Alternate title: Kenyans aren’t as resilient as they’d like to think or as they keep being told.
Let me clarify again, this is not political punditry. There are many people who do excellent work being pundits on the politics of the day. Please read them.
What I am doing is sorting through my thoughts as I watch what the government is currently doing, and tying it to other things they have done/not done.
Because it seems like every day there is a politician telling Kenyans about personal responsibility and what Kenyans can do for Kenya. And I am usually quite perturbed because WE are paying politicians to do work. And there is no evidence that they are working. And then these politicians turn around and tell Kenyans that they SHOULD do the work. That Kenyans are resilient. That Kenyans are hard working (insert gaslighty term here).
And some people listen and internalise this belief that to be patriotic is to listen to politicians, fear them even and that they can individually work hard to make Kenya great. But it doesn’t happen. This country is nowhere near great. If you don’t get anything from this post remember this: systemic issues can’t be solved by individual hard work. Or private solutions.
I am wondering: What is the work of the politician? Because let us keep it real, this country doesn’t work. It doesn’t. Name one thing that works for majority of the Kenyans? I am sure you have nothing to come up with. A country that has as much private solutions to public problems as Kenyan does is not a working country. Look at education, health, transport … Even garbage collection. All “solved” by private solutions.
Despite what you’ve internalised my people, there are things the government is supposed to be doing. I’m old enough to remember when garbage was collected by Nairobi City Council in gray bins. Surely.
We must accept that when the government insists that Kenyans are resilient, what they are doing is removing any responsibility that is rightfully theirs and placing it squarely on the populace.
We like to think and are actually proud to say that we are a stable country. But we all know that we aren’t. At any one time, there is a simmering anger and discontent. We are barely surviving.
Don’t get me started on the church (as a monolith) that does absolutely nothing re: holding government accountable. They are bed fellows in corruption and receiving money from people which they then proceed to pocket.
Kenyans, please – we deserve good things and should be demanding them. We should be angrier. We should let go of that fear we have that has kept us from demanding what we deserve.
(Fear is a motivator in this country, case in point people signing up for Huduma Number without knowing anything about it)