Everyday people are preaching against tribalism, NGOs are on the fore front of educating the Kenyan citizens on the importance of unity. I used to think that tribalism is a thing of the past generation, that when my mother tells me I should never marry a man from western or my father says he would give me up for free just in case I do, that I would stand up and fight for what I believed in.
I never thought I would ever hear any of my peers stand and declare their hate for a particular people from a particular tribe save for the few she were friends with. I felt sick when she shouted again and again that she is a tribalist and she can not love people who hates her tribe. I looked at her and I didn’t see my pretty girlfriend, I saw someone ugly, someone I had never seen before. She showed me an ugly side of her that I never knew. I watched her laugh and narrate how funs of a particular football club harassed some ladies at a football event because they didn’t belong to them( They greeted the girls and asked them their names in their mother tongue and the girls didn’t understand.) She laughed at how the hooligans attacked some public services buses from a particular company because it was owned by people from a rival tribe. She went on saying how untouchable they are that even the police cannot handle them. I looked at the person narrating all ,this her laughter floating in the air and I couldn’t stand being near her because the friend I knew was no longer there.
My heart still aches from the words she uttered. Are we the generation that will break the tribal barrier and unite our country despite the dialect we utter? Are we the generation that is going to realize that our differences are our beauty and that our differences should make us stronger but not divide us? Somehow I have doubts in the task that lies ahead of us but then I am reminded of a friend of mine who didn’t name his kid the traditional way because he didn’t want him labeled by his tribe and I smile with hope.I am reminded of a family my mother used to leave me in their care when I was a kid while she went to work, I never felt like an outcasts in their midst thou we were from a different tribe,I am reminded of my campus buddies they were from all over Kenya but we coexisted together as brothers and sisters.
Truth be told we need each other, when our athletic team bring home medals we celebrate as a country , when our footballers make it into international teams we celebrate their success, when our rugby team waves our flag up high we celebrate. Is it just me or do we all feel a sense of joy and pride when our national anthem plays in a foreign country .I usually go like “That is the most beautiful anthem in the world,the most beautiful flag and they represent my country. Let us see the beauty in each one of us. Let us celebrate the achievements we make without dividing ourselves into tribal divisions.