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February 21, 2019

The Owira Butterfly Effect

President Uhuru Kenyatta has  a word with  form two Highway Secondary student  Daniel Owira  when he called on him at State House, Nairobi. Owira had recited a narrative entitled 'Otonglo time" during the just concluded music festival in Mombasa..Photo/PPS
President Uhuru Kenyatta has a word with form two Highway Secondary student Daniel Owira when he called on him at State House, Nairobi. Owira had recited a narrative entitled 'Otonglo time" during the just concluded music festival in Mombasa..Photo/PPS

There’s an idea, used in chaos theory, that a very small difference in the initial state of a physical system can make a significant difference to the state at some later time

It stems from the theory that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world might ultimately cause a hurricane in another part of the world. It’s known as The Butterfly effect.

I’ve watched with sweet amusement and pleasure as Daniel Owira unleashed his own brand of the butterfly effect over the past week. From the moment he performed before The President and said “tweet me Mr. President, tweet me” to his visit to State House, the tour with a pocketing Commander In Chief, the pictures on social media, but what really caught my eye were  the new names, voices and sentiments on Uhuru Kenyatta’s Facebook Page.

The young people of the world, are the movers and shakers, the music makers—the most privileged people who ever walked the Earth. For the first time in history, one generation—this generation—holds the key to how we progress as a people. Looks like Owira might have started something, or is it Uhuru Kenyatta. I’m still puzzled.

It’s also a tough time to be young, because young men and women the same age as David Owira face the challenge of profound and timely change because the world their fathers and forefathers created is not sustainable. The ideologies of dividing the nation across tribal lines and using that to engineer how we operate cannot be allowed to continue. Enter the butterfly effect.

Albert Einstein said, you cant solve a problem with the kind of consciousness that gave rise to the problem. So, if you take a moment to look back at Owira’s performance, Uhuru Kenyatta’s reaction to it and what he did thereafter by inviting him to State House Nairobi – you begin to understand why the smallest gestures can have the biggest effect.

The Butterfly effect was set into motion by Uhuru Kenyatta’s status update on his Facebook page and twitter handle. “I have today offered full education sponsorship up to the university level to Daniel Owira when he visited me at State House. He is now one of my sons and will give me his report form at the end of every term”.

Let’s be honest. Daniel Owira and his kin probably (please note use of word probably) didn’t vote for Uhuru Kenyatta and for the President to refer to him as “one of my sons” is huge. I can bet you Uhuru didn’t even notice the weight of that statement. The walk through State House was brilliant, the pictures were beyond fantastic, but what’s really worth looking at was the comments on his Facebook page and the conversations that follow from some of the comments. Please ignore the ones from those saying “me too”, it’s beyond sad. Please ignore the obvious comments about love and wow. It’s the comments you didn’t really notice that I want to bring to your attention. It’s comments like:

Stanley Otieno I salute u,kizuri kisifiwe bana ata kama he wsnt ur guy 4 da seat.

Aphlyne Ogutu Starting today you are my president donge God bless you.

Victor Ouma "President twit me."President twit me."Owira pleaded.Thank you for that kindness that you have shown to are more than a father mr president.To Owira please let your results be pleasing to the parent(mr president) now.Mr president continue breaking those walls of tribalism......thank u and may God bless u and keep u.Am humbled.

Larry Smith Otieno Onyango U r my President. God to give you more life and strength to move on. 2017 my vote is assured. Keep up.

Fred Oluoch Anuroh i dint vote for u n to b honest dint like u 1 bit, bt 1 thing is 4 sure, I REGRET not having voted 4 u, am proud of u MR. President

 Pollycarp Ouma Odongo Hon. president honestly and naturally i never liked you. I think it was what i was mentored to believe, though i never had any specific reasons. In fact the day you were inaugurated i know i lost touch with my head of state and my country. In my wildest dreams it never crossed my mind that you will listen or ever set your precious foot in my county, let a lone sponsoring a needy child. I'm deeply humbled and amazed by your kind gesture and extension of olive branch. I can slowly and gradually feel the sense of belonging. Overwhelming you with requests at this point in time will be unethical,instead we need to support you to build our country. thanks.

 These comments, uncensored, sincere yet also brutal in their honesty caught my eye. I had to scroll back three days prior to the Owira visit to see if this had happened before. Nope, not even on inauguration day. I must point out that I’m yet to “like” Uhuru Kenyatta’s page. I’m waiting for him to “like” mine first. Lol!

Back to the Butterfly effect, I’m still not sure who caused the effect. Was it Daniel Owira or was it Uhuru Kenyatta – whatever the case may be, something brought these two together and the resultant effect just going by the new likes and comments on Uhuru Kenyatta’s Facebook page say we’re on to something. However the burden of creating the moments and making them work remains with the President.

I would like however to say something to Owira’s agemates. You, the young generation of our chaotic times, are precisely positioned to be the butterflies that creates the crucial effect. You were born at exactly the right time: at the time when the world around you is becoming open to change. It’s hardly possible to create real change in a stable society: it has powerful defences against it.

There is a simple reason for this: those who hold the reins of power fear change—it may divest them of their privileges. Whether they are politicians, business leaders, or ecclesiastical, educational, or social authorities, the powerful, unless they are exceptionally open and wise, do everything in their power to maintain the status quo. They try to “excommunicate” those who want change— not literally, as the Church did in the Middle Ages, but by modern means: by ignoring the agents of change, and if ignoring them is not feasible, then by discrediting, ridiculing, and isolating them.

Your generation is uniquely positioned to bring about that shift and if all it takes is to try and reach out from where you are, then by all means do. It’s never really the big things that change the world, it’s the small things. A young man who smiles and appeals to a President “tweet me Mr. President, tweet me” and a President who does more than tweet the young man – a President who says “…He is now one of my sons and will give me his report form at the end of every term.”

The Owira butterfly effect – that’s what we should all be the gunning for. A small action, a small positive action that creates a wave of emotions and actions that changes conversations and attitudes in some small way. Give it a try. What have you got to lose?

Oh, before I forget – @Uhuru Kenyatta, “like” my page. Please. I’ll “like” you back. Promise. and don’t follow that person on twitter. Si mimi.

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