What Have You Done For Your Country

By Justalffie

What are you doing for your country?

WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR YOUR COUNTRY?

In what could be one of the most elaborate & stinging quote as pertaining to patriotism & a citizen’s responsibility to their country from one of the most recognizable leaders, John F. Kennedy said:

“Ask not what your country can do for youask what you can do for your country.”

This is what came to mind after the ‘country’ became incensed, frustrated & even disgusted when the Ocampo 6’s return was welcomed in what can be likened to a ‘Hero’s welcome!’ The media did not make it any better with all of them turning their attention to Uhuru Park while at the same time purporting not to support them!

It’s this that I believe brought about the “I Support Ocampo 6 Media BlackOut” (#ISupportOcampo6MediaBlackOut on twitter) movement and cry all over the cyber world (read ‘Kenya’) and then came the petition to collect signatures in support of this cause. (Sign the Petition)

At this point I wondered how exactly this will help; so the petition is signed then & a HIGHLY almost METAPHYSICALLY IMPROBABLE turn of events that the media blackout is effected; then what? Don’t get me wrong, sign the petition. It’s a worthy cause but here I ask what good is a ‘good cause with no effect”?

Allow me to illustrate. If you were in unfamiliar territory and were lost and along the way you meet a native of the area who happens to know the area, ask him for directions. Assume with me, that he goes ahead & tells you how dangerous the path you are on is but doesn’t tell the right path to take, of what help will that be to you?

That’s how I feel about this move. Media blackout is well & good but what is it that we’ll be doing in the meantime? Inaction is just as bad as bad action, if not worse!

For too long we’ve complained about these politricksters with their politricks (as Peter Tosh would put it). What they are doing is hardly new to us or new at all! They’ll still come back to the voting public with the now famous “90 day roadmap” to do whatever including relocating the IDPs!! What nerve?!! Malcolm Muggeridge, a great in the media industry put it this way;

All new news is old news happening to new people.”

So in essence we are being REACTIVE in airing our frustrations which we all know will avail little to nothing! It’s time to be PROACTIVE. Talking about what they should do then get angry when they inevitably don’t do, is pointless. This is what Albert Einstein referred to as insanity when he defined it as;

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

But in terms of offering a direction to take, maybe Confucius said it best when he said;

“Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”

Cursing the darkness (what we don’t like about the politicians & maybe the media) will not make it go away. Shining a light on the other hand will kill the darkness! This is the focus of this post… WHAT TO DO, not WHAT AND HOW BEST TO COMPLAIN ABOUT WHAT IS NOT BEING DONE!

 

I’m not going to suggest aggression because I’m of the same school of thought as Dr. John Lennox who once said that, ‘In the country I come from (N. Ireland), Aggression is usually linked to weakness of argument.‘ I believe we have strength in our argument.

What can we do as the media fights for these leaders’ attention or the other way round or is it a symbiotic relationship?!

I offer a suggestion. Using twitter as a sample, we have corporate, sober media personalities, influential members of the business, music industries, event organizers, bloggers… the list of these movers & shakers, so to speak, is endless!

Twitter has more than 70,000 Kenyan users – about 50,000 active users but for the sake of this argument allow me to use 20,000. If for example, in a month, these 20,000 tweeters give only 500 each, we’ll have a total of 10 Million!! How far along can this go in the pursuit of aiding our brothers & sisters who were displaced during the PEV?!

That’s just one month. How much more can we do in the next 12 months, that is before these politricksters come back to tell us how they promise to resettle them in the now famous 90 days?!!

Just recently, there was the 1% drive that helped raise 100,000 in 8 hours via social sites! 8 hrs!! We can’t honestly say we can’t effect change now can we?

Events can be planned, drives held etc… nothing can really STOP A UNIFIED PEOPLE!

Remember Kenya Feb 28?

 

Many have different opinions concerning this initiative some even see it as a waste of time. I, however, see it as an initiative that achieved its objective – Unite Kenyans in singing the National Anthem which doubles up as a prayer or hymn as some see it! Without the “endorsement” of the government we, Kenyans, came together for a positive cause. If that’s not a testimony that we can do much more I don’t know what is?!

 If we, in our various capacities (still using twitter as the base of argument but not excluding other forums) including the corporate in these platforms, ACT we’ll have achieved more than just going on about “righteously advocating” for an Ocampo6 media blackout or whichever other blackout!

I say WE CAN DO THIS!! We always chant KENYA NI YETU! WE ARE PROUDLY KENYAN!

Well, it’s time we walk the talk, and to borrow from Johnnie Walker tag line… “Keep Walking”..

You want an Ocampo 6 (along with others) media blackout, good BUT don’t stop there, in fact don’t even give them your time. Instead effect change. It’s common knowledge some of them will want to ride on your cause down the line.

For the media, maybe these words by Caroline Mutoko address you best:
Let’s STOP the madness” 

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!!