Friday, 9 November 2012


By virtue of an accident of history that placed them permanently near the centre of power, coupled with intrinsic group advantages over other communities; fertile lands,large numbers averaging 25% of the national figure ,a willingness to acquire education  and a near universal belief in upward mobility via individual effort Kikuyus have dominated the political landscape and will continue to do so indefinitely. There's no shrtage of national leadership material.

As it stands now despite hilariously inaccurate polls,Uhuru Kenyatta's TNA alliance may well garner 60% of the vote. Another Kikuyu, Peter Kenneth has a much smaller though firm national backing;many see him as backup or testing the water for 2022. A much overlooked potential president is James,Equity Bank Mwangi. A man of many hats some see his quiet,knowledgable and  forceful manner as fundamental to the Vision 2030 project,which seeks us to be a middle income country.
These basic facts so unpalatable to all manner of 'experts' were noticed right from the beginning by the earliest explorers in then British East Africa. Arch colonialist,murderer of Samoei Koitalel and countless other 3rd worlders, Capt. Meinertzhagen said "They are the most intelligent of the African tribes that I have met; therefore they will be the most progressive under European guidance and will be the most susceptible to subversive activities," .
Count Samuel Teleki,'discoverer' of L. Turkana which he named after his father commented after a sojourn through Kikuyuland:"it is as prosperous as any European duchy". An Englishman of this era whose name eludes me wrote after a tour,"they are the richest natives anywhere with the possible exception of Burma."
Few local scholars have noted that Kikuyus contrary to other ethnic majorities in Africa have never been exclusionist.

For a comparison see Uganda's recent history. The most numerous and prosperous group the Baganda demanded 2 things at independence. Either national independence led by the traditional leader,the Kabaka or a full secession under their old kingdom-to this day they're still paying the price for that extraordinary act of hubris. Especially with Museveni's death grip of the political landscape its highly doubtful any Mganda leader with a national following will arise soon.
In Nigeria the Ibo sorely misused and misled in the first decade of self rule,played with history when they attempted to establish the Biafra republic. Given the context,it was the only decision,however the ensuing war,the loss of at least a million Ibos and decades of marginalisation from power have since proved  what a dreadful  miscalculation it was.
A fortnight ago,ODM-Wiper had a team of analysts over to their Mzima Springs hq to chart the way forward. In a monumental blunder they advised on a pact with Raila since 'the country won't have another Kikuyu president.' The old paradigms claiming ethnic favouritism leading to zero sum economic gains for all but the favoured are gone. Ask the National Cohesion and Integration Commission,Mzalendo Kibunja. Such incendiary public claims common just a scant 5 years back are now an offense.
In Europe,Hungary is ruled by the Magyars,the largest among a small number of nationalities. All recent national leaders of note have of course been Magyar. In Finland the national life is dominated by the Suomi,the most numerous among Russians,Gypsies,Swedes and Estonians. These nations accepted the reality that ethnic ringfencing camouflaged as fairness would never do.
We would do well to acknowledge their pragmatism.

No comments:

Post a Comment