I am victim/innocent/but for the tribal design of others/The truth is revealed in broiling ethnic conclaves.../I bring my hush-hush bliss to the fore/the bliss of playing victim/to bemoan with relish my miserly pickings/condemn with glee the crumbs i feed on/while others hog the national cake." 

Meanwhile the all-important issue of IDPs; of justice has been conveniently forgotten..but the eye sore remains..of the white, torn tents; of the "carcass of the house that stands still/sentinel to a rage set free/windows gouged out/blinded to keep secrets of terror alive/hollow doors open wide/tribute to Africa's tribal scream.." The call has been made: 'Move On" and yes we have moved on, the unspoken betrayal notwithstanding, draping the tatters of shame over our shame; shame of the 'sacrilege that has been perpetrated here; blood debts accumulated: All those lives, all those homes devastated, lost to the stasis of grief and pain; rage unleashed to cumulate and fester in the exile of the soul..As Dr. Wambui Mwangi notes, "We have silenced and covered over these transgressions against each other, perhaps believing that sleeping dogs should be let lie. The problem with sleeping dogs is that they invariably wake up and bite." 

How long shall this marriage of silence last? How long shall we continue being a country where "people have become ghost-like and spectral to others; where we treat our Others as if there were already ghosts. Yet we still seem them; Our Ghost ourselves." How long shall we deny our history; allow the demonising of those who fought for the liberties we now enjoy including the 'evil society"? How long shall we clothe ourselves in the false cloth of pervasive notions of sovereignty as we soil the glorious past of Pan-Africanism for selfish gains? 

We are captives of our past demons; Time to 'uncut' our tongues; break the silence; remember our brotherhood; our sisterhood; our Kenyanhood; Time to remember that there are only 'tribes' in Kenya: the haves and have-nots; the bourgeoisie and the holloi-polloi; time to speak for your tribe; time to reveal the 'traitors' as Boniface Mwangi did and defend the pride, heritage and splendor of our Lovely Nation; time to fight the greedy MPigs; time to fight the entrenchment of kleptocracy/impunity in Kenya..because at the end of the day-very few gain from our ethnic divisions; we all suffer (me, you and those others you call 'them')..Let's pay heed to "the voices of our ghosts..speaking through Sitawa Namwalie's pen that will not be so easily silenced."


Paul Ogendi said...

Yet, I have argued elsewhere that inclusion of all tribes including in leadership is a necessary recipe for the sustainable peace and stability of this nation.

Ngeeta Ngeeta said...

I choose to black my eye on the media shift from the persistent anguish of the '07-08 tribal skirmishes and the resultant victims.Its not just you who notices the ethnic strife that has been brewing for the last decade or so, most of us learned Kenyans are victims. Am sitting on strategies to take an active role in harmonizing Kenyan tribes. Till i launch, Your rumblings will be a necessary footnote!

Felix Kyalo said...

Paul Ogendi..I do agree with you inclusivity has to be a starting point..and so too is equitable distribution of resources..

Felix Kyalo said...

Thanks Liz Ngeeta...Most appreciated and yes indeed, it starts with all of us..and yes pursuit of harmony and justice must be attended by justice and equality is our country, we owe it to ourselves and to future generations to heal the wounds