A LETTER TO MIGUNA MIGUNA
Dear Miguna Miguna, I write you from the Italian city of Firenze, or Florence as it is more widely known. As you may be aware, this is the home of the father of modern politics, Niccolò Machiavelli. Almost 500 years later, his magnum opus — The Prince — continues to be the handbook of ‘realpolitik’. Of course you know all this, after all you are Miguna Miguna. So well read, so well travelled, so well everything.
As I walk through the cobbled streets, and I know you can imagine them as you read this, I am awestruck. Not just by the magnificent infrastructure, but by the fact that art and engineering were put to impressive use so many centuries ago. I therefore understand your frustration when your fellow aspirants now, in 2016, say that we cannot put up a light rail in Nairobi.
But this is not why I am writing to you in the first place. Enough with the niceties.
You, Miguna, are behaving badly. You are like a guest dining at your betrothed’s family gathering, but you are belching and farting at the dinner table. You are chewing with your mouth wide open. You are being offensive. You are being crass. You are being tragically unpalatable, you are making everyone at the table push away their own plate in disgust.
Allow me to paraphrase Machiavelli. He said it is better for an effective Nairobi governor to be feared than to be loved. Therein lies the problem. You are not the governor of Nairobi yet. You are still wooing an electorate. Therefore, it is absolutely important to be loved.
But, Mr Miguna, it seems to me that you are doing the opposite. You are working hard to be loathed. Nobody loves a pompous, self-important know-it-all. Especially one who reduces half of the population to objects who need to have the ‘right’ skin colour and physical appeal in order to be anything.
To prevent this tragedy from progressing, there is one thing you need to do. And still keeping with the family dinner analogy, I advise you to reach for a huge serving of humble pie, with a generous sprinkling of genuine remorse. Let the family know you know that you were wrong. Let the girls know that their appearance is not essential for political success and the boys know that they cannot be sexist bullies. Take penance for throwing the word rape around in a squabble.
Miguna, remember what Schopenhauer said in Counsels and Maxims, “Wax, a substance naturally hard and brittle, can be made soft by the application of a little warmth.”
A long winded letter making excuses and threatening to sue people doesn’t cut it. It makes it worse. Instead, acknowledge that your words were a projection of an unfortunate misguided bias.
If you don’t do this, we are going to look away every time you open your mouth, fearing that we will see the exposed horror of the undigested mess being chomped violently in your mouth. Fearing that we will see the unsightly dribble. We will close our ears fearing that we can hear the unbearable smacking, slurping sounds. We will be disgusted, we may even vomit.
I still want those things you promised, like breaking up the cartels and making Nairobi the great metropolis it should be. But first, your attitude towards women must catch up with your progressive, visionary thinking. Otherwise, we may be better off with people who steal our material things than someone who steals our dignity. By the way, I may or may not be here in Italy on a sex holiday, but that has got nothing to do with anything. Especially not my integrity.
Sincerely, your potential voter, Daisy.
YOU ARE WORKING HARD TO BE LOATHED. NOBODY LOVES A POMPOUS, SELF-IMPORTANT KNOW IT ALL