The Swahili have a popular saying that, ‘Mjinga akierevuka, mwerevu huwa mashakani’. Loosely translated, when a fool is enlightened, the clever gets into trouble.
Indeed, Kenyans are angry. No, that is an understatement. Kenyans are extremely angry. But no one seems able to lay a finger on what is exactly ailing us. Could it be something in the air, or the water?
Seriously though, it has taken long for the President to acknowledge this fact, at least publicly, is testament to the fact that we are living in different worlds.
While the leaders and the rich are laughing all the way to the bank, the rest of us are crying to and from the bank!
After decades of living a lie, the sand is now sinking under the edifice of deception. Finally, the masks are off, and we now see clearly the daggers we have been holding behind our backs, even as we indulge one another socially, economically and politically.
Kenya ranks high among the top unequal societies globally, where the poorest 10 per cent of the population control only 1.8 per cent of the national wealth.
We also have emerging gender inequalities as undue preference is given to women to meet quota requirements.
Even as we cry ‘femicide’, no one is talking #Mentoo! An increasing number of men are also on the receiving end of spousal murders, either directly, or through depression-related suicides.
Runaway corruption has created widespread despondency, where opportunities seem to belong to some chosen few.
Moreover, grand corruption has robbed many of their potential, including any hope for the future of their families.
“There’s a natural mystic blowing through the air, if you listen carefully now you will hear, this could be the first trumpet, might as well be the last, many more will have to suffer, many more will have to die, don’t ask me why, things are not the way they used to be, I won’t tell no lie, one and all got to face reality now.”
But this is not a dreadlocks thing! The above lyrics of Bob Marley’s 1977 reggae hit song, Natural Mystic, ring so true in our current predicament as a nation.
The angst against the status quo is all over. No social class or religion has been spared the heightened disquiet. The message is clear – we have had enough.
The result of the foregoing scenario is the unprecedented violence we are faced with. It seems like due to the gradual breakdown of law and order, Kenyans have decided to take matters into their own hands.
Someone told me the ongoing backlash, which is caused by resentment from years of both personal and collective betrayal, would get worse.
That what we are seeing today is a tip of the iceberg, the debris before eruption of the volcano. People have reached the end of their tether, with no recourse to justice through the established channels.
But we have nine lives, don’t we? My prayer is that Kenyans have finally realised that the destiny of this country is in their hands. –The writer is a communication expert, and public policy analyst. [email protected]