• It has now become common to use the name “Wanjiku” to refer to any ordinary Kenyan (as opposed to a member of the bourgeois or upper class).
• However, someone clandestinely started and has somewhat succeeded in slowly turning Wanjiku from this neutral person and turned it into a whining, unsatisfiable and disrespecting of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
When not referring to a specific person but to circumstances that could affect an individual the same way it would others, writers and speakers often use a generic name that could be anyone in that group.
It has now become common to use the name “Wanjiku” to refer to any ordinary Kenyan (as opposed to a member of the bourgeois or upper class).
While it has been fashionable and practical to refer to ordinary Kenyans as Wanjiku, it is time to rethink and start calling these Kenyans “Moraa,” instead.
There are several reasons for this, but let’s just focus on one.
Wanjiku as a reference to ordinary Kenyans was coined by retired President Daniel Moi during the clamour for constitutional change in the early 1990s. Moi did not use the name in any endearing way but in a pejorative manner, basically saying an ordinary “Wanjiku” was too dump not only to understand national issues, but had little, if any, understanding of politics and the constitutional-making process to waste time to involve him or her.
Kenyans took Moi’s derision and made Wanjiku the banner name and slogan for the even more relentless efforts to change the law, which finally paid off with the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.
The import of Wanjiku’s meaning, however, changed with time after popular cartoonist Gado took the opposite view of Moi to depict Wanjiku as a Kenyan whose rights are always violated but he or she now knows his or her constitutional rights and how to fight for them.
Listening to certain radio and YouTube channels for Mt Kenya audience and those from the area listening from the Diaspora, it is clear someone clandestinely started and has somewhat succeeded in slowly turning Wanjiku from this neutral person. They have turned it to a whining, unsatisfiable and disrespecting of President Uhuru Kenyatta mostly man but other times woman, both not surprisingly mostly coming from Nyeri or Murang’a.
Their embittered whining about and disrespecting of Uhuru is camouflaged as a disingenuous lament about how “poorly” he has done as President compared to his predecessor, the “I shred this MoU and utado” Mwai Kibaki.
That’s is quite telling. This is not the time to marvel at how ingenuous this clandestine movement in the shadows has been to discredit and disrespect President Uhuru Kenyatta. This is time to roll up the sleeves and beat this sleek movement back before they succeed in torpedoing everything the handshake and the BBI stand for.
It is also time we stop referring to ordinary Kenyans who stand to lose the most were these clever schemers to succeed as Wanjiku and let’s now refer to them as Moraa.
Yes, Moraa is a female name with a specific meaning in Gusii but, as Wanjiku is a female name with a specific meaning among the Agikuyu, neither is relevant for this purpose. We will now say Moraa to mean not just any ordinary Kenyan man or woman but all Kenyans who care about our beloved country and only interested in their welfare and that of their fellow Kenyans without regard to class, tribe or ethnicity.
Among women, Moraa is Mama Mboga, a hard-working teacher anywhere in the country, or Governor Anne Waiguru and her like-minded political leaders from Mt Kenya region, who are already leading in efforts to end hegemony and coming to grips we are all equal before the eyes of God—and, yes, someone other than a Kikuyu or Kalenjin can be President as well.
Among men, Moraa is the cattle herder in Maaland, a small business owner, a working-class person whose pay heck just doesn’t cut it with his increasing family needs, or a politician with a conscious.
Only in understanding what is at stake and taking drastic steps to uproot these poisonous trees that are growing and can only be used to infect or kill the republic we know as Kenya; a country we must make better, starting with the implementation of the BBI.
Samuel Omwenga is a legal analyst and political commentator