In response to a comment I made re: the article “Okemo, Gichuru Cost Taxpayers Billions in Loan Repayments”, someone in Mwaklishi accused me of “making it about myself” and being “a huge man with a big empty head”.
Another commenter asked me where I was when my “Godfather Raila Odinga” was “freecing (sic) Kenyans, with SCANDAL AFTER SCANDAL.” This same person then asked me to tell readers what I knew about a litany of scandals implicating the CORD Principal and/or those close to him.
The invectives and childish personal attacks aside, the one comment that drew my attention was the poignant “where do you (I) count myself?” presumably in the fight against the issues I repeatedly write about. The same commenter posed the question:
Why can’t you (I) lead these Kenyans crying foul to action?
Being in the public domain, I avoid exchanges that portend confrontation or abusive language. I will occasionally engage folks who seem to have genuine concerns/differences of opinion about something I have written but my rule of thumb is to avoid engaging angry, obnoxious and impolite folks.
I do agree with the sentiment that there is a certain level of repetition re: what I write about, a “cut-and-paste” hum-drum drone on the subjects of corruption and impunity in the (current) Government of Kenya. These topics CAN be dry and tedious unless you are wonkish.
Confession: I am a public policy/political science wonk my profession in biotech engineering and passion as an author notwithstanding.
It is with this knowledge that my mother’s caution continues to be my North Star whenever I put pen to paper:
“Wuoda, ka iwacho adiera; kendo kiwache gi heshima gi dwond ma oluoro ji, kik iluor kendo kik ng’ato bwogi.”
Loosely translated, my madhe was saying thus:
“My son, if you are saying the truth using respectful language, don’t be afraid and don’t let anyone scare you.”
So let me be as clear as possible:
- I am NOT interested in political office.
- I am NOT an investigative journalist i.e. “jicho pevu”.
- I WILL NOT repeat my position vis-à-vis Raila Odinga (or Gov. Kidero for that matter) because that is old news and available in the public domain for anyone interested.
- Finally, I won’t even deign to respond to the baseless and bovine charges that my writing peddles “tribal politics”, “tribal hate” or “tribalism”.
Now about “leading” individuals who share a common goal, in this case a Kenya free of wanton corruption, there are many ways one can do that.
I choose to “lead” using my writing (posted) on platforms the internet affords ANYONE. If and when I “cut and paste” any material, I almost always credit the source. I certainly don’t want to be accused of plagiarism especially being a contributor to a leading global aggregator of news. In writing about the proverbial “issues of the day”, I oftentimes give my readers some historical context re: the articles hence the sometimes pedantic nature of the pieces.
There are Kenyans in the diaspora who make significant contributions — monetary and non-monetary — to the country. They are also non-Kenyans with significant (vested) interests therein. Finally, thanks to the internet AND jet travel, the world has become a global marketplace of ideas and best practices. This being the case, I think of myself as a purveyor of perspectives on issues affecting a country — Kenya — the global audience including the “ignorant jungus” seem to care about.
The tinge of Schadenfreude some may detect in my writing is a function of the portmanteau “Kensanity” — “the country’s tendency of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” i.e. electing known kleptocrats and criminals into office then wringing their collective hands when these same people are implicated in one scandal after another.
I will end by paraphrasing Barack Obama and Mohandas Gandhi:
Don’t Complain: Publish YOUR riposte to my “cut-and-past” monotony and YOUR “interesting reading” re: the many scandals implicating Raila and those close to him – including Evans Kidero.
And finally, Yes You Can Be the Change You Want to See in Kenya.