I realized last week that there is a statute of limitation on honesty, open-mindedness, tolerance, justice and human dignity. Those qualities that should be the definition of humanity, in Kenyan society they are only valid as long as they are relevant to the one calling them out. Well, to be fair it is probably not a Kenyan thing, most likely a human thing. Oxymoron, no?
Honesty, is replaced with hypocritical deception as soon as one reaches one of those milestones that mark adulthood in Kenya. I had a baby, I’ll hide behind religion and perpetrate hateful schemes in the name of faith. Never mind that the tenets of the same religion stand by love, joy, peace, kindness…
When I say honesty, I don’t mean telling the truth whichever way I want without regard for other people’s dignity, feelings or the consequences that may result from telling it. When I say honesty, I mean a sincere understanding of one’s own shortcomings and the acceptance that everyone else in spite of their shortcomings does have a right to life and dignity.
Open-mindedness, has been replaced with evil, hateful, close minded phobia of anything that is new or different, even if it is beneficial to the general society. Sure, as long as one is young you will hear speak of the newest gadget, technology, way of doing things. But then hit a certain age and its ‘vijana wa siku hizi.’ I know you probably want me to stop and speak of the sexually different so you can lynch me. Go ahead, do so, but remember by our sincere kindness and honest love we teach the truth. Otherwise, why do think Jesus Christ let the ‘sex worker’ wash his feet?
By the way, by open mindedness, I do not refer to the unprincipled acceptance of everything that passes under the sun. Rather, I am speaking of the possibility for life to be lived in different ways, and of the possibility for each one to be a vessel of good and excellence in society with whatever it is that we have been blessed with.
Tolerance: I am a woman, who having been raised in a family where the majority was male sometimes tend to think like a man. No, I don’t like Soccer. Rugby fascinates me. All those big men.. ah! My mother is still not convinced that I am not gender confused. No, I’m a girl, although a lot has been said about Fujoshi. I love teddy bears and hate flowers. Hardly a butterfly, am I? I couldn’t care a bit what some celeb did or what gossip has been put up on some blog. I would be at a loss if you asked me what tribe I was. My maternal uncles say I should just identify myself by the language I speak, but they along with my mother speak Kikuyu and Maasai. My father speaks Embu, German, Pokomo and Italian. My step-dad whom I absolutely adore speaks Embu, Luo and French. I speak Swahili, Giriama, English, and really good Kikuyu. All I know for sure is that I am a citizen of Kenya. I like English and Spanish films but abhore soap operas, Spanish, Mexican or English. I am a fob for American Police Dramas, and a hardcore Marvelite. I am crazy about african urban fiction, if it is written by Mwangi Ichungwa and Ian Arunga. I love rock español[I have a huge crush on Juanes], bachata, some castillano ballados, indie rock, coffeehouse rock, country rock and I have a thing for Tchaikovsky.
A mongrel, that’s what I am. So I find it hard to be mean to someone just because they are something I am not. I have my own principles. I trust you to have yours. And I REFUSE to hold you to mine. I say this in the same breath I will call for your justice, and mine. I will fight for your dignity, even if you might not fight for mine. And in this, will you refuse to accept my difference?
God forbid, that I should grow older, get married, have a baby… and use that as an excuse to be something I am not. Heaven forbid, that I should ever uphold my well being by trampling on another’s soul.
And just a little reminder on last week’s ezine.
Episode 3 of the Creekside Princess is Coming up, so be sure to get done reading Episode 2:
Then on the Mag, there was:
1. Digitization of Art with Chiira Maina
2. A Review of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen with Gideon Chumo
3. Bye Bleach – Beautiful Inside Out with Imani Opar
4. February Diva – Sitawa Wafula an Interview with Njeri Athena
5. Roses are Red.. So is Blood on the Punk’s Twilight Zone
6. Susan’s Life – Society with Brenda Angwenyi
7. Of Words Written – Paper Mache with @sheblossoms
Keep an eye on this week’s articles, two a day, plus the third episode of Creekside Princess. Unless of course you don’t want to find out how Gabrielle gets out of the clutches of a Serial Killer.
Have a grand week!