A few weeks ago while on the campaign trail somewhere in Kenya, I was having a break one late evening with a friend and his friends at a local hotel where we were staying.
The friend, someone I have known for a long time is friends with several prominent politicians from across the country.
The friend then tells me a shocker: one of them, obviously an household name, confided in him that he hates a particular community with a passion but is holding his nose working with a leader from that community because he believes it’s the only way he can get what he wants.
I shook my head in disbelief that (a) someone like that can still hate that much…I have always thought haters like that are generally losers and (b) what an actor for you can never, ever suspect that knowing and seeing how he conducts himself publicly in the presence of this partner of convenience from the community he professes he hates with a passion. As we say in Gusiiland, ‘gwa!
With this level of deceitfulness, let no one make any mistake we are about to undo some of these vices which are culturally entrenched but it’s my belief 2013 will mark a departure point from where we start to leave some of this hatred and tribalism behind.
I have always said there cannot be true progress in Kenya unless we completely shed or begin to completely shed these two vices and if people like these can fake such friendship simply to get ahead, surely they and everyone can altogether shed the hate and tribalism for the good of all or there is no hope of ever ridding our country of the dual vices.
I am, however, very optimistic that we shall sooner than later succeed in shedding these vices.
Quite frankly, I totally fail to see why it’s so difficult for many to do this; I mean, how does one get up every day and go to sleep hating anyone that much for that long–and we are here talking about decades and decades of people harboring hate and disdain for others merely because they belong to one or other community?
Their little children just the other day are now young adults breathing and spewing the same thing never mind their level of education; it really doesn’t matter whether one is as illiterate as a cold log or educated to the highest degree possible the vices of hate and tribalism flourish in both as though neither matters but you would hope and wish it does matter for one to be educated or at least enlightened!
This hatred and tribalism is simply bizarre and backward and I wish all of us–well, those who can, can double our efforts to enlighten and preach to the haters and tribalists to the extent we can in the hopes they can try and shed these vices.
The least we can do is to pray for God to open their hearts and help them see the light of love, peace and unity.