By Albert Nyakundi Amenya aka The Banana Peddler
They say, “A watched pot never boils.” I have noted with great concern that South Mugirango Member of Parliament my brother Silvanus Osoro is nursing serious injuries he suffered from oral stones hurled at him by his fellow tribesmen. I have tried to assume the dramedy but to no avail. The sons and daughters of Gusiiland attacked one of the most hardworking MPs following a photo that emerged showing the MP eating while hungry kids stare at him.
Whoever manipulated that photo was did not mean well for the MP. I dare say that the work was totally out of character. It was meant to drip hatred, wrong assumptions, misinterpretations and outright distortion of facts to achieve a predetermined end. I must point out that the aspersions directed at Osoro by traducers are not only uncalled for, but highly regrettable. No right thinking man or woman allows unfounded sentiments and hearsay to vitiate his reasoning.
You see comrades despite the fact that the road to Golgotha is always thorny; everyone will agree with me that Gusiiland is peopled by hardworking and most intelligent humans. We have contributed immeasurably to the economic development of this nation. In fact, our entrepreneurship acumen canonly be matched by that of Kikuyus. We are believed to be the sharpest. There is no gainsaying. We always maintain our eagle-eyes and are adept at discerning the slightest opportunities that come our way. Kisiis are no-nonsense. They rarely apologise for their misdeeds. If you ask them to do so even at gunpoint, it’ll be a request in futility.
Abagusii are highly principled and result oriented. They strongly believe in the content of their character. They have undying faith in their moral passionate conviction. Most Kisii men and women are versed and well read eggheads. Unlike me, the Banana Peddler, most Kisiis are passionate bibliophiles. Some of the most distinguished and renowned pedagogues from Ndiziland are Silas Silas Gisiora Nyanchwani, Tony Ontita, Mosoku Geoffrey, Onyinkwa Onyakundi and Cyprian Nyakundi, Samuel Okemwa and Jeff Nyamboga, just to mention but a few. These guys are not too sophisticated but you’ll agree with me, they are in constant touch with reality and their intellectual skills. Long story short, every man or woman from Gusiiland has a penchant for accumulation of scholarly laurels or qualifications.
However, however magnificent we may be, we too, have our Achilles’ heel. Despite the respect we command in the national arena due to our economic progressivity, we too have our lion’s share of weaknesses. Our closets are stuffed with worrying skeletons. We are stupidly vulnerable to making mistakes. In my establishment, we are the most jealous people on earth. We are our own enemies. It is clear that there is no light at the end of our dark tunnel.
I have always told my people that wisdom is knowing the right path to take but integrity is taking it. The reason why we are still lackadaisical in our growth as a community is because of jealousy. In Gusiiland, if you exude any sign of success, or, seem to do well in life, trust me, the earliest attempt to bring you down will be from your fellow Kisii. Instead of coming together to weed this nuance called jealousy and cement our shaky union as a community, we keep thinking how to bring down our brothers and sisters.
We all know that Osoro’s “gravest” mistake is supporting DP Ruto and not Raila.
I have always said that Kikuyus are far much ahead of us because they have matured politically. If a member of the Mt. Kenya community betrays them by supporting Raila instead of Uhuru, Kikuyus will let it go despite the bitterness. Jimmy Wanjigi, David Ndii and my friend Paul Mwangi are case perfect case studies. But in my community, things are the exact opposite. Those who support Raila think the other ones are idiots. They want you to support Baba by force. If you take exception like Osoro for instance, it’ll not augur well with you. But as I always say, the first sign of stupidity is when you inherit another person’s enemy in the name of loyalty.
The people castigating Osoro either have a personal axe to grind with the MP, or have chosen to fight other people’s war. They have betrayed their integrity, which is ignoble at best. What they don’t want to acknowledge is that hon Osoro is one of the most hardworking MPs. In fact, ask most of these people attacking Osoro about the performance of their MPs, it’ll turn out to be the worst yet they are keeping mum because those MPs support their political leaders.
I don’t know how correct these aspersions cast on Osoro are but one thing I am certain, the photo was taken after the MP participated in building the area peasant a house. I don’t want to join issues with haters of Osoro. I don’t want to stand in for Osoro either but I just want to establish the authenticity of the photo. If you look at the photo well, you’ll realize that the spoon is still in the plate, meaning he had not started eating. Nevertheless, I am reliably informed that everyone – those kids included – ate to their satisfaction.
There are a couple of photos that were taken during that particular time. Why are they not showing them? Why are they interested in this particular one only? He was finishing a piece of sugarcane he was chewing before he starts eating. If a thing like this happens in other parts of the country like Mt. Kenya region for instance, you’ll not see all these petty comments you are seeing in Gusiiland. They are not as childlike as us. They never make mountains out of inconsequential molehills even if the subject is against the community. Out there, things are done with decorum, justice, finesse, equity and fairness. Sincerely, in this age of information, ignorance shouldn’t be our choice as Gusii community. Why en¬gage in that kind of vit¬riol attacks on leaders?
You see, when Cassius told Brutus in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves,” he was directly addressing Kisiis because they are naturally jealousy of one another. To prove my words, get an appointment in a senior government position. Before you even resume, your fellow Kisiis will fight you left right and centre. Some Gusii leaders will call for impromptu meetings at hotels and discuss how they were not consulted on who to hire. Infact, others will say you come from the wrong/small clan that does not deserve the position. That is the more cogent reason why we Kisiis no longer trust one another.
That is why if you go for an interview and by any chance the boss is your fellow Kisii, he/she will NEVER hire you. Why, because they know the moment you resume, you’ll chimba them until they are screwed. Instead of doing the business one was hired to do, he will start telling people how ‘your mother’ – the same person who midwifed his employment – is a witch and was nearly lynched by villagers. He will start telling his workmates how you were an award winning thief and rapist back in the days while still at the village. But if it is a Kikuyu employee, he will do the work that he was employed to do, as he hatches a plan on how to get the greenest pastures.
Personally, I know Osoro as a man of impeccable character. As the son of a peasant and a former street boy, everyone is still discombobulated on how he was elected. What spices their hate for him is that he is one of the staunchest pillars of the Deputy President William Ruto in Gusiiland. Some people foolishly behave as if Raila is their God. When you don’t support him, you automatically become their enemy. They forget that we the Abagusii have our own problems we are supposed to deal with. To buttress their foolishness, nothing good done by Raila opposers can be celebrated by Raila supporters. They forget that he is also human. What if he dies tomorrow because we shall all die someday?
I want to ask my people, if they claim to love Baba with all their hearts, how many MPs did they give him? There are those MPs like Timothy Bosire who would take a bullet for Baba. Where are they? Where is Timothy Bosire? Why didn’t you vote him back even after disrespecting the President in parliament just to make Baba happy? Don’t give me that lazy story that Baba gave tickets to the candidates that you did not want. If that is the case, what happened to famous narrative that “Baba is always right?”
In case it escaped your notice, I’ll remind you that hon Osoro is a beacon of hope of the People of South Mugirango. He is a quintessential leader trying to shape the future of his people for posterity and good governance. He is the only icon of inspiration, one of the fewest men who understand the language of peace. His people love and esteem him for his venerability. The great people of South Mugirango adore him because as a leader, he is all encompassing. His unique decorum and disposition towards the people is worth mirroring because he epitomizes hope. Besides being MP, Osoro is well read, astute, intelligent and all inclusive in his duties as the people’s servant.
I want to remind those calling hon Osoro names that You cannot kill an elephant with a pebble stone. The fact that David killed Goliath in the 6 BC with a slingshot seems untenable in this 21st century of reasoning. Personally as a banana seller, you are all my potential clients. It is therefore a waste exercise and energy for one people to engage in a futile exercise that will not benefit us. Meanwhile, to haters of Osoro, remember not foul a memory you might need when the die is cast! That is why I insist that it is good to reason together as a community. Therefore, give hon Osoro a break, please!
(The writer sells bananas in the streets of Kisii Town.)