The 43rd Tribe
Sad but whenever you have to talk about politics, Kenyan politics to be specific eventually you will have to talk about tribe. You will beat around the bush say it should not be always certain that tribe substitutes politics and visa vis. Make people like you because well, you sound like the change they want after Obama. Then run out of ideas because then there’s nothing else to say only to find rescue in invoking the tribal angle. Writing the tribe equation. Bringing the Ethnic math.
Truth be told but you and I have heard way lots of tales of this. You and I have heard of ‘one of our own’ You and I have heard of ‘its our time to eat’ You and I have heard of ‘tyranny of numbers’ You and I have heard of ‘king makers’ You and I have heard of ‘your name betrays you’ You and I have heard of rather been asked ‘who do you know?’ then ‘where do you come from?’ and that made or fell their destiny. you and I have heard enough of this but we are destined to hear yet more now that it’s an election year. Make or die. Politics thrives on the tribal equation. Tribal equation that has morphed into the ethnic maths and transcended into the infamous ‘tyranny of numbers’
They say only death and Taxes are certain but it’s also by far certain that we can not navigate away from our tribes. Our ethnic backgrounds. Our originality that lives in us and we live with it. No one thus in their right mind advices that. And if they do advice, then their motives are perhaps unsubstantiated.
Fast forward to the current generation and there is a new crop of kids cut from a different cloth. Let’s just call them the 43rd Tribe. These are kids of mixed tribal orientation. Say a Kikuyu mum and a Luo father. They are the kids who grew home away from home. Perhaps in a place as metropolitan as Nairobi. Interacting with persons of diversified backgrounds. They are kids who do not dispute their tribes but rather refuse to be defined by their tribal orientation.
They are kids who at one point in time they are confused which tongue to pick because mum says Luhya and dad says Luo and no one is blinking first. For a majority of them the tussle gets tough. Mum maintains her stand; Kamba. Dad too keeps his lane; Giriama. The kid on between is the proverbial grass that endures the fight of charging bulls. So when no agreement is settled between Kalenjin and Maasai, the case is closed at our kid speaking English and some broken Swahili that disintegrates into slang as adolescent sets camp. For the lucky few, it happens that they speak both languages. Remember such are exceptional cases. And those are the types that the ‘Lolani Kalus’ of this world when they grow up! Would love to become Lolani Kalu in another life; speak tones of languages.
If ever you have noticed, and with the increased urbanization, tribe and ethnic groupings are nolonger taking the center stage as it were say ten years ago. That community of the 43rd Tribe is expanding real first. It’s taking a rightful position and influencing the overall outlook on issues. Come on, we should not always look at issues that divide us with like Maasai then Kipsigis. No! Not when we can look at them like Kenyans and solve them as Kenyans without invoking the tribal division. Back in the day the only logic was, intermarriage ked to creation of new tribes or is it sub tribes. Like Coastal Arab intermarried with the Mijikenda to birth Swahili. One would think Luhya, Luo intermarriage would birth something like Jaluhya (Hehe, never serious)
Sometimes whenever you think of ten years in time, the 43rd Tribe will completely control the overall outlook. Yes, we will still have our tribes. We will still have our Ethnic cocoons. We will still have our Originalities but then we will be guided by a new culture. A culture that doesn’t allow that we only think on basis of our tribes. The basis of our ethnicity. The basis of our originality.
The culture am talking about demands that we don’t become hostage of our tribal equations and ethnic maths. Never at all should we be brainwashed to only act on tribal lines. To love and hate on ethnic backgrounds and to think one of us being on a position of power means it’s our time to eat. Neither does it hold substance to say your name betrays you with audacity.
Only then perhaps Will our political narrative shift. Believe you me the current political dynasty will write a story only similar to Nokia’s. A story of doing nothing wrong as per your own measure but having to exit stage. A story of being cut out. A story of extinction. Since all their existence is anchored on marshaling tribal and ethnic equations that allow room fur setting one against the other. The other against the other. Seeing an enemy where there’s a friend and making it seem like politics was born on tribe. Why? You ask? Here we are the 43rd Tribe all but ready to rewrite that narrative for it must be a different Narrative. Yes it must!