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Forgive me, Father, for I Have Been Naïve and Foolish

Inspired by: MCA A.N.M. & Citizen TV

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I was not planning to vote today. The plan was to stay home all day watching movies and series while following up on the election day occurrences live on Citizen TV. Don’t ask me why that television station in specific, because I have no concise answer. Unfortunately, my internet service provider has now decided to cut me off from internet access, wait, I haven’t even called customer care yet. Give me a minute… For some reason, all the customer care numbers are off so I officially have no access to the outside world as it is. Quite a bittersweet feeling. I have always loved seclusion from the world. I find an out-of-this-worldly kind of peace from being alone. Yes, it gets lonely, but I’ll prioritize peace of mind over anything else in this world. On the other hand, I am at a point where I feel the need to know whatever is happening in my “great country Kenya!” he said scoffing at the obscenity of his own words. There, I said it! We were all thinking it anyway.

As I was sitting in my chair wondering what to do for the day – that was before the internet magically disappeared – and it occurred to me that I had an opinion and a civic duty to exercise my right to vote for my preferred candidates in the general elections of 9th August 2022. That is today! Damn, time flies. Eight months into the year and my bank account is still dry AF. Please become a member of this platform. Pretty please? 🥺🥹 It will go a long way in helping a needy child. That is me by the way. Back to my thoughts. I decided that maybe, what I should do is sit down take a pen and paper, go to my browser and look up the manifestos of candidates in the Kenyan presidential race. Maybe then, I would form an opinion as to who was my preferred candidate given the options presented. As I was about to do that, some stray recollection of The Mheshimiwa Burden by Citizen TV, which I watched last night – or today at 1 am, I don’t remember – came to me.

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The piece featured previous political contestants for different seats in various parts of the country. I won’t mention names, you could always check it out. What struck me the most is the haggard and deplorable state in which the right honourable Mr Bifwoli Wakoli lived. Again, this is my opinion, so STFU and keep reading. Oops! I mentioned names. Sorry, not sorry. His words struck me so hard that I almost became emotional with pity towards him. Again, almost. And soon after that almost emotional moment passed, my revving logical thinking engines fired up with some level of disdain towards my almost-weakness. WTF niggah! Didn’t I realize that politics was a game after all? Was it wrong for me to feel nothing toward him as a person since he admits to the fact that his life as a politician had adversely impacted him and his family, YET he still was in the running for the Bumula M.P. seat even in these elections?

Is it madness or addiction? What is so special about being called Mheshimiwa that you would sacrifice peace of mind and harmony for you and your family in search of a political seat? Is it something to die for? Or tolerate people’s nonsense for? Think about it. What all these politicians do after clinching a political seat or not, is, get back to their homes and start planning for the next election. It is as if they are chasing a certain type of high, which is way beyond what contemporary drugs can offer. Well, I’ve never been high in my life and I have tried some crazy a$$ drugs – arrest me. I do not believe in losing control and have never allowed myself to be influenced by anything to do so. I do not understand why anyone would put themselves in such a precarious position. I mean, the electorate does not make it easier for them. Most people around these politicians lie and gas them up to put their hopes up in expectation to win the seat they are pursuing.

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When all these things came into perspective, my thought process shifted again. What if we as the electorate switched up the game on them? What if we put an end to accepting handouts from these motherfuckers? Would the world come to an end? Hell no! Think about it this way. After the elections and yadda yadda yadda, get back on your grind, go to work and keep making that money. If you have a business, market and advertise it. Actually, make a point of selling to your Women Rep., MCA, MP, Senator or Governor, President – whomever you have access to. Now here’s the twist, do not, I repeat, do not make them feel special, oversell or beg, nor accept any handout from them. simply ask them to buy from you and if they cannot, they should either buy at a time of their convenience or direct their friends and family to you to buy. If you have a business idea and you need funding for it, ask your MCA or MP to direct you to the offices where government funds are normally disbursed for such endeavours.

My idea is to let the system work as a meritocracy so that we can ascertain its faults and either make amendments or complete changes. Do not flock to your leader’s home to get free food or handouts. Hold them accountable for performing their duties as sworn by them through the constitution and law. If you have the skills and the capacity to offer a solution to society through your skills, draft a proposal and leave it at your leader’s office. Be relentless in your pursuit until they have no other option than to grant you your requests. The system provides for all these opportunities but we have been blindsided for so long. A tad bit too long. Why should we perceive our leaders to be demigods meant to take all our troubles away? Why would a mother go to an MCA’s gate and stand there from 6 am till 2 pm just to see her leader and ask him to help her in paying school fees for her child? Are all other women in the world doing that?

Is it not logical instead that we take our kids to public schools that cost in excess of 2,000 Kenya shillings per year? Any grown-up with children, I believe, could afford that. Why burden yourself with private school fees that will frustrate you and your loved ones; more so your children because of the pressure you pile upon them to do well since you spend too much money on their school fees? Wouldn’t it be wiser to pressure your local government into improving the quality of public-school education? I believe that the system has been tailored to work in our favour despite its many errors; it was made by mere mortals after all. But our leaders have also had to metamorphosize into whatever they are today since we are in pursuit of short-term gains for long-term problems. It is not wise for a leader to take from their salary to pay for your problems. No wonder they keep increasing their salaries and we keep complaining but still go back and feel entitled to get some pennies out of them.

Let’s respect ourselves. I will respect myself henceforth. Although I have never sought a hand-out from any political contestant, all I have done is try to have a conversation with them on a product and idea that I had in mind. Now I feel that was too much also. I believe that everyone’s time is precious so why would this person take 5 minutes out of their 24-hour day to simply talk to me about my ideas? It is foolish, come to think of it. I believe that I now know better. Mr/Mrs Women Rep., MCA, MP, Senator, Governor, President I promise never to bother you again with my ideas. All I ask is that you fulfil your promises to the great people of this nation. I humbly ask you that you promote my business by purchasing IF it is a valuable product to you, and if not, kindly submit your concerns and reviews to me for I want to bring value to you and others as I travail this earth.

Forgive me, Father, for I Have Been Naïve and Foolish. I have been entitled and demanding obscenities from you. I have bothered your peace and that of your family by constantly calling your phone during family dinners. I have lied, conned and cheated my way into getting whatever I wanted from you only to gas you up with empty dreams and hopes. I have been dishonest with myself and my desires for selfish gain. I have campaigned for you in your presence and pelted lies against you in your absence. I have screamed in the streets to show you that I supported you while in the actual sense I was waiting for that 100 Kenya shilling note that you would give me in the evening to go soothe my throat with a mug of illicit brew at Mama Pima’s joint. Forgive me, Father, for I Have Been Naïve and Foolish.

While I go through these manifestos, I cannot help but realize that all concepts perpetuated through these documents are only good on paper. From the notions that we could get Ksh. 6,000 unemployment benefits, to the realization that we came from free primary school laptops to wheelbarrows for the youth. All these options provided do not make sense to me. I do not see one who is an outlier. One that makes me believe in the possibility of a better Kenya. One who makes me put my trust in the system as is. One who provides avenues for opportunities for the youth through industrial parks and incentives for small businesses. I see no option that asserts a promise in the pursuit of greatness as a people. All I see are liars, propaganda peddlers, cheats, con-artists, high-class whores and a whole bunch of selfish individuals. It is like the taste of power corrupts even the purest of intentions from people.

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However, that is to say, whatever I see is whatever I am as a person. If my leader is a liar then I am one too. How could I support them if I did not condone their behaviour? In as much as we want to take our leaders into accountability, we should also, take ourselves accountable for our actions. We keep screaming equality and human rights, but when the equality of opportunity is presented to us we claim that the system is flawed. In essence, what we want is equality of outcome which goes against the grain of a meritocracy. I need to realize that change only begins with me. And if it does, then it will be a change that I can believe in. I hope that someday, my deep tiny voice will be heard saying, “At last, utopia!” and with that, let me go exercise my civic duty to vote. I hope that you do too.

My two cents.

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