I used to hate Kikuyus with a passion. In my mind, they were the reason “us Luos” were underdeveloped. Kikuyu land sounded like the land of milk and honey. They had all the good things “we” deserved but didn’t get. Anything Kikuyu was an anathema. Kikuyu women were evil conniving creatures just waiting to take the little you have and run away….
My hatred wasn’t helped by the poor attitude of some of the Module II classmates I met in Medical School who treated some of us like second class citizens notwithstanding the fact that we got there on merit…(the damage an individual can do to a community’s reputation is huge)
Until 2005. I was responsible for organizing a Medical Camp in Murang’a (accompanied mostly with medical students from UoN). When we got there at 11am, there were already thousands of people waiting. We hardly stood up for the entire period we were there. By 7pm, there were still hundreds of people un-attended.
I saw a face of poverty I had never even seen in my village. For the first time, I saw Kikuyus that I couldn’t blame for anything. I saw Kikuyus that probably had it worse than I did growing up.
My perspective of Kikuyus changed, forever! And so did my hatred for the community. There were thousands, probably millions of really (really, really, really) poor Kikuyus!
The pain a woman feels in Gatundu when her child sleeps hungry is the same pain a woman feels in Gwassi. Hunger in Karungu feels exactly the same way as hunger in Othaya
There’s a single mother in Muranga who has struggled her whole life to educate her only son. With hard work and a bit of luck, he’s managed to make it out of poverty and get an education. Then he applies for a Government job and he’s denied because of “regional balance”. That job goes to a privileged son of a Kisii (a nobody won’t get these jobs). How is that fair? Why must we punish a hard working, honest and underprivileged Kikuyu just because some Kikuyus before him already benefited?
Why should poor people in Luo Nyanza have beef with poor people in Central Kenya?
If you have to be mad at someone, be mad at the privileged thieves all around you, irrespective of tribe. They really could be the reason your child doesn’t have access to good quality healthcare or education.
Most importantly though, we need ethnic and regional exchange programs. A lot of the ethnic hatred could be avoided if we knew each other just a little better.