My Tribe not My Choice

books“Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparedness” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

We are a generation that has had the opportunity to live in the age of digital revolution. What this means is that everything we need to make ourselves successful is literally at our finger tips. We have seen social media become an effective tool in implementing social change and effecting awareness. Heck, even people have carved careers out of it with most using it to build up on already existing ventures. We are the digital age, a perk of being born and living in the 21st century (though some of us were lucky enough to exist in two centuries).

This morning though we retweeted ourselves back into the dark ages where nepotism and tribalism was the order of the day. I could not believe what I was reading. People, some younger than me had the cojones to bring in a matter of tribe into national appointments. Yes, so the president is Kikuyu and he appoints another Kikuyu, wait, not just any other Kikuyu a qualified Kikuyu but you somehow manage to remain ignore the latter. All you choose to see is the last name. Riddle me this, the last time your tribe’s man got a powerful promotion how did your life change? I am guessing it did not. If anything the prestige that came with it filled their heads with hot air and they became even more distant from the tribe. Matter of fact they formed a new tribe – one of social class. You do not expect him to rub shoulders with the high and mighty just to come and enjoy a cup of tea with you, or did you?

Let me tell a story of a young girl, my friend – I call her Pooks. No, you cannot call her Pooks. See Pooks like any young girl has dreams and ambition. She is one of the most ambitious people I have met. She has these glasses that sit on her prominent nose. Her voice is kind of shrill but not the annoying kind, the kind that gets you to listen (for some reason she knows she can sing, and yes she can). She is fairly light and has quite the infectious laugh. I’ve always wondered how her relationships are like because when she laughs it’s almost impossible to stay mad at her. She’s also very polite and will probably apologize for your mistakes. Then there is this thing about her, maybe it’s because she is a fan of gangster hip hop, she thinks she is bad-ass. It’s cute when she says she can stuff a shot gun into her handbag and pull it out when someone crosses her. But the way she says it you would think a shot gun was a bouquet of flowers and the trigger would be her mumbling an apology.

Now Pooks wants to scale the heights of the educational ladder and with that reach the peak of her career. All this before she settles down and starts a family. To achieve this she has been to the university and maintained impeccable grades and graduated with honors. While for most the journey ends there, she knows it’s a competitive world and she needs to gain an edge. She went out to enroll for professional courses to pad her C.V, got attachment to beef up her experience, and enrolled for a post graduate in her field of interest. She is only 23. With such a trajectory you can only imagine where she will be in the next 10 years. According to her chairing a board to some mighty multi-national conglomerate, driving the latest jeep grand Cherokee (which is her dream car) and admiring her PhD on the wall to her well carpeted office in some high rise building watching the city skyline disappear into oblivion.

Here’s the thing Pooks is Kikuyu. Imagine how she would feel if people looked at her and did not see her achievements but only saw her last name? They would ignore all the years of hard work and sacrifice she put in to get where she is. Should a job be up for grabs her C.V would, on a professional level, blow out the competition to smithereens. But people would choose to ignore all that just because of her tribe.  I don’t think tribe is the issue here. I think people have a deep rooted self hate for themselves. They maybe loathe the fact that they did not utilize opportunities as well as their peers and try to find chinks in the armor. Maybe they are just so self-centered and concentrated in trying to oppose the government that they are willing to ignore someone’s hard work. If hard work, honesty and integrity got her to where she is don’t you think she will accord the same fairness? She will not reward anyone just because of tribal affiliations. It’s time to acknowledge that the problem is not someone’s tribe it’s us. It’s time to have all our decisions devoid of petty politics after all appointments don’t really affect us as much as our own ignorance.


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