I was casually scrolling on Twitter when I came to one tweeps tweet. What makes you proud to be Kenyan? it read. I scrolled down reading tweets from various tweeps. As is the KOT nature, the responses were hilarious and I couldn’t help but giggle, people had different reasons that pushed them to patriotism some more hilarious than others. From Ugali and Nyama Choma to the beautiful ladies and award-winning athletes, the comments came in droves.
For yours truly, I had to pause and take a moment as I chewed on this question. It was not easy for me to jump onto the patriotic bandwagon as most Kenyans had done in the comment section, this can be blamed on a number of reasons ranging from the gap between the poor that keeps enlarging by the day to The last few years have been married by alot of corruption of public funds, grabbing of public land and a couple of homicide. All this has managed to pass through the cracks and crevices of our judicial system, ask me how. The country has been let into exposes like the latest on COVID-19 MILLIONAIRES which leave most of is wondering if there’s anything to smile about. With the income inequality at and close to 60% of the Kenyan youth, unemployed patriotism is not something I can wear body. The country is current wallowing in debt and modem day slavery where individuals or multinationals purporting to be investors are found prowling and traversing Kenyan land and other opportunities seeking the best before grabbing. We as a country have gotten to the point whereby foreigners can freely jet in and out of the country as the native's queue for ages to get passports. We watched as the hotel industry crash to its knees with classics like the Mayfair hotel closing shop not because of the lack of customers but of the mear racism that has been allowed in such areas. It is 2020 but major hotels in the country still discriminate against Kenyans with their over the top charges, a subtle modern day whites-only scenario.
Athletes who bagged trophies and made us proud like Conjestina Achieng’ have been left to rot while MPs in the senate are busy lobbying for better salaries you’d think that the tax-free millions they pocket are enough.
In response to the tweep, I’m proud to be Kenyan because of a number of things.
- Kenyan athletes from the legendary Kipchoge Keino to Eliud Kipchoge who broke the INEOS challenge in 2019.
- The big 5 and the existence of a national park in the capital city.
- The wild west migration from the Serengeti to the Mara that takes place annually, it is also among the 8 wonders of the world.
- The late Professor Wangari Maathai and her relentless fight for the environment, not only was she insulted, arrested and humiliated by the public, her legacy has been watered down by few individuals who are too powerful to protect the environment.
- Barack Obama’s ancestral roots which are in Kenya. The dad Barack Obama Senior Kenyan senior governmental economist who hailed from Rachuonyo district in Nyanza province.
- The existence of more than 42 tribes, speaking different languages and we have managed to live and coexist in harmony despite the diverse cultures and upbringing.
- Award-winning authors like Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Ken Walibora, celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o, Eddie Gathegi and the new kid on the block Elsa Majimbo who continue to prove that as a country we still got it when it comes to creativity.
- The resilience that lies in the hearts of many Kenyans who despite the prevailing economic conditions still strive to build a better future for the coming generations.
That is my list, which is yours?