by Gilbert Reagan Osoo
Human beings, as much as we are creatures of habit, we have become creatures of occurrence. Simply put, we have tuned our minds to ask at the beginning of each day; what is going to happen today? We move from alshabab to “gazeti ya leo ni ya kufunga nyama” all the way to the “slippery tongue of Moses Kuria” and to the rising prices of petrol, as quickly as the weather changes. True, society is dynamic, but any society that will stand the test of time has to have defining factors. What defines us as Kenyans?
Barely anyone knows. What we do know is Kenya is the home to great Olympic athletes and wildlife. Well, anyone can get that if they have a smartphone, or any phone for that matter, that is web enabled. We have been cultured to adopt the international, criticize the national and shun the traditional. Is everything about our traditions so “backward” or “unhealthy” or simply not “civilized”. I feel someone sold us short and instead of thinking it through, we took a lie to the head.
I celebrate being African and as much as it may sound cliché, I am proud to be Kenyan. Because in my African nature, is beauty I haven’t seen with my biological eyes or digital eyes. In Africa is something unique, far from the home of mineral ores that it has been portrayed to be. For Africa’s greatest resource, was its innocence and purity. This land was free of slavery, capitalism, feudalism and communism. Though yes, a few practices here and there were simply barbaric, but didn’t the Germans also seek to conquer the whole world? Haven’t we heard of their atrocities from the echoes of history to the resound of speakers in cinema theatres? Didn’t the Americans butcher Indians in conquest of their land?
With all the atrocities they committed, who gave them the right to call Africa the Dark Continent? Or maybe it is because they discovered electricity and decided to call it light.
On behalf of Africa, a single tongue cannot speak. But for the lion that roars in the east, one can certainly do. I wish to speak for and to Kenya. For this is the land where it all began and possibly where it is to end. Query your conscious, why would someone keep you busy and entertained with social media, change your conception of beauty from the cultured and mannered woman, of which most of our mothers are, to having light skin? I’m not done yet, then from light skin, to a sizeable and chunky sitting apparatus. So what is next? Big hooters/boobs? Ha ha ha wow! Don’t even get me started on the perception of love, it used to be sex, moved to money then a combination of both, finally we’re okay with men having carnal knowledge of other men, women also in too. All in the name of human rights. Guess it should have been human confusion. This is not us, or is it?
I’m not racist, but a white man once said, out of sight, out of mind. Our “smart phones” are always in sight, glowing in the concerts, under blankets, in the secrecy of dormitories in our secondary schools and straight into our churches. Again, I’m not racist, but no black man ever asked, “If this is what is constantly in my sight, what is it aiming to kick out of my mind?” Google became God, the media became the preacher, Instagram became the determiner of self-esteem and “quotes” we have not examined source or intention became a teacher. Yet the world goes on, a party of wishful thinkers it is.
If I were to write, I would need no fame as motivation. If I were to write, I would need no audience to applaud my level of skill or clarity of thought. Words are the codes the human mind responds to and executes. So who is coding your words? More importantly, who is pre-determining your choices before you make them?
Is it the choices of the Universe?