On 28 February, 2008, Kenyan president Kibaki (PNU) and opposition leader Odinga (ODM) signed a peace deal that put an end to the riots after Kenya’s possibly fraudulent elections in December 2007. The main points of the peace agreement are as follows:
- The opposition accepts Kibaki as President.
- A new post of prime minister will be created, which will be occupied by Odinga.
Well, these positions were just a few among the highlights of a deal that heavily focused on power sharing and reward to those involved. Two bills had to be passed, one of them a constitutional amendment, by the Kenyan parliament in order to execute the Kenya peace deal. Among the population, the peace deal was generally greeted with enthusiasm. Thousands of people went to the streets to celebrate. But the violence, in which some 1,500 people were killed and some 600,000 fled, left wounds in the country.
That said and done, it is now four years since the accord was signed. There is some positive strides that have been realized since the establishment of the coalition government. Some negatives that cannot be ignored too have characterized the period. Most require governance, change of regime and such…
Events in the Northern Africa and some Arab countries informed Kenya twitter folk that Kenya could also stage an uprising of such kind. That was the genesis of the #Kenyafeb28 initiative. I don’t know what to really say about Kenyans using social media to stage such a revolution. I concur with @Kachwanya’s sentiments on that subject so I will not dwell. Of course as Kachwanya said (before change of heart), the idea failed before it even took off and as such, a few who took the mantle to make the initiative about prayer. This is a noble idea and one which landed me in trouble with some proponents yesterday for questioning the wholesome benefit of the whole nation singing the national anthem at one pm today.
Here is where I am coming from. In my opinion, standing up and saying a prayer/ singing the national anthem is a symbol of unity but it’s not what will make difference. There is a whole lot of difference, or little perhaps that such organization can realize. We have media houses, lots of Kenyans on Twitter and Facebook and such who truly speaking wish to stretch a little just to make a difference to those who really need help. Every when I take a trip through the country on a project visit or visit to my native home, there are spectacles along the way; around Molo and Burnt Forest just to mention a few. Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) still have camps four years since the peace accord was signed on 28Th February 2008. We are always having National prayer days, which serve that purpose of unity I suppose. The civil society is there to make as much noise as we all need made, even Okoiti Omutata is ready to chain himself somewhere I can bet. There is someone doing everything, every noise required.
I truly think as a normal, basic, regular Kenyan, I can make a difference by praying and doing something about it. Even the Bible, I think the Koran too suggests that answers prayers in a certain way. I am no cleric so I will stick to the point. Let us pray, and do something about it. We have a force that puts up worldwide Trending Topics every week, we can communicate. We have groups on Facebook that represent all manner of things. Heck we are so technologically advanced; we don’t need to run around the streets to cause bloodshed or to state a point of dissatisfaction. Really, so after we have stood and said, and some NGO’s have given press releases and such… we all go back to our normal lives then everyone is left to figure out life by themselves right? That’s what we do, a street kid comes to us in traffic and we roll up window, or even a blind person comes about and we move on. We embrace negativity so much, a conman, how about really taking a minute to just reach out and like really just hope that whatever we do will make a difference?
I read Mark Kaigwa’s blog earlier. He says Singing today is s start. A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step… Well, the initial intent for #Kenyafeb28 was an uprising. It failed. It’s good that along the way when someone figured a revolution is a joke here, they said we pray to keep the goodwill. So, we have prayed and sang. What do we do to make a difference?
I think it is unkind to hit out at someone because they questioned or asked about the essence of singing… or what happens after the singing. Tapping on synergies, suggestions and directions as such should give impetus to the next course of action. The voices behind the initiative seem confident enough to sing today, so what next?
I will borrow some of Chris Rock’s words from one of his stand up comedies: ‘Be a fucking person and listen, care, do something concrete…’ I could have changed the order of words, but the intent is just that. Maybe at the end of the day one can feel proud to be Kenyan. I don’t have the machinery or anything really to create actual impact, to move people to give 300/= towards a fund which can buy iron sheets, beds, beddings, food or something of need for people still; living in tents. Someone else probably has. I am however never short of taking a challenge, in my little ways. It’s just my opinion, commentary. I am no special person to do or say anything much. Let’s sing today, I seek to try reach out in a way, or suggest. We’ll find out in the next post… For now;
“Ee Mungu nguvu yetu
Ilete baraka kwetu
Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi
Natukae na undugu
Amani na uhuru
Raha tupate na ustawi.”
God Bless You, God Bless Kenya.