By Dikembe Disembe via Facebook
My friend Hon Jim Bonnie, your obsession with the photos – whether clear or unclear – that our party leader Hon. Raila Odinga’s ‘team’ often upload on social media should now fade and give way to more meaningful critique, or criticism.
First, remember that on the day that Garissa University students were getting massacred for hours without government intervention, reason being the government security bureaucracy could not act fast and decisively so, at the apex of that deadly indecision sat the man who took very clear photos of himself with top businessmen of the republic under KEPSA.
Since 2013, we’ve seen the best of photos, including selfies, uploaded here. In short, what Kenya need now are NOT clear photos but clear ideas. Verah Sidika made it to among top three most ‘searched’ person on Google because she took good photos of herself – regardless of the parts she took and the importance of those parts to the general body politic.
Our country faces insurmountable challenges that a single photo, or two, or three, however clear the snapshot, cannot solve. If good photos posted on Facebook would have tempered the insanity of Al shabaab, then, surely, 147, would not have been just a number.
I, too, used to have issues with Raila’s PR until I came to realize PR isn’t all that leadership entails. I’m not saying PR is bad. All I’m saying is that PR isn’t the stronghold of Raila Odinga. So you must understand him. Raila Odinga may not be good in form (where PR and photos and selfies and gikmakamago fall) but he has substance – a more enduring vision of this country – and he mean well.
It is upon us to ensure that Odinga as a brand, a movement, a philosophy, an institution, is not just renowned for the form that it is now, or the form that it ought to be. Rather, it is for us to ensure that his substance; his ideas and vision and hopes for this country, stay alive and understood and constantly discoursed to debunk the myths, the innuendoes, the half-truths and the open lies.
One of the saddest inadequacies of my generation of citizens – those of us in early mid-20s and below – is our inability to separate form and substance. We get too excited with form. We are readily duped with the ‘graphics’ of politics so that we imagine things will somehow change because two politicians are putting on similar shoes, similar red ties, similar white shirts etc.
Change isn’t instant coffee buddies. Change is painfully slow. I would never have indulged myself in this photo/PR endless politics if I didn’t feel it is, verily, a genuine issue. However, with age, we must let go the ‘form’, to set our minds on the ‘substance’.
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Steele, a Protestant, in a dedication, tells the Pope, that the only difference between their two churches are: the Church of Rome is infallible, and the Church of England is never in the wrong.