Appreciating our Cultures

The Alternative Focus is all about YOU, yes, YOU who is reading this. This is why we are giving you a chance to be a part of it. If you have anything you would like to share, all you have to do is write an email to and we will publish it. We are even taking things to a different level.

Most literature in Kenyan blogs is in English, a little in French and very little in Swahili. I am yet to see a post entirely in Kikuyu, Luo, Kalenjin, Maasai or any vernacular language. Our ancestors were known to pass valuable lessons to their children in the form of songs, riddles, proverbs, poems, short stories etc. These were letter passed on from generation to generation. However, there is a risk that our generation will not be able to pass these to the next generation. Instead, we will pass foreign literature. Something has to be done about it.

In that light, here is a forum to document and at least help pass that chant, song, riddle, proverb or poem to generations and generations to come. In the process, we will be able to appreciate our different cultures. As Patrick Lumumba once said, “Culture is the celebration of diversity. Let us therefore not deny our origin; but instead celebrate ours as a cultural mosaic not a tower of Babel, but a power of Babel!”

I kindly ask you to send any literature available/existing in your (or any) mother tongue (and hopefully with a translation). If you can compose, then that is great, if you do not know your mother tongue, you can get your folks, uncles, aunts or any relative to write you one. The idea is to interact with fun literary works of our various cultures, nothing too serious. If you are wrong on the translations, I am sure someone will be happy to correct you in the comments section and we will all learn something. As if that was not enough, gifts will be given to the best piece every month, how cool is that?

Well, get that old chant, poem or story, write it on a Microsoft word document and send it as an attachment to and lets appreciate our unique Kenyan culture. In (again) Patrick Lumumba’s words, “I refuse to believe that this country must run on the wheels of negative ethnicity where ones ethnic extraction is the touchstone of ability; that is a veritable tower of Babel . But worry the least – I have a perfect recipe for national cohesion. Let us combine the energy of the Luhya with the entrepreneurship of the Kikuyu, with a little dose of the Wakamba and Miji Kenda humility, the Maasai’s zeal and zest and the Luo’s quest for perfection and the beautiful qualities of all Kenyan nations and what looks like the tower of Babel will become the power of Babel!”

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  1. raymondchepkwony

     /  November 11, 2010

    I have been planning to do a blogpost entirely in Kalenjin… I’ll send you the piece instead!!..

  1. KiKenya « The Alternative Focus

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