Ar­riv­ing at the fu­ture our coun­try so badly needs

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - OPINION - sun­day­na­­tion­

Prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant knowl­edge that good ed­u­ca­tion can pro­vide to each in­di­vid­ual is the dis­cov­ery that, ob­jec­tively, all hu­man in­di­vid­u­als of all races and all tribes are your own broth­ers and sis­ters.

That is why, if he lives to be a hun­dred (as I hope he may), even Moses Kuria might one day learn that the Luo – his present pet-peeves – are his own first cousins.

No, Mr Kuria is not the only anti-luo in­di­vid­ual among Kenya’s non-luo male politi­cians. I say male be­cause, as for fe­males, a pro­fu­sion of Kikuyu, Kisii, Kuria and Luhya women are mar­ried to Luo men, many of them bliss­fully. That, I say, is an ex­cel­lent trend be­cause it means that a time is com­ing when the line be­tween any two eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties will have been blurred into to­tal in­signif­i­cance.

That is one of the facts that should al­ways mo­ti­vate all Kenyans – es­pe­cially their po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious lead­ers – into work­ing closely and care­fully to­gether to cul­ti­vate ex­cel­lent in­ter-eth­nic and in­ter-racial neigh­bourli­ness. It is the only way in which we can ar­rive fully at that sin­gle na­tion­hood which once was what mo­ti­vated our found­ing fa­thers and moth­ers into declar­ing a lib­er­a­tion war on Bri­tish colo­nial­ism.

For the sim­ple fact is that, thanks to in­ter-eth­nic mar­riages, ev­ery Luo, for in­stance, now has cher­ished rel­a­tives among, say, the Kalen­jin of the Rift Val­ley, Uhuru Keny­atta’s noted Mount Kenya com­mu­ni­ties, and the Mi­jik­enda peo­ples of the In­dian Ocean lit­toral and archipela­goes. As years flow by, it be­comes in­creas­ingly vis­i­ble that a time is ap­proach­ing apace when, thanks to in­ter-eth­nic and in­ter-racial mar­riages, Kenya will one day be­come just one tribe.

It is for umpteen rea­sons, then, that I purr like a cat when­ever I imag­ine the ad­vent of that fu­ture day. Yet though Mr Kuria never opens his mouth with­out pouring out the smelli­est, most hate-rid­den, eth­nic filth, he is the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for a con­stituency once rep­re­sented by none other than Mzee Jomo Keny­atta him­self, our found­ing fa­ther and great ex­em­plar in na­tion­hood. The ques­tion is: Did Mr Kuria ever go to any school in which even the rudi­ments of in­ter-per­sonal, in­ter-eth­nic, in­ter-racial and in­ter-sec­tar­ian re­spect was taught? How is it that, even af­ter another cen­tury of pos­i­tive im­prove­ments in in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Kenya’s high­est law-mak­ing or­gan still con­tains so many men­tal Ne­an­derthals?

How is it that so many Kenyans re­tain thoughts and feel­ings that seem to drive all of us in­ex­orably into pouring out of the mouth such a pro­fu­sion of filth, the most ve­he­ment eth­nic atavism you can imag­ine from a so­called ed­u­cated per­son and leader? What is ed­u­ca­tion if it does not tend to train the mind to­wards en­fold­ing hu­man be­ings of all good kinds as mem­bers of your own house­hold?but only knowl­edge of that kind – only the sort of ed­u­ca­tion that ex­pels from the minds of chil­dren all the fal­si­ties that par­ents of ev­ery eth­nic com­mu­nity pour into the ex­tremely re­cep­tive minds of its chil­dren against other eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties – only good ed­u­ca­tion can res­cue our com­mu­ni­ties from their present free fall into atavis­tic chaos.

Ex­actly what do you gain, Mr Kuria, both for the eth­nic com­mu­nity about which you are so ve­he­ment and for the na­tion as a whole, by spend­ing all your work­ing day sow­ing the seeds of eth­nic dis­cord and na­tional dis­trust? Why do you find it im­pos­si­ble to think of Kenyans as one com­mu­nity which must work in unity if it is to achieve its com­mu­nal de­sires as soon as can be?

Why do you find it so dif­fi­cult to see that, as long as Kenyans scat­ter their ef­forts into nar­row eth­nic pi­geon­holes, we shall never ar­rive at our des­ti­na­tion? Ev­ery clear minded politi­cian knows that, for Kenya to ar­rive at the fu­ture it so needs, there is only one way, namely, na­tional unity of ef­forts.

PHILIP OCHIENG Thanks to in­ter-eth­nic and in­ter­ra­cial mar­riages, Kenya will one day be­come just one tribe.”

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