By Alberto Nyakundi Amenya aka Banana Peddler
On the quicksand facing Jalango and his boy club, I have no cogent reason to condemn him. I am not saying this because Jalas is my friend. No. I say this because everyone has their own weaknesses. Just like any other Kenyan, I am at liberty to voice my opinion on this occurrence that the ‘righteous’ have referred to, as an act of extreme wickedness. But before I proceed, I don’t know why Kenyans are making it their problem and the last time I checked, no one has reported to the police that she was raped.
It is heartrendingly regrettable that in the Kenyan court of public opinion – as reflected in the discussions in local blogs, and on social media – Jalas and his boys have long been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. Nonetheless, the verdict couldn’t have been anything less given the traducing prowess of Kenyans on social media.
You see, I have repeatedly said in this space that Kenya is peopled with feckless pretenders that can accuse you of what they are already guilty of. Most these people condemning Jalango are guilty of the same. Peradventure, the only mistake Jalango and his boys did was to carry cameras to the scene and forming a whatsapp group. But show me who doesn’t have an Achilles’ heel in this life.
Kenyans are very unique people. Most of them come to social media for grandstanding but to engage in a potent discourse and intellectual conversation. They are adept in making mountains out of molehills. They have a propensity of blowing non-issues out of proportions. It is uncomprehensible how the boy’s club incident snowballed into a crisis.
Kenya is a nation full of many contradictions. Here, when you behave normal in this abnormal society, people see you as being abnormal. But when you behave abnormally, they canonised and glorify you.
To confirm that Kenyans have an extremely interesting dimension to hypocrisy, ask them their views on cheating among spouses. They’ll swear that they have never done it. In fact, they’ll tell you how cheaters should be castrated. Unsurprisingly, you’ll find out that those condemning cheating are culprits of the same.
My colleague Silas Nyanchwani once told me that if you ask an American about cheating, they’ll boldly confess if they did it. Silas also told me that a married Kenyan woman will engage in sex with two men – they call it threesome – while the husband is away during the day but if the husband asks her in the evening whether the rumours he heard are true, she’ll swear with all her ancestors that it never happened. In the end, it is the husband who’ll end up apologising to her and pacifying her like a baby.
This might appear weird to some but I will say it anyway. If you ask Kenyans whether they masturbate, they’ll kill you for associating them with what they’ll call a ’demonic act’. In fact, others will lecture you on how hazardous and ungodly masturbation is. But follow the same people to their private spaces when they are alone especially at night, the things they do, if filmed, will shock you.
Ask Kenyan men whether they can leak a woman’s pussy. They’ll rebuke you to death for mentioning devilish act in their presence. Follow these people and film them secretly while having sex and see what happens. My friend, you’ll be shocked to find out that that is their most enjoyable moment in love making. The way that man’s head is submerged into a woman’s thighs and his tongue doing what it was trained to do, you’ll give up on these Kenyans that are now pretending to castigate Jalas and his boys.
My favorite British journalist and author Matthew Syed once said “Self-conscious hypocrisy” is an occasional demand of group cohesion. In simple terms, Kenyans overrule their senses to blindly go along with the mob. They forget that these are the things they routinely do on a daily basis only that they don’t film.
Since I am running out of space already, I will rush my argument by surrendering to the fact that bias is universal and human. It is not strange to Kenyans. I’ll also not dispute the fact that partisanship is a determining factor in public discourses. Kenyans have a proclivity of leaning on group dynamics when advancing their arguments the facts available before them notwithstanding. The fact remains that we cannot legislate on people’s emotions.
The fact that many commentators in this space are incapable of controlling their jaundice, no one is perfect. We all wear goggles although some are darker than others. I also countenance the fact that we all live in a world of opinions. Nevertheless, no matter how annoying some people are, we must defend their inalienable rights freedom of expression.
As my former communications lecturer Professor Herman Manyora puts it, Kenyans tend to respond to issues not strictly on the basis of logic as buttressed by the available facts before them, but on the biases of their minds. We must not forget that we all have a skeleton buried somewhere in our closet. Jalas is a man of impeccable character and passionate convictions. We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for having entertained us for more than three lustrums.
The writer sells Bananas in the streets of Kisii Town