“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that Kenya is a place where things can be made possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.
It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, the haves and have nots. Kenyans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of tribes and tribesmen; we are, and always will be, the Sovereign Republic of Kenya.”
If I were to borrow Barack Obama’s words from his election night victory speech; these are the words I wish to hear in 2012; when we get a new President who will have looked beyond our differences as a people, as economic groupings, as tribal groupings. A President who will have run a unifying campaign; defying all odds that characterize who we are today, what we identify with and what we believe to give us a hope, a purpose, a desire, energy to build, to make, to find, to believe and to be Kenyans. Then again, it could just be a wish based on what characterizes the prospective candidates we have out there.
This morning I woke up to John Legend’s ‘If you’re out there…’ Such a powerful song sang in 2008 towards the American presidential elections, 2008. The message in the song is so powerful, so simply relayed yet so well worded that anyone who looks beyond themselves, beyond their interests and their identity can truly find belonging in nationhood, in something greater than themselves and what they know, and want. I will pick a few lines from the song and share with hope that someone can believe, with hope that next time I am at a gathering I will not sit back and listen to how one will do a balancing act to ensure a runoff favorable to him in 2012… or how another one will find strategy in a female running mate, or another from an unfavorable tribal grouping to balance his stakes… It’s what we say, what we hear and what we thing.
At this time, at this moment, we live in a country with many things, problems that make a mockery of our sovereignty;
– We have people dying for lack of food, something I would blame poor policy, or poor implementation of good policy perhaps.
– We live in a country where fuel prices have been hiked, for the umpteenth time in less than six months
– We live in a country where we have influx of foreigners from the north; some fighting our people, some with terrorist links and some with resources that are taking over investments as we know them.
– We live in an economy where every single day, our currency is dropping against world major currencies.
– We live in a country where those in charge of legislation seek to increase their salaries when demands for tax are put to them… when those in charge of the legislature horse trade for their people, or camps when matters of national importance are at stake.
– We live in a country most of us love, but whose trends and leadership shame us…
We also live in a country where as a people;
– We honestly toil, and deliver, we pay taxes, and we never give up on seeing our best through. In process we realize a national good.
– We take pride in our achievements, our patriotism and belief in a better tomorrow has seen us vote for a new constitution which has yielded some good so far and laid a foundation for even greater good.
I know a friend who each day wishes to shout out, ‘if there is anybody out there’. Her shout is greater, her interest lies in wanting to know who, and why… they are all out there somehow, those who can lead us somewhere… The who, the where and the how is what she seeks to understand, lime many Kenyan’s seek I suppose. In time, with effort and focus, an initiative will come through, My Kenyan President, My Kenyan Aspirant… many more perhaps from like minds.
If there is anybody out there…
If you hear this message, wherever you stand
I’m calling every woman, calling every man
We’re the generation
We can’t afford to wait
The future started yesterday and we’re already late … (The Lyrics)
Till Then, Cheers!