Really? So what is in a tribe?

Seriously thinking!
Seriously thinking!

Kenya is one of those countries blessed with several ethnic variants and with 42 tribes it would be easy to imagine that this is the very essence of diversity. This has, however, not been the case. Kenyans’ inclination to tribe as a means to resource control seems to be at the very core of our rivalry. The tension and distress found within some neighboring communities and now, the evident tribal practices in government, the clamour and allocation of resources, the tribal on-goings in government offices and even distribution of job opportunities which in my opinion, should only be according to merit, only for those who qualify regardless of our tribal inclination.

The truth is, none of us chooses where we’re born. It is only by accident that you will find yourself born into a larger community than mine. But that doesn’t give you the right to imagine that your community should own, manage and run all the affairs of a sovereign state like Kenya. Others like me find ourselves born into tribes that do not even make up a quarter million of the Kenyan population and if you are not careful, you end up imagining you are a marginalized or even that you are a lesser Kenyan.

Zebras at the Maasai Mara
Zebras at the Maasai Mara

Whether you are a Kikuyu which is the biggest and fastest growing community in Kenya, or even a Taita, which is among some of the smallest tribes and probably moving rapidly towards extinction, I would like to point out a few points to you here. Your tribal inclination has been the very essence of your slavery. If it makes you feel superior to other Kenyans, you really must be out of your mind. If your tribe makes you feel inferior on the hand, you too, must be out of your mind akin to a loose nut somewhere within your head.

As Kenyans, the biggest source of tension that seems to be engulfing every minute of our lives is based on our tribal inclination. This happens especially on social media pages. Honestly, it deeply sucks. I am sorry to say, I personally can’t stomach it any more.

And because I cannot, I have devised a strategy. I must confirm that this far, I have deleted at least 43 “face book friends” because of some of their discussions which I deem tribal, tribal talk and even tribal gossip that they engage in.

What makes you think that just because the president or whoever else is in government comes from your tribe, you have a right to say anything and abuse others without taking consideration or being sensitive that none of us chooses our tribes? In my opinion, the best and only way out would be where everyone has a good job, good food, a good place to live, a good car and all the good things in life. But as it is, that is too ideal and maybe, not so important and it will only serve us to be tolerant to each other in the understanding that we all belong to and this country belongs to all of us.

Kenyan beautiful species.
Kenyan beautiful species.

Kenyans, we must thank God for the just concluded peaceful elections. We deserve a pat on our backs. However, the post-election abuses, hate talk on social media platforms is unacceptable. Something needs to be done as far back as last year. When will we all grow past our tribes? This makes me ask this question. What is in a tribe? Will we ever embrace our ethnic diversity and use it as the core of our co-existence rather than an object to tear our country apart?

Is it really possible for Kenya to do away with tribes? If it cannot happen in reality, can we at least scrub it’s negativity from our minds?

I dream of a Kenya, where we all look at each other as Kenyans, belonging to one great country and not as an amalgamation of different tribes. I dream of brotherhood and sisterhood. I see myself as being my brother’s and sister’s keeper. I dream of unity in diversity! Is it really possible? Am I being overly ambitious? Does anyone else dream the same dream? Over to you Kenyans……


7 thoughts on “Really? So what is in a tribe?

  1. Sure I do share your sentiments. Its disturbing that young people in the social media are wallowing in the murk of negative ethnicity…

    “Taita, which is among some of the smallest tribes and probably moving rapidly towards EXTINCTION…” UNDERLINE THE WORD EXTINCTION and I think this should be stopped from happening. Am afraid…on a light touch though

  2. Hey Ngoji,

    Thank you for stopping to air your views on this. I am happy that you share my sentiments.
    You agree with me that Taita Community is soon becoming extinct, I can see it heading there. Looks like we have embraced intermarriages more than any other communities. This simply says, this is one of those communities that are ready to kill this cancer of tribalism. This is just my opinion!

  3. yea, its a pity how people can retrogress when the buzz word is progress. even those who dont gain from their “their people being in power” will still claim supremacy of their tribe over others, which i think is a shame. and the end of the day, just like any other kenyan is unemployed, so are they….with the kind of hatred av witnessed on facebook, i really dont know who will save this country from ” us verses them” connotations….
    patience, i think taitans are safe, far from extinction, its a safe culture, that will outlive the death of kenya, which i think is not far off!

    1. Newtone, thank you for sparing some time to drop by and leave your comment here. Your last sentence is interesting-patience, i think taitans are safe, far from extinction, its a safe culture, that will outlive the death of kenya, which i think is not far off!

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