I am told that one of my maternal ancestors had the gift of seeing the future. Legend has it she could predict coming events with amazing accuracy, as well as interpret dreams.
Apparently the black spots on her tongue were the outward sign of this power, and the superstitious believed that any of her descendants who inherited these black spots would have the same powers.
When I was told about this as a child, I imagined I could see some black spots on my tongue. The black currant juice I had just been sipping had nothing to do with this, of course.
Nevertheless, every now and then, despite not really believing in such things, I fantasise that in fact, I inherited her abilities to see into the future, but haven’t used my powers, as I am still waiting for the revelation to occur to me. Where is that darn puff of smoke?
Seriously, though, in a world as predictably unpredictable as the one we inhabit today, how hard can it be to predict the future and come within a reasonable chance of being correct?
Over the last half-century, some pretty far-out things have come to pass. Had anyone predicted many of the occurrences just a few short years before they happened, they might have found themselves laughed out of town.
For instance, few could have predicted that a police raid on a bar in New York (the Stonewall Inn) would be repulsed by “drag queens, gays, lesbians and transgender people of all races” and lead to a gay rights movement around the world?
If in 1988, when single party rule was at its height in Kenya, you had predicted that by the next election in 1992, there would be more than a dozen parties in the running, with nine of them sending representatives to Parliament, you might have found yourself dismissed as a mad person.
Similarly, if you had tried to tell the world that a reality TV show host with a string of boom and bust investments in his portfolio would be elected president of the US after Obama and beat seasoned politicians to the White House, you would have had a hard time getting anyone to believe you.
If, after the 2017 election, complete with two Presidents sworn-in, you had told many Kenyans that there would be a handshake that changed everything, you might have had to run away to hide from the folk in white coats coming to take you away to a place of safety. Who would have thought that by the end of 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta and former PM Raila Odinga would be thick as thieves?
I am going to stick my big toe in the water and make a prediction for the New Year that we are in. It may sound vague to some of you, but let those who have ears hear it.
Despite all appearances to the contrary, 2019 is going to be a very good year for Kenya, as far as the nation’s finances are concerned. There will be an element of luck in financial deals that will put the country on the road to economic stability, but only if we declare ourselves a province of China.