Friday, April 22, 2016

Why The Kenyan Identity Is Wearing Thin

Kenyans do love their sports. In fact, little appears to weld them together more tightly than shared support for a team or an athlete.  In August 2008, barely 6 months after the inter-communal slaughter that followed disputed elections claimed over 1300 lives and brought the country to the brink of civil war, Kenyans were united in cheering the country’s athletes at the Olympic games in China. Today, most weekends echo with war cries as the various soccer tribes meet up to do battle online and at homes and bars countrywide. It is at such times, one can catch a fleeting glimpse of what Kenya truly is.

Last weekend we had another chance to see it. As politicians did their best to polarize and divide the people, the historic win in Singapore by the national rugby sevens team was achieving the opposite. These two events did not cancel out each other. The people were not any less divided over local politics or any less fervent in their support for Shujaa - as the sevens team is sometimes called (mistakenly according to Wikipedia).  Just as 8 years ago there was apparently little contradiction in people cheering runners from communities they were at war with half a year before.

In his recent columns, economist Dr David Ndii has suggested that our national and ethnic identities are locked in an epic, existential conflict, and that “tribe has eaten the nation”. He has portrayed Kenya as a marriage of tribes, each trying to outdo the others. A Kenyan identity, he seems to say, is to be articulated as an antidote to this infighting, failing which, a divorce would be inevitable.

The reality is, however, considerably different. Within what it means to be a Kenyan, there appears to be a seamless integration of polarizing tribal politics with celebrations of national achievement. Being Kenyan appears to demand the ability to inhabit seemingly contradictory spaces and identities almost simultaneously. We can be in both Afraha and Singapore, in Beijing and Kiambaa. We can be the most virulent tribalists while dressed up in national colours.

A Kenyan identity hangs rather more comfortably alongside a tribal one than Dr Ndii suggests and people seem to move in and out of them depending on whichever one they prefer to express at a particular moment, in much the same way they navigate their choice of dress.

Like clothing, the identities we wear are allow us to run with particular crowds. But Dr Ndii is partially mistaken when he posits that identity is "about belonging and believing, as opposed to having or not having." The “belonging” is, in fact, a passport to the “having”. The identity is actually a means to access physical and psychological resources.

Thus we are most Kenyan when we seek the resources that identity offers – be they collective security after a terror attack or to be part of the winning team in a sporting event. We are also most tribal when we seek the resources offered by that identity – most often when demanding our “share of the national cake” or “our turn to eat”.

In truth, our closets are full of multiple, and at times contradictory, identities which we put on and take off depending on who we want to be or seem. The real threat to the national identity thus is not that people have an ethnic one, but that the “Kenyan” costume has been eaten up by moths and offers diminished returns. The fact is our ravenous elites have hollowed out the promise of Kenya and few want to put on its tattered uniform.

Our sportsmen and women have always shown us the way to fix this. We must build up the Kenya brand, not by a vacuous “positivity” as government-types would have us believe, but by actually working towards a Kenya that delivers real victories for its people in their everyday struggles. We must also resist the attempt by elites to disguise both the problem and their own culpability for it by hyping ethnicity to foil accountability.


Anonymous said...

The problem in Kenya persists as portrayed in this article. The problem is there but we don't have the courage to face it head-on. I'll try to give you my theory. Just see if it makes sense.
Prior to Colonialism, this area currently called Kenya had different Kingdoms, Chieftains et cetera. There were Oloibons, Orkoiyots, Kaya Elders and so forth that led respective tribes. These respective tribes interacted in trade and inter-marriages. Apart from fights over water-sheds and Livestock raids, there were no fights between communities.
Then the colonialists came in and things changed dramatically. Divide and conquer was their strategy, not to civilize Kenyans but to Exploit Kenyans and their resources. And that happened very efficiently.
After world war two, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill Entered into the North Atlantic Treaty and agreed to decolonize so as to avoid another world war. So did they Decolonize Africa but they were keen to retain Africa as a Source of Raw Materials and a Market for finished goods. They knew quite well that since Kenyans were already divided, Kenyans won't be able to process their raw materials into finished goods thanks to internal conflicts. Furthermore, the thing that brought Kenyans of different ethnicity together was freedom. When Kenya was decolonized, it was now everyone for himself.
The facts are that the twentieth century was too fast for Kenyans and Africa at large. So many changes were imposed on Kenyans and they never took time to internalize them. To-date, Ethnic affiliation seems superior to patriotism simply because Nationalism was never an undertaking by Kenyans.
Now, I've never seen anybody climb a tree from the Top. I would propose two approaches. One, Federalism that will retain Kenya as a country but devolve most of the powers and resources to the regional leaders. Two, Cessation where the tribes will have their own leaders and maybe they will integrate into the larger Kenya at their own pace and preference.

Asore Corp said...

High prolific information and Priviledges comes rare as i would be sharing with you magnificent insight you wish you heard years before now. As it's been understood that what people don't see, they will never know.
When you wonder “which hacking company should I hire, the first aspect that should concern you is quality. Clearly, you want to embark for services that povides swift response, Thanks to our talented and Astonish Hackers , you are rest assured that your expectations will always be met. You’ll be glad to find out that our services Implies precisions and actions.
This post is definitely for those who are willing to turn their lives around for the better, either financial-wise, relationship-wise or businesses.
Welcome to the Global KOS hacking agency where every request on hacking related issues are met within a short period of time.
If your shoe fits in any of the required services below, you will be assigned to a designated professional hacker who is systematically known for operating on a dark web V-link protocol.
The manual Operation of this hackers is to potentially deploy a distinguished hacking techniques to penetrating computers and various type of database system to meet your request.
Penetration of computing systems are achieved using core software tools like Ransomeware, SQL/Keylogger injection. botnet, trojan and DDOS attacks.
Providing value added services to clients as a hacker has been our sustaining goal.
Are you faced with cyber challenges like
💰Recovery of lost funds:✅It saddens our mind when client expresses annoyance or dissatisfaction of unethical behaviours of scammers. We have striven to make tenacious efforts to help those who are victims of this flees get off their traumatic feeling of loss. The cyber security technique used to retrieving back the victims stolen funds is the application of a diverse intercall XX breacher software enables you track the data location of a scammer. Extracting every informations on the con database, every requested information required by the Global KOS would be used to tracking every transaction, time and location of the scammer using this systematic courier tracking base method.
📲 Hacking into the mobile phone of a cheating spouse.✅ This type of hack helps you track every movement of your cheater as we are bent on helping you gain full remote access into the cheater's mobile phone using a Trojan breach cracking system to penetrate their social media platforms like Facebook, whatsapp, snapchat etc. This spy processing is used via an HDSI folder which synchronizes the target mobile operating system into a clone S-Drive unit.
💳Credit Score Upgrade:✅Due to our transformed changes on Equifax tracking , upgrading of credit score are backed by our cyber tech breaching licence, This hacking process drastically generates you an undestructive higher credit score which correlates to a higher level of creditworthiness. The time frame for upgrading a credit score requires eighteen(18) hours
🅱️ BITCOIN GENERATOR:✅ (Higher job profile). This involves using the ANTPOOL Sysytem drifting a specialized hardware and software implementing tool in slot even-algorithms to incentivize more coins into your wallet which in turn generates more coins exponentially like a dream at specified intervals.
The company is large enough to provide comprehensive range of services such as.
• Email hacks📲
• Hacking of websites.📲
• Uber free payment hacks.📲
• website hack.📲
Our strength is based on the ability to help you fix cyber problems by bringing together active cyber hacking professionals in the GlobalkOS to work with.
✉️Email: clarksoncoleman(at)gmail • com.
Theglobalkos(at)gmail •com.
©Global KOS™