By Shem Mukalo
In the wake of the swirling controversy surrounding Fidel Castro Odinga’s death,top bloggers pledging their allegiance to opposite sides of the political divide,and who command a huge following on social media,fired salvos at each other.Â The virtual spat was touched off by a post Seth Odong’o alias Dikembe Disembe made on his Facebook page that mentioned names of those alleged to have been with Fidel before his mysterious death.Exasperated at this post,Cabu Gah launched into an expletive-loaded tirade accusing Dikembe of jumping into conclusion yet the investigations were ongoing. He wrote:
“Well,according to CORD blogger DikembeÂ Disembe,Fidel Odinga was accompanied by 3Â friends…Maureen Thiong’o,Nelly Nyaga and RobertÂ Gichuru. I would hate to imagine that Dikembe,aÂ Young college graduate,is trying to tie the death ofÂ Fidel to the fact that he was accompanied by 3Â KIKUYUS and he actually may be not. But the
readers of his post and those of Robert Alai tooÂ are painting a whole different picture. And the hateÂ comments on those posts are absolutelyÂ sickening!! Look,Its NOT even clear he was killed orÂ poisoned and yet these rats are already talkingÂ crap! Can we all just wait until the postmortemÂ results are out for Christssakes?? I am sure weÂ can! Too much negative energy!”
In an unflattering rejoinder,Dikembe told off Cabu Gah for spinning dangerous yarns against him and other opposition bloggers.Pulling no punches and shooting from the hip,he wrote:
Mr. Gah, my friends and I are not rats.
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Cabu Gah, I’m used to being trolled by your types.
Only that you need to know the three friends (and I
believe there were more) whom Fidel Odinga was
allegedly with were his friends and I was not one
Gah, you (and your friends) have this habit of
making insinuations on whatever I post, and often
twist it to fit into the narrow ethnic narrative you
(and your friends) are constructing that I hate
Branding me a hater, bigot, tribalist and such other
profanities won’t change who I am. I am not
whom you think I am.
Gah, you need to know me, and know me better.
The people you think I hate may be those I admire.
It won’t change who my friends within your
community are – it can only strain those bonds –
and some of those bonds, like the one between
Kang’ethe and I, dates back to a very bitter past.
This blanket assumption that Dikembe hates
Kikuyus really annoy me. At my age, with my little
education; I have no luxury to hate on a whole
community. First, I know, at personal level, less
than 100 kikuyus, mostly the students I met at Moi
Gah, many of you; I mean your types, middle aged
kikuyu youths, seem to know so much about me, it
seems, but very little about what I reject. So here
I reject being nice when you don’t have to and
when I don’t have to. I reject the narrow spectrum
on which you and your agemates want us to
You know why I have chosen to respond to you,
Gah? It is because I have tremendous respect for
your art, even when you call me a rat in it, as you
have done a while ago.
Gah, you call my posts ‘hate’. I am sorry I never
read your posts. Maybe you blocked me. Maybe I
have never been so keen to mind what you do on
social media, or maybe, I never met you at Okota
Primary school (Ndhiwa), Ogongo Primary School
(Rangwe), Royal Academy (Suna West), Migori
Primary (Suna West). Gah, at an advanced level,
we never did meet at Kanga and Moi.
A friend of mine, and if it can serve any purpose, a
kikuyu, just inboxed me what you wrote about me.
He wondered whether we have met. Being your fan,
and my friend, he felt you’ve joined the bandwagon
of those lowly middle aged kikuyu youths who have
made it their business on social media, and
elsewhere, to misquote me, mischaracterize me
and assassinate my reputation (that’s if I have
any, though I don’t mind having none).
In short, I am not sure where you are coming from,
or heading to, and, as such, I can’t bet on your
school of thought. I don’t know what tickles you. I
don’t know whether, like me, you ever met
Chomsky, or Freire, or Neruda, or Jaramogi. That
is, Gah, I do not know who inspires you.
Gah, I don’t know so many things about you I
can’t pass an opinion on you, I mean, an
enlightened opinion. So it makes me to just rile, to
duel with phantom, a shadow, because you have
Gah, you have annoyed me because you have
called me, and my friends, ‘rats’. But Gah, I can’t
call you anything because I don’t know whether
you are a cat, a skunk or monkey. Gah, are you a
Rats, Gah, you have called me. That rodden of an
animal eaten by cats and snakes. Rats. Worse,
Gah, history reminds us that a majority Hutu
population in Rwanda, drunk with power and self-
worth, controlling every facet of the Rwandan
society, started calling their other countrymen ‘rats
Dikembe continued with his banter against this young blogger, whose work he claimed to have ‘tremendous respect for’, forcing him to respond. Ordinarily, the CORD blogger rarely responds to social media jibes directed his way, choosing, instead, to ignore, which makes Gabu a rare breed to have ‘annoyed’ Dikembe.