Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kenya 28 Feb - There Certainly is a Point

This post is in response to N.V in the post Is KenyaFeb28 Missing the Point?

I agree with misterN.V's post - for the most part. To recap what he says, goodwill and whining will not get us anywhere. We sit around and complain, but there is little action from amongst ourselves to take the initiative and change the country ourselves. As leaders, and not as followers. Valid points, all of them. But to relegate KenyaFeb28 - a day when Kenyan citizens, and specifically the netizens, have come together in a show of unity - by saying that "unity will not be enough" is a bit reckless, and in my humble opinion, a simplistic conclusion that misses the point of KenyaFeb28.

"KenyaFeb28 is not about asking tweeple to display their chest-thumping, smarter-than-the-next-guy-swag, as is displayed on their witty tweets and great blogs. All you're being asked is to unite with Kenyans of all backgrounds, sing your anthem and remind your leaders that as one people, we are the force to reckon with, not them"

Yes, it would make little sense to sing the National Anthem and walk on, moving to God-knows-where whence the anthem reaches its endpoint. It certainly would be an anticlimax. However when I consider N.V's last words, we need "...[m]en and women that are committed and willing to inspire others through their actions to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country", it does feel like the ideal dénouement suggested would be for some bloke to give his all, à la the self-immolation that began the Jasmine Revolution. The sanctity of human life must be maintained, in my opinion; let us not do anything rush in the name of change.

That said, I could be wrong; perhaps he does not intend something as drastic. However, I believe that at times even without a plan as to 'what next' - which is the core issue of his piece - we find ourselves, through such an initiative as KenyaFeb28, having set the foundation for something greater. 

I am certain that when the Freedom Fighters went to Europe during World War II they had no expectation of 'what would happen next'. They went because they had to. Because they had no real choice. We are singing because 'we want to'. But don't kid yourself; other than KenyaFeb28, until next year's elections at least, we also have no choice of ousting everyone in government as we deem fit. The cogs of the new constitution have not brought us that far yet, and I dare say they don't seem like they will. 

That is not to say that you should only sit and wait for next Monday, belt out "Ee Mungu nguvu" like a rockstar and fade into the night while the fans await their encore. You can still make a change here, and a difference there. Buy bread for the kiddo at the corner who'll otherwise go hungry. Participate in such events  as the Kuweni Serious and the Girl Effect goodwill sessions in Kibera and Baba Dogo this weekend. You could do that on any other day, so long as the opportunity presents itself. There is, however, only one 1pm Feb 28 2011. We may be impractical in our venture, naively going to 'fight in WWII'; what we come back with, nonetheless, could be the beginning of our own 'nationalistic movement' that leads to 'Independence Day'.

It's a forum that we've started. Dec 17 and Jan 25 in Tunisia and Egypt respectively were relatively small in what they were at first glance. Only the cumulative aftermath has led to the great Jasmine and Egyptian Revolutions, and the domino effect that has followed thence. Do not, as such, belittle the effect of the initiative.

For you may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you do not try.

Let us one and all unite for a day...in fact for a mere few minutes, to display our solidarity for a simple cause. The National Anthem is after all a Symbol of our National Unity...but is it? When was the last time you sang all three stanzas of the Anthem?


  1. I am not saying I wont participate in singing the national anthem, I was just raising a genuine concern that there is a serious leadership vacuum in this country. We need new leaders with fresh ideas like KenyaFeb28 to stand up and show us the way. Kenya is after all made up largely of the youth and we need servant leadership and vision to steer this country forward.

  2. I can hardly argue with that. And it's great that you'll be participating in the show of unity initiated by the youth. I do however feel that while there may not seem to be a plan for the next step, this initiative in itself may actually show us where the next step is. For starters, you and I are only communicating as a direct result of KenyaFeb28. The same can be said about all the other tweeps I'v "met" as such. This may just be the stage for a vision we end up charting out.


Your comments are highly appreciated.