Kenya Village Voices: Very Sad-Our Chief Urinates behind the Office

Kenya Village Voices: Very Sad-Our Chief Urinates behind the Office

Dr. Teddy Kamau

African culture is not scientific but it is naturalistic. Those Kenyans in Kinungi are not looking at ways to improve their lives using ‘proven scientific data’ on economic growth and development. They do not have Doppler Radar to predict what time showers or thunderstorms will rain on them. Though it is 2020, they live as if it is 1920. Even today, the alarm is the reliable sound of the Jogoo at 6 am. But they know toilets are important!

For many who live in the villages, nothing has changed since Independence. The country was liberated from the British Colonial Masters with the promise of self rule. And in fact, they have self rule because those who hold offices are the same skin color. It seems, however, that this is the only thing they have derived from the violent uprising their fathers led against the white colonialists. Much of those things being sold at the village dukas are not products of a new and democratic country, rather they are products of the neo-colonial masters we call Muchaina.

The government of the people, for the people, and by the people established after getting rid of the ‘evil colonial masters’ does not guide towards scientific development. It seems to encourage nothing but nothingness. Take for example the office of the Chief. I drove through Boni Forest heading to Lamu. African Inland Church has a grounding there and we were headed there in obedience to Christ. In every village in which we stopped, the most advanced building compound belonged to the church compound. In fact, during all the Kenyan tribal clashes, the Church (AIC) has been the oasis for those who suffer.

Note I said the Church. Why not the office of the Chief ? Have you seen Chief offices in the villages? The Chief’s office usually is a small mud hut standing alone in a field. Even with electric power at the church, the office of the Chief did not have power. Inside was a wooden bench so uncomfortable that even the locals prefer to sit outside on the grass. In some of the Chief offices, one can see through the wall because they have not been mudded to seal the deteriorating cow dug that holds the mud together. The sad thing is, next to the mud hut, the government erects a wooden post with the Kenyan flag flying high like a kite. Who would be proud of such decadence as to fly a national flag outside a deteriorating mud hut? Who is this fool so proud of backwardness, decadence, lack of vision, lack of any form of advancement to take pride in a mud hut?

However, millions of Shillings have been spent on a railroad whose purpose as a public transportation method is in question. How does one reconcile building a multi-billion Shilling railway and leaving the most important office in the village to cow dung? You see, the villager has nothing to encourage him, nothing to challenge him, nothing to look up to for vision. That which he sees as the example set forth by his government is a mud hut! And you wonder why even he builds a mud hut? And in his mud hut office, even the Chief does not have water, or a toilet. He walks to the back of the shack to pee!

I read a book on human behavior. It says, “monkey see, monkey do,” meaning parents are encouraged to teach their children by example. Leaders are supposed to do the same. There is a reason why St. Jerome argued for the Catholic symbols you see in Catholic churches and homes. St. Jerome, and latter supported by St. Augustine, argued that visualizing Mary, the mother of Jesus, holding a baby is important to remind people of Christ’s birth. The use of the rosary in prayer is meant to assist the believer who is created to participate in active prayer. That is why we kneel down, close our eyes, and erect a cross on top of church buildings. We see the Cross, we think of Christ.

Go to any village and you will find that pastors and congregations always try to build more expensive buildings than the villagers can afford. Why? Because we as the church of Christ must lead by example. We show humanity that our God has made gold, silver, diamonds, flowers, birds of all types and color, stripes on a zebra, specks on a tiger, and a rainbow in the skies. If our God loves beautiful things, as well as practical things for our use, then I should also pursue beauty, practicality, and excellence in all things. He is perfect, so I pursue advancement to improve things for others.

Even the villager in Nairobi’s government office is not challenged to better life. Have you been to the public toilets in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? When my cousin, Thuita Mwangi, served as the PS, I tried to use the mwananchi toilet. No toilet seats, no soap, no toilet paper, and there was no water pressure. I went back to use his toilet. “Sir, have you been to the public toilet?” He looked at me as if to ask, “Are you crazy?” That may be what the government is asking the villager when he asks for a Chief office and toilet…. “We we ni wazimu?”

Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)

HTBLuff Associates

Diaspora messenger Senior Columnist

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comment on the article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
  1. Mpanzi says

    Where did you expect him to urinate if the office had restroom. Per on himself?

%d bloggers like this: