We have consumed a lot as a country, mostly choosing to skew negative about where we are, 50 years after independence. The obvious elephant in the house is the cases in ICC which to a great extent over shadow our Kenyan enthusiasm. Naturally it has never been pleasant being on the international map for all the wrong reasons. But somehow this brings out our ‘Kenyanese’, resilience is a perfect word which best depicts our unique way of ‘moving on’.
A lot has been documented about the jubilee year, for many it is a basket full of mixed reactions. We shamelessly pass the blame to our leaders. But they did not come from Mars, they are part and parcel of who we are anyway. Having said that, I choose to have a different perspective of where are, obviously having made serious mistakes in the past, but who doesn’t. For a long time we have overlooked many unsung heroes and success stories made in Kenya.
In August 2010, we promulgated a new constitution giving way to a new political dispensation which was unheard of in the past. It encapsulated and addressed boldly a bill of rights which is arguably one of the most comprehensive in the world. Where we are now, 2 years later, can be attributed to the new constitution . Of course we have a long way going forward, but what matters at least is the first step.
Nairobi Stock Exchange, which is our financial leverage hub is a top performer in the continent , after Nigeria even when threatened by many challenges including the latest VAT Act. Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote is investing somewhere in Kitui.Think of the ingenuous fast growing ICT sector in the country, with customised innovations starting with an award winning Mpesa platform.Just the other day, three Kenyan teens made it the list of 15 finalists of ‘Google Science Fair’ a competition which had over 120 countries with their project, ‘Can heat and tomato produce electricity’. In Murang’a a form four is generating electricity from a nearby river and serving the whole village.
Think of how far our sports sector has come, despite the many odds. Kenya athletes have been a force to reckon for decades, rugby growing pretty fast even before we roll out full professional players. Last week I watched our volley queens, lamenting of lack of government involvement in their preparations, but they went ahead to win the African cup. Which country does that. Do you remember the ‘You tube Man’, Julius Yego going all the way to the London Olympics without a coach. Aren’t we unique and blessed.
Our very own Lupita Nyong’o is doing rounds all over in Hollywood even featuring in a movie with the likes of Brad Pitt. ’12 Years A Slave’ which debuts in October should be a movie to watch .Her other works include an award winning MTV series ‘Shuga’ amongst many other other acting projects. ‘In my Genes’ has been one my favourites, a powerful documentary which highlighted the plight of people living with albinism in Kenya. The likes of Winnie Ojanga a Kenyan based in Switzerland are doing us proud in the fashion industry.
Victor Wanyama is a brand every Kenyan football enthusiast reveres. Even with prolonged football wrangles, he went ahead to become the first player from Eastern Africa to play in English Football. That was huge and unbelievable. Back in Kenya, What brings us more together more than Safaricom Sevens. We quickly emanate from our tribal cocoons to bring out the best in us, enjoying rugby, camouflaged by beautiful people and some good music. Why do we never stretch this to our places of work?
Motivational speaker Walea Akinyemi calls it the power of one. It is through one, that teams and societies are formed, revolutions are witnessed and success stories are told. Lets start with a Kenyan smile perhaps.