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January 20, 2019

G-Spot: The belief that events are predetermined and therefore inevitable harms us

Raila with Ruto
Raila with Ruto

When I was a boy in 1970s Nairobi, there was an old (even then) song, Que Será Será, by Doris Day that seemed to be very popular with certain presenters on the Voice of Kenya General Service. 

I didn’t know it then, because concepts such as predestinarianism weren’t taught in my primary school, but the popular tune, also known as What Will Be, Will Be, was not much more than an ode to fatalism.

The song was originally released in 1958, and I’d like to put it out there that I would be willing to accept a lavish grant to study how many people who imbibed this tune with mother’s milk, as it were, didn’t become brainwashed into passive acceptance of everything that life threw at them.

The popular view of the 1950s, at least in Western society, is of a time when conformity was writ large, where men and women observed strict gender roles and everybody was meant to comply with society’s expectations. Of course in countries such as Kenya, the 1950s were a time of turmoil, with the colonial government declaring an Emergency in 1952 as the Mau Mau struggle got under way. But I digress, a little.

I got to thinking about Que Será Será  as I considered the Kenyan political scene, where with the setting up of a new diplomatic AU position for Prime Minister emeritus, Raila Odinga, the race for State House in 2022 might have either been decided, or thrown wide open, depending on whether one is an optimist or a pessimist.

If you are optimistic about Kenyan politics, you are probably in a minority, and I can only wish you the absolute best of luck. You will see the chances that are there to change the country to a different path that could lead to better future than the past we have had so far. 

Sadly the majority of your fellow voters have been beaten into submission already, and unless some sort of miracle (or disaster)  happens between now and election day 2022, they will go into the polling booth and choose Deputy President William Ruto to take over from President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

And soon afterwards they will discover that if they thought they had hit rock bottom during the previous 10 years, they were wrong, and there are still greater depths to sink to.

Between now and then, there will be many new and temporary favourite candidates that pop up, and the Kenyan crowds will smile at them, flirt with them and even encourage them, only to dump them at the altar for the usual suspects.

As I write this, I keep wishing and hoping that I am wrong and that 2022 will see Kenyans turn the corner and change things for the better, and any other trite phrase that suits my meaning, but if I was a gambler, I’d know this was a losing bet.

We will walk as if blind to our fate and accept the predetermined doom and gloom of no change offered by the ascendancy of a Ruto presidency, and we will hum Que Será Será to ourselves in resignation. 

If you doubt me, let’s talk the day after the results are announced.

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