Sunday Nation Caption: “Day Raila Wowed Kikuyu Worshippers”
Journalist Chris Wamalwa today penned Raila’s last Sunday attendance of a church service at Lowell area, Boston.
That’s the kind of story I call bad journalism in good democracy! I hope someone will tell him some ‘me’ said so.
I call that story ‘crap’ for the nuanced news in it. For the record, I am one of those people in this country who abhor tribalism, especially the type that is spewed from newsrooms clothed as journalism.
So we have Kenyans in the diaspora. . . .and Kikuyus in the diaspora? Kenyans in the diaspora live everywhere; Kikuyus in the diaspora live in Boston and Atlanta!
That it is possible to get Kikuyus bundled in one neighbourhood thousands of miles away is the greatest indictment of the so called ‘diaspora kenyans’! In fact, it proves to us that there is nothing so ‘diaspora’ about some of these kenyans. A monkey is still a monkey, though the forests my change.
Sadly, Chris Wamalwa, or whoever used Chris Wamalwa’s by-line, may have been honest in his analysis of the Lowell Church attended by Raila. It’s predominantly Kikuyu. It is a Kikuyu church, in a Kikuyu community, where Kikuyu kids seamlessly speak Kikuyu like their counterparts in Gachie. And, Raila is, antagonistically, not a kikuyu.
Which brings me to the Gikuyu ‘diaspora problem’. Whether in Lowell in Boston or Kimumu in Uasin Gishu, the Kikuyu in diaspora has this Kirinyaga-Nyeri mentality of ‘us’ vs ‘them’ for the callous lowly ones; or ‘us’ amidst ‘them’ for the refined, intellectual types.
‘Day Raila Wowed Kikuyu worshippers’ reads bad. The sort of story that elevates the absurd above the normal. Anyway, it seems we have ‘accepted’ this weird arrangement of kenyans living side by side with the Kikuyus!
You know, when I saw the photo of Raila after the church attendance, with some kids, I told whoever was posting the photo, one Raila aide, that the picture wasn’t worth a thousand words: Here were sad kids who probably had overheard their parents ‘discuss’ somebody called Raila…then booom! There he was! The kids, from that picture, were indeed astonished, if not amused, or bemused. But this is a story for another day.
One more thing, I have never known a politician in this country who’s tried everything one can do to befriend the Kikuyus like Raila. They even married one. Yet, sadly, except for Ruto, no other politician sends chills in that part of the world than Raila!
‘Day Raila Wowed Kikuyu Worshippers’ sounds bad. The sort of story that makes you know we got along way to go. Sadly, it is an elite story, for I don’t believe the ‘Kikuyu worshippers’ in Lowell are your Mukurwe kwa Njenga types.
So, where do Kenyans in the American diaspora worship? At least we know where Kikuyus in American diaspora go to church.
Let me get back to the ‘us vs them’ and ‘us amidst them’ mentality. It is the very reason for the 2007 violence and the bungling of the 2013 elections. There is a belief, shared widely among these people, that everyone else in this country is ‘them’, not ‘us’ or ‘for us’, and so, it must be ‘us’.
Yes, I’m talking tribal stuff here. That’s because I’m above it and not the type who care about the little ‘perception’ niceties. Every election eve, the kikuyu elites and politicians make it appear as if the so called ‘kikuyu interests’ is mutually exclusive of the other Kenyan ‘interests’. Other kenyan politicians take cue and start treating Kikuyus like some ‘special case’…so it becomes easy for a journalist, writing in a respected national dailly, to write ‘day Raila wowed Kikuyu worshippers’!
Talking about interests, damn, what are the ‘Luo interests’? Kuria interests, Luhya interests? ‘Luo interests’? by the way? Ooh, to take power? May be, why not? But that will ‘endanger’ the Kikuyu interests? Of course, I’m not joking!
So each election cycle, a generation of Kikuyu voters are told…’mundu wa nyumba’.Each election, a generation of the rest come to learn: ‘kikuyus can’t vote someone else’. Woo them…harder…harder…harder….Good thing is, now, we, the ‘rest’, have got used to Kikuyus in power. It doesn’t scare us, it doesn’t freak us out, at least not me.
Which brings me to Raila. You don’t need to woo ‘Kikuyu’ worshippers when you are abroad. I mean, you don’t need to be seen to be doing so. Interestingly, Kikuyus are very religious both here at home and in the diaspora.
Finally, who cares? “Day Raila wowed ‘Kikuyu’ worshippers”.
Good bad story. Good because it makes us continue a conversation we must have; bad because it cajoles %^&**&^#$@.