WAJINGA NYINYI

Stupidity of the voter nothing new, Ruto politics is

Kenyan politicians have counted on the same stupidity of the voter for decades made worse only by the deep tribalism

In Summary

• The ever-so gullible Kenyan voter is now meant to turn against Uhuru in favour of Ruto.

• It’s a vicious circle that must be broken and that will take creativity, ingenuity and shrewdness

Deputy President William Ruto addressing a delegation of Kikuyu leaders from the Rift Valley at his Sugoi home.
Deputy President William Ruto addressing a delegation of Kikuyu leaders from the Rift Valley at his Sugoi home.
Image: DPPS

Donald Trump continues to befuddle in what he says and does that many are resigned his shenanigans and sometimes childish antics will continue unabated to the last day he serves as president.

A few days ago, he tweeted that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's teeth were "falling out of her mouth" during a press conference in which she discussed the impeachment inquiry.

Even for someone not known to have any moral compass nor a filter to regulate what falls off his lips, this personal attack against the speaker—and a woman, no less goes far beyond what anyone would have even imagined possible coming from a president before Trump burst into the American political stage.

 

Responding to this particular tweet, an exasperated voter lamented, “Please! How perceptive does one have to be to realize that this is NOT mature, ethical behavior for any adult, much less the person in the position of president of the nation!” The voter went on to wonder how anyone can possibly think this is acceptable and said it cannot be because Trump's behaviour  is “absolutely deplorable, reprehensible, shameful, disgusting, embarrassing, nauseating, indefensible, etc.”

But Trump figured sometime after he started gaining traction during the 2016 campaign despite his having already demonstrated he was most uniquely unqualified to vie, let alone be elected as US president. Having captured the imagination of a certain segment of the population who would stick with him no matter what he said or did, Trump declared he could shoot someone in the street and these cult-like followers would not leave him.

In other words, Trump knew he has his wajinga (stupid people) in his corner and there is nothing he can possibly do to lose their blind support.

Kenyan politicians have counted on the same stupidity of the voter for decades made worse only by the deep tribalism that either drives the stupidity or the stupidity drives it but makes no difference which one is which as the harmful outcome is the same: Having the presidency determined not by the leadership qualities or policies but simply by sheer exploitation of this voter stupidity, tribalism and ignorance.

Kenyan rapper Kennedy Ombima aka King Kaka  released the artistic expression labelled ‘Wajinga Nyinyi’ (You are fools). It is a stinging rebuke of the Kenyan society far beyond what anyone has done before.

The spoken word castigates the country for its collective foolishness and stupidity in knowingly electing leaders responsible for their misery and erosion of its mores. What the artist captures is what nearly all Kenyans know and talk about in their quiet, safe circles but now the artist has forced the issue out in the open.

However, there is more than meets the eye here.

 

If one were to peel back the onion here, what one would find is the fresh, clean inner oniony manifestation of nothing other than Deputy President William Ruto at work.

Long before King Kaka lobbed his Molotov cocktail taking eviscerating everyone, good or bad, Ruto had effectively planted a nicely germinating and now almost blossoming plant all over Central depicting President Uhuru Kenyatta as a weakling and one solely responsible for the maladies that hail Central. Ruto’s focus is only Central and the strategy is working.

With this song, the ever-so gullible Kenyan voter is now meant to turn against Uhuru in favour of Ruto, completely oblivious of the fact he or she is once again being taken advantage and exploited for the benefit of someone who’ll forget them as soon as they ascend to the presidency.

It’s a vicious circle that must be broken and that will take creativity, ingenuity and shrewdness we have yet to see but possible even for 2022; only then can we as a country truly experience what has been mostly elusive since independence: economic prosperity for all and peace.

Samuel Omwenga is a legal analyst and political commentator