Tribes are not the issue

Chief Ole Maito at a recent event in Cologne

Since the violence in December 2007 – January 2008 in Kenya, tribe has become such a huge topic and the excuse for all the stupidity we perpetuate. Excuse my language but I think blaming tribe which is such an abstract thing for all the nonsense some of us utter just needs to be deemed stupid.

It’s often pointed out that in Europe, countries were formed based on the similarities of the people while in Africa we were clustered into countries none of us wanted to be in to begin with. That’s true but how many people living today were there to remember that they once lived in a small kingdom/community where only one language was spoken and only spies were multilingual due to their professions?

From my understanding tribalism, sexism, racism, nepotism and many other -ism only come about because we belittle ourselves and believe so little in ourselves. When it comes to culture and traditions, you have to understand your own culture and be proud of it enough to be able to openly criticise what is wrong with it and accept other cultures. All cultures have both the good and the bad, and only someone who is proud and knows that the faults of their culture do not reflect who they are personally will have no issue with others.

Since 2007/2008 I’ve heard so much about people being called to be Kenyans first then their tribes second. Well it might be a noble cause but how are we expected to identify with a group when we haven’t identified ourselves as individuals? This is the same mentality that brings about mob justice, because the crowd at that single minute is identifying as a crowd and not as individuals with brains that can make intelligent and independent decisions to resolve the issue more amicable.

If your kidneys begin to identify themselves as the body and not just a small part of the body, they’d forget their role is only that to clean your blood. We as Kenyans all 43 tribes have a mandate to understand that we are Kenyans but first of all we are individuals who due to accidents of nature ended up in a tribe based in Kenya.

Being here for a while I’ve come to realise that forgetting/ not knowing your own culture tends to make you want everyone be like you; that feeling of trying to make everyone be like you, think like you and act like you for you to consider them civilised. If you think the culture you are from is inferior, you’ll be out trying to find an identity with other cultures have you seen how many people around here take up Hinduism or Buddhism….we all need an identity, first as a person by name, then as a culture and lastly as a community. The only way you can helpful and useful in any society is by knowing who and what you are. They say to know where you’re going you have to know where you’re coming from.

Culture isn’t “classy”, sometimes it’s messy and embarrassing; you only need it to find your compass point of origin. On that note does anyone remember the Kenyan National dress that used up billions of tax payers money??? Now that’s what I call a waste…..you can’t have an outfit to represent 43groups, are we some kind of army trying to find a uniform #MegaFail. Now we got VISION2030, if we as Kenyans don’t share in that vision and it remains a kastoro we just hear in the news every once in a while, it’ll end up like that national dress.

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