The last one week has been marred by inflated level of intolerance from one Nyanchwani, a blogger who castigated foods closer to the hearts of Agikuyu people, to Gor Mahia hooliganisms after they descended Machakos town, hammer and tongs. We also witnessed the resurface of infamous ‘Men in Black’ this time round featuring rogue ODM MCAs mishandling and humiliating poor ODM Executive Director Hon. Magerer Langat yesterday for allegedly being a ‘Jubilee mole’. At the global scale Burkina Faso was battling unprecedented unrest as demonstrations engulfed the capital, torching down the country’s Parliament buildings, ruling party headquarters, national radio station and many other strategic buildings, all in a day’s work.
Delving on matters food and the slanderous remarks from blogger Nyanchwani, legions of us, Kikuyu speaking or not were flabbergasted by the sheer recklessness of this blogger who am made to understand works in one of the highly respected media houses after penning down a condescending article making fun of foods associated with Kikuyus . My only question after reading this cheap article was, did someone force food down his throat? As a matter of fact, I have tremendous respect for all tribes in Kenya, stereotypes notwithstanding, including Kisiis.
They say a lie will have travelled half around the world by the time the truth puts on its shoes. That can be affirmed by the worrying trend that has emerged since the inception of social media, negative publicity means more traffic. It’s sad when professional journalists act in a similar way to quarks, disregarding all ethics, trashing decorum as far as journalism is concerned and acting with outright impunity. These are the same culprits giving blogging such a bad name by concocting half-truths, shallow research not to mention the advancement of primitive negative ethnicity through blogging. It’s uncivil and the highest level of mediocrity, for lack of better words, it’s a mark of a lazy writer; quite unfortunate indeed.
That Kikuyus are tired of being discriminated and lampooned upon is an understatement. After Somalis, the other tribe that is highly profiled is arguably the Kikuyus. This notion of people dragging some communities to one basket, subsequently profiling and ridiculing their over a century old culture, is the lowest level of ignorance. My rights as a Kenyan have being grossly violated and secondly as a person who learnt Kikuyu as the first language. How are Kikuyus to blame for ‘githeri’, a hodgepodge of maize and beans being, the most common food offered in secondary schools in Kenya?
Actually the essence of my response as a Kikuyu bred through mukimo and other Kikuyu foods since childhood is not about justifying how Kikuyus have tasty foods. Am here to draw attention to a carefully choreographed trajectory by a section of Kenyans who in their wisdom get fulfillment when they throw scurrilous remarks to the Agikuyu people verbally or otherwise. Remember when Hon.Kalonzo Mosyoka asked a journalist what his name was and continued to say, “That says it all!” Nyachwani in his own words says; “it does not matter if they have the presidency, hold key positions in government, military…..” This parochial ideology of equating Kikuyus to presidency and government is despicable especially coming from a professional journalist. Apart from the elitist in Kenya who savour the trappings of power, the typical Kikuyu ’endures hard economic times like any other ‘Wanjiku.’
Nyachwani has no kind words for Kikuyu relatively ‘early – civilisation’ compared to other tribes. He interestingly calls it ‘geographical accident’ for their proximity to the capital. Again am worried by the mere harbor of this level of primitive mentality. Why should someone question Kikuyus being closer to Nairobi while historically they’ve always lived around the Central highlands of Kenya? In any case we have thousands of families from other tribes living in the formerly known as Central Province. Today if you have a million plus shilling in your bank account, what will stop you from buying a plot somewhere in Gachie or Ruiru, regardless of your tribe? I feel sad when learned Kenyans tread this narrow line of argument, of open ended stereotyping our beautiful country and its people. Is it also by accident that Kisiis were also plucked somewhere in Congo and dropped along the richly endowed highlands of formerly known as Nyanza province?
It’s offending for anybody to abuse freedom of speech as enshrined in our constitution to advance hatred and defamatory remarks against any tribe in Kenya in the name of “saying it like it is”. It’s unwarranted especially when we have a very sensitive citizenry that can easily disintegrate on each other. Rwanda has a bad history which they’ve endeavored to bury deep in their emotional ocean, so has Kenya after the 2007-08 skirmishes. I rest my case.