During the struggle for independence, our forefathers – drawn from various nations – worked together, their differences in outlook notwithstanding.
Many of you may recall the Pan African conference of 1945 in Manchester, England, during which Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkurumah, George Padmore and several others were united in reflecting and acting on the plight of their people in Africa and the Diaspora.
How sad that in years that followed, our individual and shared stories have been of mutual mistrust and raw competition for power and resources that has often assumed a dangerous trend in identity politics.
I believe I speak for many of us today when I say that in our homes, Churches, clubs, and nations, - tribe, wealth, and sometimes race, have replaced such lofty ideals as shared challenges, responsibilities and benefits as the basis for constructing and organizing the conduct of our affairs.
Kenyans today will readily admit that we are nowhere close to accepting that over 1,300 fellow citizens died, and another 600,000 were displaced following the disputed 2007 polls; neither are we – regardless of where you stand in the on-going succession politics - close to kissing goodbye the cross-cultural barriers that made Lucifer’s visit all the easier.
Our road to strained individual and collective relations is, as that which goes to hell, paved with good intentions. We each want development – often reduced to ideas, access and things – at all costs, and at everyone else’s expense.
At the height of racial tensions in the United States in the 1960s as well as the threat of nuclear warfare in the face of the Cold War, Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. counseled that “we can either live together as brothers, or perish together as fools.”
America today has an African-American President, and we have not had another Hiroshima and Nagasaki, partly because Dr. King’s voice was heeded to. In our electioneering mood, we need to heed Dr. King and question whether or not we are on the path towards living together as brothers and sisters.
By Ezekiel Chebunde
Student leader, Daystar University Main Campus and Organizing Secretary at Kenya National Debate Council (KNDC).
Obama Romney Battle: Lessons for Africa
Africa could benefit from enduring principles that were put forward in the U.S Presidential race. I discussed that subject in a recent article to the editor of The African Executive.
RE: Kenya’s Domestic Workers Bill: Implications
I have no problem with the new guidelines that the government is putting in place, the problem I have is that I have no problem with my employer, and I want to go back to work. This I can’t do because of the ban. The Saudi embassy is not issuing visas. A blanket ban is not helping most who have no issues with their employers. This ban is taking too long to sort out. Those who agitated for the ban are people in their offices and they don’t care whether we eat or starve!! Nobody has interviewed us who have good things to say about our work and stay in Saudi Arabia.