The Kikuyu Tribe should keep its’ Eyes Wide – Open: It is not all rosy!


While many people shouted at former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka for his tribal remarks, deep down, many identified with him. What one gleaned from the face of Anyanga Nyong’o who was sitting next to him during the press conference is telling on how he and all those at that press conference felt! The words in the background are chilling, “true, true”. Someone said, referring to Kalonzo’s statement.

Kalonzo Musyoka will never become president of Kenya. The only hope he has is becoming a governor of some county in Kamba land! But before you scream tribalism and condemn me for being a Kamau, here me out. We Kenyans need to agree on certain national principles. First, the country is composed of many tribal groups. Second, there is tribalism in Kenya. Third, people have always voted, first, as tribal affiliates. Fourth, we name our children within a historical development of cultural principles and norms. Thus, our names reflect our heritage. My name, Teddy, comes from Edward, which is related to Theodore. My father named me at baptism after his buddy Edward De Young, a missionary who worked with him in Kijabe. Njoroge was the name of his eldest brother, who was named after my great grandfather. And Kamau establishes my father’s authority, from Genesis, in that he brought me into this world and his blood flows through my vain. He did not choose his name. I did not choose my names! Neither my tribe! What I chose are my friends.

That however is not our problem. As the first president, certain people surrounded Kenyatta. In the beginning his close associate was Tom Mboya (My greatest of Kenyans). Then, Jaramogi Onginga Ondiga. As politics will have it, the relationship went down the drains. Tom Mboya’s blood followed suite! However, Kenyatta’s Kikuyu Tribe controlled the majority of power, though distributed. The Kalenjin tribe also controlled Moi’s power. Kenya’s politics is historically cultural and tribal. When Kibaki took over, the power shifted to the Kikuyu (called mount Kenya ‘Mafia’). Railla Ondinga became his Prime Minister. Therefore the positions of power remained with the Kikuyu, but the prime Minister’s goodies were given to the Luo community. His bodyguards were mostly Luo! So is Miguna Miguna, a Luo!

This is the current problem facing Deputy President William Ruto. After Kibaki took over, the Kalenjin community felt left out. Their common feeling is that the positions they had gathered during Moi’s time were stripped away from them. Therefore they “forced” Ruto to join Railla as a protest against Kibaki and his Kikuyu. The years of Kibaki saw the rise of many Kikuyu within the government. These people still hold these positions (Kimemia is still there). The Kalenjins would like to have these positions. Therefore when you hear some politicians in Rift Valley saying Ruto was fixed for the ICC, it is code word for “we need more positions.” Take for example the Attorney Generals office. The AG, The Solicitor General, the Registrar General are all Kikuyu, and on and on and on! Think about! Are you telling me only Kikuyu can hold these offices? Really? No matter how qualified they are politics has nothing to do with reality. Politics is perception. Therefore perceive if you dare!

I am not suggesting that Kalonzo’s statements are justifiable. However, what he expressed is what many Kenyans express in the toilet. Even the enlightened Kenyans in the Diaspora are not pure. The Kenya Christian Fellowship in the United States should be multi-tribal, but it is not. The Kalenjin community has their own tribal (Gotaabgaa?) affiliations. The Luo, Kisii, name it. A friend of mine has a church in Atlanta Georgia. Given that he is Kamba, majority members are Kamba! Another one has a Church in Marietta. He is a Kikuyu. Therefore majority is Kikuyu!

I visited old family friends in Makhongi near Kitale. We talked about our grand mother, Gugu Chesire. Godly women who served Christ in her generation. During the post election violence, her son, Ruben Chesire took in Kikuyu pastors who were running for their lives. I wish politicians believe in the Gospel. I wish “ . . . they Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven . . . “ would be evident. But it is not. Until it is, the name Kamau, Mutai, Musyoka, Onyango, Indusa, will open doors, or close them in Kenya. May the Church of Christ always open its doors to these!

Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)

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