A few weeks ago in an online discussion about the forgotten, neglected, unnecessary history of the Mau Mau, a very good Kenyan was kind enough to correct my oversight by telling me thus “…twitpic a photo of your PhD in History so we can believe you.” With that, I closed my Twitter account and threw my Minion, gadget extraordinaire, at the wall for committing the crime of not staying in my educational lane….and it is to that well-meaning Kenyan, a charming and charitable fella who took the time to pack a life lesson in less than 140 characters that I dedicate this..
A Good Kenyan, trained in a certain trade, should keep within all set limits and lanes of only that trade. In fact, such a Kenyan should leave governing to the governors, and politicking to the misguided ones who do not care much for their lives. Such a well-meaning fella must never refer to anything beyond that which he has been trained for, and can provide proof of graduation from an institution, as an area of expertise. In fact, if you do not have a higher degree in say, political science, you should know better than to comment about the political process. Similarly, law should be left to lawyers with their ‘thereins and jurisprudences.’ All pure, and applied sciences graduates also need keep to their respective science, what is a chemist doing commenting about biochemistry anyway? Where is her ‘bio’ so we can take her seriously? In fact, on a topic of men, where are her relevant genitalia?…and, anyone trained in animal husbandry must never tire of fulfilling said spousal duties.
A Good Kenyan who seeks to be taken seriously must always either keep to the moral values that he preaches, because the messenger is the message, or produce proof of instruction from a credible, accredited, institution, even if only for a weeklong training. The ‘African’ logic on which these criteria are based is ‘you have a point, yes, but are you:
- Instructed in the relevant discipline to offer such an arguably strong and clearly accurate point.
- If the answer to (1) above is yes, are you educated up to, and including, such a level necessary to offer such an opinion?
- If no to (1), please take a seat and eat your crayons, you are retarded and should only be seen, not heard, unless you are ugly, then please go be ugly elsewhere.
- If no to (2) above, please keep within the confines of what the educational system told you to be true. Do not question your teacher, or Malkiat Singh, or KIE, or KNEC, or KNUT, or KUPPET, or the BOG, or the PTA, or the PCEA…oh wait, a denomination.
A Good Kenyan, after a 0-16 years in this educational system that would make the deities induction program managers jealous, is trained to think and become an expert in only that which he has written a peer-reviewed, peer-validated, scientific dissertation. Any in the liberal arts do not count, in fact, the liberal arts are nothing but smoke, another one of our misguided investments when we could have been investing in science and engineering and competing with the Asian tigers. We coulda been the African Lions, we coulda been cheetahs, we coulda been giants!
A Good Kenyan, in limiting his own opinion to that which he has firsthand knowledge in as printed in the media or textbooks, and by a black Kenyan no less, must make it his job to remind others should they stray from their designated lanes. Please, do not speak to me about religion if you are not a theologian, diviner, with a long title of what should be sequential offices meshed into one. Yes, papers, good friend, proof of education. That will take you places, the better if you have been to Harvard a week or so, or if you have MA, or MSc, or higher.
A Good Kenyan must only listen to experts and never anyone else even when a child of five, woken up early enough, can offer the same opinion for a much cheaper price (a lollipop should suffice). Even worse, such a child of five would offer the point in a language too simple to be as sophisticated as the language we need to believe an opinion to be true. However, any Kenyan who purports to wow us with their vast vocabulary, be they the scribe Philip Ochieng’ who surely cannot have a point amidst all that buffoonery, or the young budding Waga Odongo who also surely, must only be hiding behind a cloak of a good dictionary, must be notified of our busy schedule that does not allow us to look out for any deeper meaning of words, or prose, or poetry…and what is Gathara doing writing prose anyway, isn’t he a cartoonist? Shouldn’t cartoonists…cartoon or something?
A Good Kenyan must never join the civil society, and should he misguidedly choose do so, and seek to tell us that we are not being governed well, then we have a public duty to insult him as a ‘stooge of the West, funded by the colonialist.’ This duty must be embodied in the spirit of the Preamble to our constitution, next to our assertion of how much we have loved our not-romanticized freedom fighters. Our government is funded by the West too? Well, that is different, we are with China now. No, wait, we are only still with the West because we will be with China soon. China likes us, China loves us, China only wants us to be happy, China will not ask not to kill each other, China will not come with any more demands other than that we give their companies tenders and host their overpopulation…oh, and not recognize Tibet or Taiwan, or some other T-non-important country, and probably not allow the Dalai Lama to visit. The West is bad, even nature knows, isn’t that where the sun sets anyway? Such vile people! The East, where the morning sun comes from, is the future, you can feel its love if you orient the window of your fabricated suburban gated-community house just right, or if your landlord was kind enough to have done so with the loan money.
A Good Kenyan should only hazard to contribute to topics in which he or she has a moral, contextual, education, religious, personal, and political interest, and training. All such qualifications must be corroborated for the contribution to matter. For example, in assessing the quality of this piece, shouldn’t the question be, ‘is the scribe a Good Kenyan himself?’ because here, one who speaks badly about the Mau Mau is automatically a Homeguard which, it turns out, is a bad thing. Weren’t the homeguards and chiefs the only learned people to whom we trusted our independence and arable lands? Haven’t they treated us well for the last five decades, like good lords of the manor, and feudal princes, by giving us jobs and letting us stay with our meager, worthless lives?
A Good Kenyan must always demand that for a comment to be critically assessed, the commenter must have a personal bearing on the matter, interest in humanity does not count, and should never. In fact, anyone who says homosexuality should be decriminalized should be immediately disowned and branded a homosexual, because sexuality determines where you stand on the topic. Catholic priests, for example, should always be regarded as experts on contraception and safe sex, especially in their progressive ideas on condom-usage and moral uprightness….and of course, how to show young trusting males what happens behind the crucifix, the position in the tomb, the real Shroud of Turin.
An expert in swimming, but only in dirty rivers, and even then, only when nude. Get me someone who can swim in shorts, then we can discuss the Olympics.
A Good Kenyan must never be critical of his government, unless it is fashionable at the time to do so. Such a Good Kenyan must never join a protest for which he has no familial links to, and should he find himself in a worker’s strike, then he is obligated only to learn the first line of the Solidarity Song, and hold hands while the worker’s ruin frisks all the protestors to make sure they are actually poor and indeed of a collective bargain to buy their trade union leader a new car. There are lanes that should never be crossed if we are going to achieve our many visions, such as that of being where Sweden is now in 2068, never mind that Sweden will have had 51 years to be somewhere else by then. Who cares anyway, Sweden can change addresses for all we care…
A Good Kenyan, blessed with an education by a loving, caring, and honest government, must never ever deviate from said set path. A Good Kenyan must be a Good Kenyan, never bad, even when bad, should always be seen as a Good Kenyan. Any politician who hugs an adversary is to be immediately disowned for betraying the cause, and the community, and the socioeconomic grouping. In fact, were I the Lord of the Manor, Crown Prince of all Arable Lands, Landlord of the Nation, Mistaken Warlord, Prosecuted Prophesied Prophecy, Appointed Representative of the Omnipotent One, I would declare that my government, in light of its role in protecting free market interests, is rounding up and shooting all petty thieves and freelance assassins. ‘Only the government should steal from and kill the people’, is the number one rule in this free market economy, and if a private citizen must steal, then he must steal enough to pay his dues to the government, and then atone for his sins by joining government.
If he kills, he must either own enough acres that would go to waste were he to be jailed for life or hanged to leave a hole in the economy, or make sure that the death somehow benefits the common good, national security, or the dalliances of the King or his men/women.
The government does not hate competition, as those unqualified armchair analysts might want a Good Kenyan to believe, instead, we believe that private citizens should work hard, pay taxes, love their families, copulate with their spouses, and most importantly, register to vote. It is not necessary to vote, we will do that for you….because we love you.
A Good Kenyan must remember the cardinal rule, to be etched on the big Kshs 1 billion monument the British government is going to build for our freedom fighters, for pressing the testicles of our freedom fighters, and raping our grandmothers , that a Kenyan is defined by pedigree first, education second, unachievable dreams third, and the stupidity of ‘free thinking’ last.
Any Good Kenyan who attempts to write satire must warn us that it is indeed satire because we are but mere Muggles, untrained in how to think for ourselves after reading the piece. Surely you cannot expect us to go find Platform 9¾ for we have not been instructed in wizardry. We are trusting people, trusting our mothers to guide us in how we should relate to deities, our teachers to impart knowledge that now determines who we are, politicians to govern and steal, as they should, the media to be upright and accurate, and such. So, we will get offended if we read through thousands of words only to discover you meant the exact opposite.