Why a Kenyan Revolution Will Never Happen

By cdohnio

I needed to out this up quick which is why I’m doing this on a day I already have on post up but I feel the longer I wait the less relevant what I have to say becomes. Also I’m not a political scientist or any sort of expert on revolutions and such matters, these are just my thoughts.

Recently, ever since the Tunisia and then Egypt protests and revolts there’s been a lot of chatter on my time-line(Twitter) about whether such a thing can be repeated in Kenya. Today there was even talk of one on 28th February. I don’t know where this one came from but there were a lot of tweets tagged with it in the morning.
I kind of found this laughable because I knew it could never happen, not yet anyway. Why? Well that’s why I’m writing this to explain why I know it could never happen.
We don’t have the balls.  We’re way too comfortable to have a citizen-led revolution. We’re too scared to do what it takes. The post-election violence that happened in 2008 has put in us a health fear of such “revolution”. Even today, when the #feb28 tweets were flying around tweets going around begging for calm, that there were more peaceful means to change the piteous state our country’s in. Someone mentioned the new constitutional implementation as a way to change things.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very pro-peace but what I need my fellow Kenyan’s to realise is that for change to come, a revolution to take place you have to be ready to make sacrifices, I’m not talking about money but lives. Yes, I’m saying that for change to happen in a revolutionary manner we must be ready to die. Until that day we’re ready to lay down our lives  to see change we’ll have to be content with the manner that reforms are being implemented in our country, snail’s-pace and probably a couple of generations out.

I’m not saying that the revolution must necessarily be violent but I am saying that we must be ready to die for it. I say this because the system we’d want to change, the corruption and impunity will not want to change. The people who back it will not want to change, they will fight back and do so violently. We all saw it during the post-election violence. They have the power and means to hire and entice people to kill and intimidate anyone who tries to change the system that has  given them vast amounts of wealth and power. Case and point the Ocampo six.

These guys have managed simultaneously make their prosecution and tribal and political debate and coerce the government to somehow consider their defence one of national pride and honour, hence pay for it, simply because they’re part of the government. I mean are you fucking serious? Crime cannot be protected simply because it’s committed by the government or members of it.

Also for this country to undergo a revolution the middle class needs to take part in it. We won’t. We’re too selfish. We all only ever think about ourselves and/or our families. Think about it. Sure we’ll complain about the corruption, the sorry state of our judicial systems and poor infrastructure but when it comes down to it we all manage to living with them, quite comfortably I can add. We’re not ready to lose that comfort. I think this still goes back to what I said before.
I’ll leave you all with this short story from the post-election violence period:

Kibaki had just been declared president and sworn-in in increase darkness. We saw on TV that Kibera was rioting. Looking out the window you could just make out the smoke in the distance( we stay liked 20 mins walk from Kibera in those days).
Later that night there was talk that Raila had called a rally at Uhuru park, that he was going to swear himself in. My aunt and mum made plans to go. They weren’t going to stand for their election being stolen.
Morning came. They woke up psyched, charged. They dress in jeans, t-shirts and running shoes. There was talk of “If there’s no transport, we’ll walk. Even if the police come there we’re prepared to stand our ground.
They left the house and out of our court. I immediately put on the TV to find out what the situation around Uhuru Park was. A ring of police and GSU all round the place, armed to the teeth.
3minutes later the door opens and there are my aunt and mum. Apparently the GSU(General Service Unit, special police unit used in special situation mostly riot control) men had chosen outside of gate to deploy to stop protesters who were trying to make it to Uhuru park on foot and they had been told to return to house immediately. I laughed my head off!

I fear this is what will happen if we ever tried for a revolution, we turn back scared at the very first opposition we meet. I’d like to point out that both relations in Egypt and Tunisia started with death. Also in Egypt, when they had gathered together in Tahrir square they stayed there besides the police harassing and wounding and killing them and today apparently there been pro Mubarak supporters causing havoc and death. That’s all I have to say. As always peace!!!!

PS: I read an interesting post on revolution on Diasporadical today by misternv. I suggest you go check it out. Again peace!!
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Where are We Headed? by Alffie

Nowadays people care only for

The plant not the seeds

The outcome not the deeds

The wants not the needs

Do you know what that means?

Pepe Haze – We’ve lost it

So one of our fellow Kenyans who was in the Big Brother Allstars recently came back home. And the reception, as I see it is one almost befitting a hero or heroine in this case. The question that sticks out for me is: What exactly did she do to deserve this?.. Well, some say that they are proud of her for ‘representing Kenya well’ in the reality TV show!

Wait!! ‘Representing Kenya well?!!!” Really? Are we really to be proud of her actions in the TV show? And if we are, why are proud of it? Is it that she reflects us as a nation- Which I very much doubt- or us as people of the nation? I don’t see the need to get into the show’s antics but what does this say about us?

Then not so long ago, there was this drama about the lady who got “busted” by a radio show for having been involved with her boss. The husband suspected that the affair was going on and turned to the show which confirmed this suspicion albeit in unconventional ways.

Several reasons why this show is such are:

  • Relationships are full of deception these days
  • Controversy, ‘juicy’ cheating stories seem to attract more listeners than morally upright issues.

More to that, the story gets picked up by the morning show where ‘relationship’ advice is given.

When did we stoop to getting advice about relationships from the radio presenters?

When did we start to gauge our morals by standards portrayed by the media?

Where are we headed:

When we praise the ones that portray everything that is wrong in our society?

When are we headed:

When trust is out of our fabric as relating humans?

Where are we headed;

When our guide to life are media personalities?

Is the media a reflection of our society or the other way round or is it just a vicious cycle?

Whatever the answer, something needs to change.

In that great piece, Pepe Haze closes with this:

It was then that I realized,

We are not free!

Things have gotten worse,

Our sons (and daughters) worship

The system that’s killing us

If you cannot see this, you are probably in the picture!

“You can’t see the picture if you are in the frame” ~ MOG Showtime

It’s time you take a step back, get out of the frame!!

Patriotism – What Football Teaches Us by Alffie

Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime – Adlai E. Stevenson

Patriotism is a virtue and an admirable quality in most cases but certainly not in all cases, especially when it employs emotion without the involvement of logic.

When the Uganda Cranes came to town (Nairobi) for a match up against Kenya’s very own Harambee Stars, I could not help but marvel at the dedication of the Uganda Cranes fans who made their way to Nairobi in droves to support their team!

This made me think about how much sports (focus on football or soccer for the Americans) paints a picture of patriotism that a lot of other things could even wish to. So I sought out to get other examples of unique expression of “loyalty” to football teams – clubs of national teams – that could be translated to be expressions of patriotism… and some that are not!

Let me start with the Positives.

ARSENAL (ORLANDO PIRATES by extension)

If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag – Author Unknown

These two clubs know what it means by being really good and worth winning a number of times but never really getting it! All the while, the fans exhibit such loyalty and hope that the next time round they will win but… for Arsenal, it’s been 5-6 yrs and still nothing.

You think that’s bad?

Well Orlando Pirates, famous and popular as they are in South Africa, had not won anything in ten years!! WOW! That’s a long time! It consoles Arsenal fans I’m sure to know faith can last that long!!

Orlando Pirates Fans

Lesson: The point here, however is patriotism has a lot to do with loyalty and these fans certainly know loyalty!

AC MILAN AND INTER MILAN

For those who might not be aware, these two great Italian teams share a stadium-the famously known San Siro. And all this time, most of the time at least, the fans of either side have exhibited maturity in keeping their rivalry a pitch affair. Sure there are times emotions run high but they understand that their love for the game supersedes mere emotions.

Lesson: Patriotism also bears with it a sense of consideration to your fellow man with which you share your country.

INTER MILAN (MARIGA)

The MacDonald Mariga, who for obvious reasons has been dubbed “UAP”, joined Inter Milan, in classic Kenyan fashion,matatus went to have body art aka graffiti with number “17” on them and Inter Milan’s number “17 Mariga” was being adorned by every Tom, Dick and Mustapha as a sign of pride in Kenya’s own! It’s not so much Mariga being a Nerazzurri (Inter Milan player) as it is him being Kenyan which goes on to say that if he joined Germany’s Borussia Dortmund, the famous Dortmund Yellow (luminous green) and black will fill the Kenyan streets.

Lesson: Patriotism is stick-to-it-iveness i.e. through hell or high water, recognition or nearing obscurity you remain proud of your own (as long as they are on the right track)

GOR MAHIA

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious – Oscar Wilde

These are PASSIONATE fans right here! It’s been a while since winning but being the most successful club in the country gives them a voice. In the recent past, K’ogalo and its faithful have raised the bar in football support most notably being their merchandising. Being predominantly of the ‘proud’ community, I hear, adorning ‘fake’ Gor Mahia gear might get you “uprooted” like the railway in Kibera! This dedication and sense of ‘pride’ definitely makes the brand spread and be more authentic.

Lesson: Patriotism is having a sense of pride in one’s own identity so much so coming across the adulteration & corruption of the same by whoever is “enraging” & unacceptable to you.

UGANDA CRANES

The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border? – Pablo Casals

The Uganda cranes fans in Nairobi would have made think there was a migration of some sought! They came in and made their presence known – Nairobi was all yellow, red and black!! They definitely exemplified love for one’s country beyond one’s own borders – even in “enemy” territory.

I must say I love their Uganda Cranes Anthem. Listen here Uganda Cranes anthem is NICE!!

Lesson: Patriotism is love for your country & your own even in a foreign land. Caution however should be applied where necessary!

GHANA

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it – George Bernard Shaw

When Ghana gave Africa hope of being the first African country to make it to the World cup Semi finals, in the face of impossibility, the whole of Africa was behind them. This loyalty however was not born out of ability but more of loyalty to “brotherhood”.

Lesson: Being Patriotic is sometimes like being a romantic; a person in whom logic plays no part of. I should note this is a dangerous form of patriotism but patriotism nonetheless!

CHELSEA

Patriotism knows neither latitude nor longitude. It is not climatic – E.A. Storrs

I’m willing to bet that upwards of 60% of current Chelsea fans were not Chelsea fans 10 years ago! Reason being they for the most part support a team because they win albeit by hook or crook. I’m not saying this is how Chelsea wins but I’m saying Chelsea fans can never be as resilient as Arsenal or Manchester United fans are. They’ll stick with Chelsea as long as they win. If and when they lose, they WILL jump ship!

Lesson: Patriotism is not a matter of convenience; love your country when it’s all good and when it’s bad, strive to make it better.

GENERAL

A lot of fans always seek to demean the other teams when they win as opposed to praising their own! When you win, praise your own, love your own. What is to you that the other team did not win?!

Lesson: Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first – Charles de Gaulle

If you have not got anything from this post, there’s something missing…in you but just to give you a shadow of doubt, I leave you with these:

I think patriotism is like charity – it begins at home – Henry James

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind – Voltaire