Did They See This Coming?
A year or so ago, I differed with Governor Evans Kidero who caricatured Nyanza, especially Luo Nyanza, as a declining power.
Gov. Kidero had made very unfortunate remarks to the effect that education fortunes in Luo Nyanza had dwindled in the last decade.
Methinks the governor didn’t have the statistics – or he was deliberately given the wrong statistics. There may be another reason: Like many people, Governor Kidero may have bought the lie that people who hate Nyanza, especially Luos, often peddle – that we are poor and that we are failed and that we need to ‘work with government’.
However, year after year, Nyanza has debunked all these myths peddled on its name.
Be they political, social, economic and cultural, Nyanza is not declining and Nyanza is not begging. Nyanza is not eating wild fruits or wild rodents. Nyanza is not hungry and Nyanza is not thirsty!
There used to be a Nyanza that was only synonymous with HIV/AIDS. The Nyanza they said was scourged and ravaged and depopulated. While that Nyanza is still in their statistics and their mindsets, it does not exist.
There used to be a Nyanza whose significant political leaders were all in the political cold – literally – like detention or under house arrest. While it is true Nyanza is still politically condemned; while we still bury fallen sons, our region is no longer in detention nor is it in house arrest.
There used to be a Nyanza that collected its taxes, paid its rates and all its other dues to the Kenyan state but got nothing in return save for a few political tokens here and there. The Nyanza of cattle dips and gabions. The Nyanza the Republic of Kenya snubbed and forgotten about. That Nyanza too is no more.
There used to be Luo Nyanza, Kisii Nyanza and Kuria Nyanza, today; there is only one Nyanza. While our union is not perfect, it is being perfected.
Nyanza has been to the pit and back. Nyanza has seen the bullets and the batons; the horses and the canisters.
For fear of Nyanza, we’ve seen regimes turn mild authoritarianisms into wild tyrannies. For fear of Nyanza, we’ve heard stories of old people in places where such fears are mortifying, collapsing and dying at the first projection of Nyanza winning. Nyanza has been planned against and plotted against.
Like Jesus of the holy book, Nyanza has been buried, not once, not twice, but many times yet it didn’t take long among the dead. Nyanza lives!
And so today, as I was thinking of that school in Siaya County that registered 480 students for KCSE last year and is taking 470 to the university. As I was thinking of those over twenty Nyanza schools – all public schools – in top 100 schools nationally; I couldn’t help leap into the future and see a bright and glorious days ahead for Nyanza.
We’ve been true to our friends and allies. We’ve kept our promises to our traditional in-laws in Busia and Bungoma and Kakamega and Vihiga. We remain adamant to the idea that no one region in Kenya has monopoly over the country’s management or resources or culture or religion or the professions.
If anyone doubts whether our politics is progressing, you only need to ask ‘how much’ have we returned home – to build roads and schools, empower women and youths, stock hospitals and put up recreational facilities.
Whether via CDF or county governments, you only need to ask how much have we brought home…how much…adi? ngapi? adi? It is huge omera; so huge that corruption has started rearing its ugly head amongst us. People are now saying Obado is corrupt, Ranguma is corrupt etc…things we used to hear in Goldernberg and Angloleasing yaaayeee!
People are getting empowered. Careers are beginning to make sense
Today if you wanted to be known as ‘Chief of Staff’ or Head of Public Service; you can apply for the one in Nairobi and be lucky to picked by Uhuru (president) or you can apply to Obado or Rasanga or Ranguma or Jamawego or Ongwae or Nyangarama!
There are more ‘honourable speakers’ in Nyanza than at any other time – including speakers who are not really honourable.
More Nyanza people are on payroll in Nyanza than at any other time in Kenya.
More bright kids are transitioning to secondary schools; more are entering universities. Polytechnics are being build and universities are sprouting.
We have no land problems, no water problems and no air problems. More women are giving birth in good beds, more men are giving birth in good beds. The percentage of people sleeping on mats have reduced. The percentage of those who can’t sleep at all are close to zero – most of whom are night runners!
For a region that never begged. For a region that stood its ground. For a region that outlived those who thought they could snub it and forget about it and let it die and (hopefully) join dodo the bird – Nyanza has been a big disappointment!
It was a big blunder to write Nyanza off. Going forward, you all have noticed even them have realized they can’t do without Nyanza. They are saying they are ‘willing to work with us’ but with a rider – that we change.
When we meet again, we shall look at this ‘change’. LOL!
BABA is back. â€ª#â€ŽOkbichalonegiâ€¬