In the Death Of Prof. Calestous Juma, Lets Reflect What We Want As A Country
By Donald Kipkorir
Today, the sun set on Prof. Calestous Juma, Harvard University Professor and global intellectual from Busia.
From his humble academic background, he rose to tower in the academic world. His intellectual leadership in convergence of technology, property rights & leadership for sustainable development that aims to alleviate poverty.
Kenya has to continue having debate on what it needs to do to be developed. Our 54 years plus conversation hasn’t taken us anywhere … Independence didn’t give us the freedoms we wanted. We are still looking for Freedom of speech, Freedom of worship, Freedom from want and Freedom from fear.
One of our biggest drawbacks is failure to nurture and respect independent intellectual thought. We have always seen our intellectuals as subversives or secessionists. Our best are abroad. And also, our education system thinks one must get A to succeed in life. Prof. Calestous Juma like Prof. Ali Mazrui failed in their High Schools and we’re doomed to fail in Kenya. They went abroad and got a chance to excel.
Kenya should not be a country that doesn’t honor its best when alive … We honor charlatans, fraudsters, conmen and alcoholics instead …. But in death, the honor is reversed. We have to learn to honor the best when alive.
We gave the world Barack Obama … We gave them Professors Ali Mazrui, Calestous Juma , Makau Mutua, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Richard Dawkins and many others … I know many Kenyan Professors at the leadership of cutting edge technology, medicine and sciences in England, US and South Africa .. One from my village became a Professor at 26 years of age in Leeds …