BUKENYA: Young people, an artist and plastic on my mind
11 months ago, 13 Jan 09:59
Usually, at the beginning of the year, we scribblers love to name those who have made or marred the preceding year for us. Often it is both, a sort of bouquets and barbs. I had thought I, too, might do that this January, but I have given up on the exercise, for two reasons. First, there are so many deserving nominations, on both the bouquets and barbs sides, that I just cannot do justice to all of them. (Do not ask me to which side Donald J. Trump belongs). Naming one instantly begs another. That is what they call an invidious task. Secondly, the time is flying so fast and the events piling up so quickly that 2017 seems to have so seamlessly blended into 2018 that I can hardly tell who or what “happened” late last year or early this one. I will thus just mention a few of the people, and things, uppermost in my mind and try to show their relevance to our current concerns. What matters is that they should elicit some response from you and, especially, challenge you to relate the discourse to your own concerns. ONE GOOD EXAMPLE One good example of this is a detailed response I got from a Reverend friend to my article about Kwanzaa. He did not think it would be a good idea for us to celebrate the festival and he eloquently stated his reasons. I am privately responding to him, but if time and circumstances allow, I will share his views with you, together with my own comments, especially as we approach Black History Month, soon after celebrating Martin Luther King Day on January 15. Anyway, back to my jumbled “nominations”. I still feel that my woman of 2017 was Chepkura, the lady who was born “in” a voters’ queue last August. She may not have made the Jamhuri Honours List, but I believe that she and her mother symbolise the ordinary people’s faith in and commitment to democracy and good governance. Those who consider themselves to be leaders owe it to Chepkura and all wananchi to deliver on these people’s profound desire for peace, prosperity and progress. The people’s prayer and plea, I believe, is that, in the aftermath of our recent experiences, the leaders should rise above all the traps of narrow self-interests, ethnic chauvinism and megalomaniac personality cults and work together for our present and our future. We should also realise that when Kenya sneezes, the whole of the Great Lakes region catches a flu. As a person who, literally, lives with my relatives across all the East African borders, I can hardly exaggerate the agony, the angst and the exasperation to which Kenya’s prolonged 2017 ordeal subjected the region. It is with justifiable pride, but with even a more profound sense of responsibility, that we should acknowledge that all East African roads lead to Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa. Back to the ladies on my mind as the old year ends and the new one ...
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