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Let’s reject ethnic chauvinism and build one, united Kenya


Let’s reject ethnic chauvinism and build one, united Kenya
Publication Date: 3/9/2008

We have been beaten hands down by our own ethnic narrow-mindedness.Each one of us is defined by birth to be a member of a certain ethnic group. Unfortunately, however, our thinking is ever tethered to our ancestral soil which has, in effect, soiled our reasoning.

Our thinking is adulterated, soiled and so are our actions.

It was embarrassing to see wives being sent back to their ancestral homes after colourful church weddings just because they did not come from their husbands’ ethnic background.

Nobody has the power to alter his or her identity or ethnicity and so we must accept one another as Kenyans and not as members of given ethnic groups.

We are Kenyan nationals and not Maasai, Luo, Embu or Kamba nationals.

The ethnic chauvinism and tension witnessed in the past two months is retrogressive, destructive, demagogic and far removed from nationhood.
We go to church together, to school together but our ethnic sectarianism helps us easily unlearn all the academic and spiritual teaching, leaving us nothing more than educated warlords.

In my opinion, it is misleading to substitute regionalism with ethnic nepotism.

Though I recognise tribalism as a positive force for self-affirmation, self-identity and cultural celebration, we should all strive to go beyond our ethnic identities given that we are autonomous individuals not bound by ethnic boundaries.

It is time each of us tried to be defined in terms of brain power, talent and character.

All activities meted out against humanity ranging from rape, sodomy, forced circumcision, castration, beheading, lynching, amputation, to eye gouging, etc, were based on simplistic fuzzy assumptions about our ethnic backgrounds.

No tribe is an island; we all need one another regardless of our places of origin.

Let us not pretend to allow the law to rule our physical bodies, when our hearts and minds are ruled by culture.

President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga joined hands in the much awaited peace truce over a week ago.

The lesson we learn from this is that  each one of us has an inherent capacity to engender and effect peace and harmony.

Let us all strive to build one united Kenya.

George E. Aberi,
Methodist University,

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.


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