By Raha Numb
I was born in Wales, a country long considered a part of the United Kingdom of four countries, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, also known as Great Britain or Britain. My country was captured by the English over 700 years ago when their king killed our last prince. My great grandmother came from the island of Anglesey, a place of historical relevance where ancient Druids (priests/wizards) held court.
My people have Never been given back their independence, Kenya has. My people suffered atrocities that had been abandoned long before the English colonised Kenya. I came to Australia as a boy of 9 yrs but my ancient heritage has never left me. Australians hold a mix of admiration, spite, contempt and irreverence toward the British. I can relate to that and consider myself an Aussie.
I don’t defend the British. I defend common sense and looking at what positives have resulted. The world has changed, old ideas rejected. Spare a thought for Meghan (which is a Welsh name BTW) a biracial lady who married a real Prince with full pageantry despite her biracial background burdening her with a white trash father and white trash step siblings. Watch her proud yet humble black mother walking arm in arm with a jovial Charles the Prince of Wales (and the future king of England) at the reception……Amazing!
How much pressure that must have put upon Meghan, her mother, Harry and all those directly connected to him. All I’m seeing from Kenyans scattered across different countries is bullshit about colonialism, hardships of the past, references to slaves and plantations and other cynical spasms of ignorance. Oh and the honour of being walked down the aisle by the Prince of Wales (her future father in law, and future King of England) apparently was very wrong and her ovewhelmed proud mother should have born the stress and knowledge that millions of people worldwide wanted to watch her to do it. Have any of you asked what Meghan wanted, because in case you missed the memo…Meghan and Harry made all the important decisions! And Mama got a good ring-side seat.
While I’m used to constant references at least once a week about British Colonialism, and exploitation of resources etc. one clear fact is that Britain outlawed slavery in 1833, 62 years before it established a colony in Kenya. Sir Henry Morton Stanley (a Welshman) was a staunch anti slavery campaigner, and Britain’s presence in East Africa played havoc on the slave trade of East Africans captured and sold by their own people and marauding Arabs to the Middle East. Yes the Middle East and not the colonies of America. England’s colonialism actually had some good outcomes. Overall its called “Pros and Cons”. Weighing up the good and the bad.
I don’t deny the racism and segregation and discrimination by Britain across its colonies. However as history has shown there were and still are benefits; modernisation, economic expansion, agricultural advances etc. that to some extent offset the horrors of the past. Kenya and many former British colonies remain in the Commonwealth with the Queen of England as titular head for economic alliances. The Queen is a figure head only and has no authority. Corruption and exploitation of resources continues today thanks to Kenya’s government and it’s dealings with other nations (i.e. Chinese). Don’t blame the British for the poaching of your wildlife or illegal land acquisitions since independence.
However regarding the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan, this modern level of awareness, acceptance and advocacy for change should be celebrated not denigrated. The mere fact that an established monarchy has so willingly embraced one of their heirs to marry a commoner, and of mixed race at that, breaks down massive historical social and cultural barriers. Harry and Meghan are already established advocates for equality and the whole world looks forward to future charity work by the newly-weds, whilst the detractors sit back and moan about something that happened 40, 50, or 100 years ago.
Clearly one thing many Kenyans have inherited from the British is their ability to whinge and whine about anything remotely positive and to always play victim. You need to get some leeches and let them suck some of that bad blood out of your systems. I have a reputation for cynicism hatred and bile yet sometimes even my Kenyan friends make me look like an amateur.
I am truly surprised you all haven’t picked up on the fact one of the Queen’s senior female attendants is of African descent, and the younger royal assistant who helped her into her car is of African descent. Lets not forget the young maestro on the Cello and the entire choir, and the emotive animated preacher. This is what is called “Inclusive” as opposed to being “Exclusive.” But to some of you it’s just another day on the plantation.
Despite media misinterpretations it was clear from the faces of those in the chapel that Bishop Curry’s sermon was enjoyed by many, stifling smiles and giggles because of the sheer passion in his voice and movements, something the staid conservative Brits aren’t accustomed to but were clearly amused by in a good way. And despite the trolls on the internet attacking the Bishop’s involvement they fail to realise he is the head of the American Episcopal Church and that black African Americans Do NOT form the majority of the congregations. He’s accepted by all races in that church. Perhaps that will rub off on the trolls one day.
The unification in the battle against inequality and discrimination that the marriage of Harry and Meghan represents could easily eclipse that of Harry’s mother and other famous advocates. I’m not denying or ignoring the upheavals of the past…I’m just sick and tired of opening Facebook and finding Kenyans (and Tanzanians) constantly looking for reasons to dredge up the past and blame the British for everything from colonisation, popcorn that doesn’t pop and ice-cream that melts in the sun!
And perhaps just once a week you may put aside a few hours to look at positive things that happened during the week instead of looking for negative things that will gather hordes of false friends and hangers-on to lick your toes and arse and tell you smell good. I have news for you….your shit does stink, just like everyone else.
That’s my Sunday Rant for the week. Leave some coins in the ”poor box” on your way out.