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February 18, 2019

Kenyans have choose between country and tribe

A peace group with a placard outside supreme court after the nullification of the presidential elections./ EZEKIEL AMING'A
A peace group with a placard outside supreme court after the nullification of the presidential elections./ EZEKIEL AMING'A
When I look at Kenyans, I like to see people who are brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, what I see are people divided in their communities, towns, parties, counties, churches and even in their hospitals, unable to embrace and become one people.

Living separately, even where they are physically together, Kenyans feel and think differently, feel different and unequal and develop a set of ideas and beliefs that separate them from one another.

The “anti-other people” ideas and philosophy that separate communities are called negative ethnicity. After years of living together with the cancer of negative ethnicity, Kenyans have become more ethnic —more Kikuyu, more Luo, more Kalenjin and more Kamba, than they are Kenyan.

In their thinking and politics, Kenya has become a country of ethnic enclaves, where people find less space, history, market, protection, solidarity and identity than in Kenya that has bigger space.

After being antagonised for many years, Kenyan communities have recoiled from the bigger space, where they have, unfortunately, been attacked into the smaller tribe where they seek solidarity, protection and defence from the other communities, whom they identify as enemies.

 To make Kenyans one, they must be made to think as one. They must be made to share, not just common space where they live, but also resources such as jobs, protection, economic infrastructure, land, factories and government amenities. Without sharing these resources on merit, Kenyans cannot not become one. They will remain enemies and finally fall apart.

I believe it is either tribes will either eat Kenya up, and become independent countries and nationalities, or Kenya will eat tribes up and become a truly one country and one people irrespective of their colour, language, geography, resources, numbers and history. I believe in such a case, Kenyans will become a patriotic nation pulling in one direction.

I believe Kenya needs nationalistic parties and organisations that every Kenyan will be free to join and lead. These nationalistic parties will treat all Kenyans as equal and equally, deserving available resources of the land.

I believe Kenya needs nationalist leaders that will serve and govern every part of the land without discrimination or favour. That equal treatment by government will endow every Kenyan piece of land with equal development and citizenship.

I believe Kenyan communities should be equal and be accommodative and accept good leadership from any Kenyan, notwithstanding their ethnic origins.

I believe ultimately, Kenya should absorb and dissolve every tribe into one big tribe called Kenya.

However, Kenyans cannot live in one Kenya with one Kenyan identity and still owe their loyalties and patriotism to their respective tribes, whose identities negate their Kenyan identity, whose usefulness cannot compete with that of the country, continent and the world, and whose time and relevance are no more.


If Kenya will survive as one, it must abandon negative ethnicity. However glamorous, embracing negative ethnicity is like riding a tiger. You will end up in its belly. The nation cannot coexist with the tribe. Either the nation will eat the tribe or the tribe will eat the nation.

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