While some people are very proud of their ethnicity, and call traitors those who reject their tribal ethnicity, there is nothing worse than loyalty to the ethnicities of tribe, poverty and foolishness. Indeed one should be proud of betraying and quitting useless ethnicity.
If I was born among the Kikuyu but brought up by the Luo in the Luo society, I would have grown up as a Luo. If I was born among the Luo but brought up by the Kikuyu in the Kikuyu society, I would have grown up a Kikuyu as I am.
Across the seas in America, President Obama was born of a Luo father who was a Kenyan but his birth notwithstanding, he is an American and not a Kenyan.
The citizenship of Obama is American and not Kenyan because despite the Kenyan-ness of his father, his ethnicity, race or citizenship are not determined by the blood and genes of his father, which he shares, but by his upbringing and American socialisation, values and self-identification.
I may carry a Kikuyu, Luo or Kamba name and blood, but if Kenyans from whatever community brought me up and socialised me as a Kenyan, I will grow up as a Kenyan of Kenyan and not Kikuyu ethnicity.
Because in the main, my parents brought me up as a Kenyan, however besieged the Kenyan tribe or ethnicity is, my ethnicity is Kenyan. People who grew up or live differently from me may claim me as a member of their ethnicity or ethnic community but I am not if we didn’t grow up in the same socialisation and don’t share same attitudes and self-identification.
I may share with someone a name, language, physical attribute but not ethnicity if we don’t share interests, values, upbringing, class culture, socialisation, ambition or vision. Is ethnicity chosen or inherited?
While some aspects of ethnicity like physical attributes and genetic make up are inherited, early ethnicity is chosen for one by parental upbringing and socialisation by education, religion, leadership and values.
In adulthood, ethnicity is chosen by the individual. Hence for me, Gikuyu ethnicity is involuntary and mostly inherited while Kenyan ethnicity is deliberate, self chosen and supreme because it is of my own volition.
In Kenya, ethnicities or communities we belong to are determined by parents and society while others are self chosen. On the other hand, tribal ethnicity is inherited but is a product and factor of socialisation.
For me, Kenyan ethnicity is not an inheritance but a deliberate choice to escape communal hostilities, ethnic parochialism, mutual political rejections, State and societal weaknesses and threat to my survival as a human being.
Other mutually hostile ethnicities are products of economic class contradictions and conflicts. The rich are the first class ethnicity that cuts across tribal ethnicities while the poor are the second class ethnicity that also cuts across tribal ethnicities.
Many will argue the rich and the poor are Kenya’s only ethnicities. The ethnicity of the rich can be inherited from rich parents but also acquired through honest hard work but often theft or corruption.
The ethnicity of the poor is mainly inherited from poor parents but also acquired through lack of the will to self liberate by working hard and doing whatever one may to self-liberate.
After class ethnicity, we have ethnicity of the educated that can be developed by parents and individuals that choose to educate themselves. While it helps to have educated parents, a determined person can also acquire the ethnicity of the educated that dominate other people with higher knowledge and technology and rule the world together with the rich.
Lastly, we have the ethnicity of fools who thrive in ignorance and are dominated and ruled by the educated. No one is born a fool but one can inherit ignorance from uneducated parents and acquire ethnicity of fools by leaving others to think for them.
While illiterate parents may bequeath their children ignorance, one remains in the ethnicity of fools by choice. Unfortunately, ethnicity of fools is the worst.
Since every Kenyan must choose what ethnicities to have and which not to have, of all ethnicities, I have chosen Kenyan ethnicity and the ethnicity of the educated. I have rejected tribal ethnicity and ethnicities of the poor and fools.
But when I say I don’t belong to the ethnicity of fools, I am surprised some people think I am calling the Agikuyu people the ethnicity of fools. But who said the Kikuyu are the ethnicity of fools?
Neither the Agikuyu nor any other community is the ethnicity of fools. People join the ethnicity of fools from all communities of Kenya. I may have tribal ethnicity or ethnicity of the poor but the last I want to have is the ethnicity of fools for no class of people is more irritating or godforsaken.
I don’t mean to insult anybody but if you think, write or talk like a fool you belong to the ethnicity of fools and the best you can do is shut up when others talk. While the ethnicity of fools is the worst and fastest growing, the worst combination of ethnicities is that of poor and foolish people.
While some people are very proud of their ethnicity, and call traitors those who reject their tribal ethnicity, there is nothing worse than loyalty to ethnicities of tribe, poverty and foolishness.
Indeed one should be proud of rejecting, betraying and quitting useless ethnicities. The only ethnicities we should be proud of and strive to keep are those that make us more Kenyan, more educated, more honest and more human.