History has it that Kenya’s independence didn’t come by on a silver platter. It was a struggle, it was fought for. Thanks to the freedom fighters who were willing to shed their blood, and even lose their lives, for the good of what came to be our independent nation of Kenya. Our gratitude will never be enough and their contribution will remain second to none; matchless.
It is remarkable that 20TH October is an annual national day in honor and commemoration of our heroes. Hail our heroes. Born into an independent Kenya, the pain of what freedom fighting cost is only but an imagination to me. It must have been a terrible experience, and the freedom fighters would definitely expect nothing less than a free nation.
Looking at my country today and seeing what is happening around leaves me with the bewildering question; WHERE IS THE FREEDOM? Where is the freedom that was fought for? Where is the freedom we celebrate? In as much as we call ourselves independent and non-aligned, it seems to me that it is water under the bridge. Though free from the colonial rule, we are still slaves.
Slaves, because instead of dominating, we are being dominated and driven by what we ought to have control over. We are enslaved by power, corruption, tribalism and selfishness. Though “free”, we are still slaves to injustice, greed and impunity. Unfortunately, we’ll end up slaves for life if nothing is done.
Being slaves to power, we don’t care about anything else but power. Whether lives are lost, blood is shed or tangible loses are incurred is none of our business; all we need is power. The people are so power driven that they don’t mind losing themselves in it. It is an undeniable fact that many have sleepless nights craving for it. They will lie and bribe just to find their way through. Power is sought and fought for with all might. I doubt the freedom fighters were power driven. Yet if they were, it was for the good of the common Kenyan. On the contrary, the chase for political power today is a selfish ambition for the majority. Even on attaining the positions they fight for, little or nothing ends up being done. Why? A way is being sort out on how to remain in power!
Corruption on the other hand is celebrating its mastery over us. We, the faithful servants of corruption, cannot see this. It has become part of us that we are naturally inclined to it, unknowingly. From the government offices to the local ones, “KITU KIDOGO” is still the rule of the day. The needy are crawling in poverty as the rich embezzle the funds that would help brighten the days of the less fortunate. The voiceless continue crying under their tables as the “owners” of the country make unnecessary noise on what the future holds. It is absurd, to promise a bright future when zero is being done to realize it. When education, health, security and other social services cannot be well served without a bribe, then we only become experts at it. We become enslaved by it.
Our tribes don’t want to be left behind either. It is saddening how deep the blades of tribalism can cut. The truth is that we have willingly surrendered to our tribes and have given them the power to dictate over us. We have put on the tribal shades that give us biased focus. This has driven us into selfishness. We are mean, and will unapologetically trouble our very own in the name tribal loyalty. Apart from those who are willing to swallow the humble pies, tribalism has deemed others superior; making many slaves to their own ego. Nothing much can be done or be achieved by us if we do not conform to the language of peace. To live in one accord, to be united as a nation is impossible if we still look at ourselves through the tribal mirror. We are one. We are Kenyan, and this should be core.
Truth therefore be told, we are not free. Where is the freedom when we can’t freely live in our own country? What calls for celebration when those seeking freedom are silenced and tagged enemies of the nation? Where is the freedom that was fought for, when those who seek change are seen as a threat?
It will go a great way, if we celebrated our heroes daily by letting the freedom they fought for reflect in all our dealings. Let’s concur power and let it work for the good of the whole nation. We must not allow corruption , tribalism and other vices to enslave us. Only then, can we be free, or somewhere close.
In the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
-By Liz Ekakoro:Diaspora Messenger contributor/Moderator-DM News Media Forum