The “Kisumo Kenyan Picketer” – by Oluoch Madiang
1. For as long as Senior Counsel James Aggrey Bob Orengo defends ‘to the death’ the right to picket and yet conveniently neglects to elucidate the responsibilities of picketing, neglects to educate picketers on how to picket and neglects to organize effective picketing, chaos will reign and no true victories will ever, ever, be achieved.
2. For as long as the Kisumo Kenyan ‘picketer’, thus untutored, will continue to rely on the use of brawn instead of brain, thorax instead of head, rocks in lieu of reason, there shall never, ever be useful ‘change’. For as you apply blind ‘thuonness’, those you protest against will always employ only a morsel of akili to further infuriate you to self-destruction. Verily, verily I say, it costs much, much less to use ubongo than to flex muscles!
3. For as long as the average Kisumo Kenyan ‘picketer’ has nothing to lose – for as long as he/she evaluates himself/herself based on how much ‘ketho’ they’ve done as opposed to ‘gero’ they have achieved (number of tyres burnt to destroy the tarmac roads, number of businesses closed, size and number of rocks strewn to block normalcy, volumes of teargas inhaled, number of police engaged) Kisumo will never attract progressive, beneficial acts and sympathy and solidarity, either from those within or from those without.
4. For as long as the average Kisumo Kenyan rioter refuses to understand that Kisumo Kenya is not an ideal place to conduct a riot in (it doesn’t produce enough food to feed itself; it doesn’t have enough and efficient medical facilities to attend to them; it does not have leaders with appropriate vision, will and skills to mobilize and direct efforts towards profitable protest; it is easily shut down a) by protesters locking themselves in when they block access roads at Kisian, Kondele, Ahero/Nyamasaria, and b) by distributors of essential stuff when they stop supplies; it doesn’t have the economic/production muscle to coerce the rest of the nation to stand by it; it has no water; it has a continued soiled reputation that they misconstrue as ‘achievement and boisterous omnipresence in the nation’s psyche; it has no strategic friends; it is ranged against a media they can’t control and which is ever eager to ‘break news’ and broadcast a narrative of ‘wale wanjaruo’) they’ll continue to hurt themselves as they piga ukuta ngumi;
5. For as long as Kisumo, Kenya is loudly defined and cliched by OTHERS as the bad of Kondele, Manyatta, Nyalenda and Obunga, and never marketed as the humane acts of passion for children that take place EVERY DAY in the vast Kondele, or as the creative industry of amazing young designers, metal fabricators and entrepreneurs of Manyatta, or as the young, female digital innovators of Nyalenda who’ve been celebrated for their Apps developments, or as the hardworking farmers and fisherfolk of the vast and lively Obunga, or as the cradle of creative art, loving passion and therapeutic entertainment by OURSELVES, Kisumo shall quickly slide into self destruction.
6. The lores of the Luo of Kenya are replete with examples of those who chose the path to suicidal chest-thumping at the expense of strategic, life-promoting humility. The foolish and ungovernable Lwanda Magere elected to flaunt his rocky muscle and deafness instead of giving ear to the genuine pleas of his Mikaye only to be destroyed in his vain parading of sexual conquest by a mere Kalenjin girl! The boisterous loudmouth and bully Nyamgondho wuod Ombare chose masculine ungratefulness and, for that, watched as solid wealth slid through his grasp shwaaaaa! The story of Simbi Nyaima schools us against the stupid, obstinate, violent, drunk know-it-all who, three times warned yet he three times refused, perished for ignoring a clear, obvious, life-preserving warning against the coming floods. Is Kisumo quickly racing towards embracing the deadly weaknesses of Lwanda, Nyamgondho and the dead husband and thus, ironically, fast fleeing away from the mythical milky and honeyed ‘Canaan’?
7. For in all truth, adiera mar Nyasaye, the protesting Kisumo Kenyan picketer must urgently shed off the corrosive victim mentality and, instead, use the lessons and experiences of past and present suffering to become an unconquerable victor. He/she won’t do so by cutting off his ears. Then cutting off his/her nose. Then cutting off his/her mouth. Then cutting off his/her legs. Then chopping off his/her hands. And finally, sadly, regrettably losing his/her heart and soul!
8. Otherwise! Otherwise! 5 years hence! 10 years hence! 20 years from today! Heee…😔😔😔!