After birth, Kenyan children get tossed around like hot potatoes depending on the feelings of the moment. I have heard couples say of their children, “hawa watoto wako ni kama watu wenu.” The bantu community has identity markers of checking whether the child was born out of the marriage network. They check the ear, the nose, the lips and other anatomies to see whether the children resemble the kinship or the clan. The luck of scientific development lender Africans prone to jungle instincts for survival! The child does not stand alone within definition, but is viewed within instincts.
Africans have non empirical methodologies of verifying reality. One theory has it that the reason God put the black people in Africa is to assure their survival. I wonder if black people could have invented ways to cool houses through air conditioning or heat their houses through central heating. Could they? I see women from my village carrying fire wood from the near by forest even during the rainy season and wonder when di-forestation will end. I have been to homes in this century where they use cow dug as cooking agent. My sisters went to the forest for fire wood years ago and the fact that this practice is still evident is another indication that maybe the theory that Africans luck scientific mind is true! That is why much of Africa is still dependent upon foreign inventions for survival. Even road construction is foreign!
One might scream at my suggestion and argue that the reason why Africans are way behind in scientific discovery is because of poverty. This theory is however logically defeated by historical evidence that shows that the Germans build the Mercedes Benz earlier than 1943. The German people were not wealthy then! They just had the scientific brains to invent one of the most beautiful motor cars in human history. This however is not limited to the Europeans. Americans came up with ways to heat their homes and Mr. Edison invented the light bulb. The only thing Africans have perfected is the machete! The panga is an essential part of African survival; cutting down trees, nyama, and clearing the forest to grow food from seeds manufactured in England. Even coffee and flower business is controlled by Europeans. The whole of lake naivasha basin is controlled by the Dutch farmers milking Kenya through flower exports. These end up in Publix store in Orlando, marked, “Product of Holland.”
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Let us agree that something is wrong or unscientifically off about our DNA. Even now that Kenya is going through a political rebirth, when the Europeans and the Americans cough, the IEBC ask how high and the Kenya Media knock itself over as it gives their every word a front page coverage. Try to instruct these western nations on how to conduct their elections and they will laugh you out as tribal natives whose screams should be heard only when begging for foreign aid or giving birth to another un-necessary child! Africa Union tried to negotiate for Muammar Gadhafi but the super ‘race’ told them to keep their machetes in the jungle.
This unsophisticated approach to life has earned Africa its misery. Even those who travel to foreign countries to seek higher education end up in the dungeons of immigration sophistications that lender them illegal, unable to learn from these “masters.”
The language that these Europeans forced Africans to adopt is rationally developed outside of the annuals of African jungle instincts. That is why I cannot help but notice that when the university of Nairobi Students were disciplined by the police recently, the reactions were typically African: Non- sophisticated and withdrawn from the meaning of sympathy or empathy. Every word was historically developed with meaning outside of the individual to stand alone in meaning. However, given that Africans are not conversant with this history, those who expressed sympathy or empathy did it on tribal lines. If you support president Uhuru Kenyatta, the reaction was support for the police actions. Those who supported Raila Odinga reacted against the police. Africans cannot deal with meaning within its virginity. It has to be tribal.
My mother taught us to take words within their literal meaning. If you hurt your foot while walking from school, she punished you for not looking where you are going, “Rora kuria urathie.” (Look where you are walking). She was not going to show sympathy or empathy based upon her parental instincts, but as the logic of the situation dictates! Sympathy and Empathy were used only when their original meaning was observed. You do not say sorry to someone who knowingly jumps off a building! Do not Jump!
In this case, the students should have walked looking where they were treading to avoid injury.
Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)
Diaspora Messenger Senior Columnist