New Dawn

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The fight was imminent. It was like a boiling storm on the horizon. The signs had been there for months; the snide remarks, the eye-rolls, the passive aggression, small stand-offs here and there dispelled before it got wild. Yesterday it came to a boil after Chebukati spoke and the new president elect spoke and Rufftone, who didn’t look like Rufftone anymore, sung that song in that voice and the wounded went to a corner and started licking their wounds and the winners danced around fires. 

Guy A said something about theft and principles. Guy B said something about demagoguery and foolishness. Then suddenly they were not going around in circles as they have the past few months, suddenly they were addressing each other, locking horns. They were directly responding to each other’s messages. The language got stronger, which Englishmen call, ‘tasteless’ which is weird because a strong language can’t also be tasteless. For instance if you tell someone, “your face reminds me of my toilet seat after a blind man has peed in it.” That’s a strong abuse but you can’t call it tasteless, can you? Because it comes with a strong bad taste.  Anyway, now they were going at each other, going for the jugular. 

This Whatsapp Group is for a small group of ‘like-minded’ [ha!] people who were supposed to achieve a certain, uhm, objective. It’s a group of creatives and thinkers but we have never created anything new in two years and there is hardly ever any solid thinking going on either. And because it’s 70% male, there are often a lot of penis contests happening there. Just chaps putting their penises on the table and saying, “there, I dare you to match this one.” A lot of pseudo intellectualism there, a lot of braggadocio and false bravado and so much fire without the heat. It honestly serves nothing and I have stayed in there because quite honestly it’s most often quite funny, a comic relief and once in a while you can feel the pulse of whatever industry through some commentaries. One time I “lefted” it at 1am but someone put me back in the morning and when the aristocrats woke up someone, a half drunk chap, wrote, “Cowardice rightly understood begins with selfishness and ends with shame.” He might have not been referring to me. I didn’t catch. I chose light and love. 

Anyway, these two cats were fighting about politics because they voted differently as they should. When it had started building bile some member stepped in and said, “OK, fellas, it’s never that serious. Nobody fights over politicians.” But he was violently shoved aside and he tumbled into a festering sewer. There is that saying about mud and two pigs fighting etc., I forget it. So we watched as it escalated and escalated and soon it got tribal and then it got personal. Then it got very personal. These are people’s fathers by the way. 

There are two types of people on WhatsApp. There are those who type one line and send. Staccato writers. Then there are those who can type for two days and then send a whole 3,800 word paragraph. Those are the annoying types because we have to bloody wait for your response as you type a tome. Guy A was the latter, Guy B the former. Which meant that the fight wasn’t flowing as it should have been, it had interludes. One person was slowing it down. 

It went on and on and on and it got nastier and nastier until I finally went to bed. In the morning I reached for my phone to see how it ended and I found tables and chairs strewn all over, windows smashed, blood spilled on the floor. There were close to 500 unread messages and only half the people in the room. And there was silence. Someone’s hat lay forlorn in the middle of the room. I said, “whose hat is this and where is everybody?” Nobody answered. The two chaps who were fighting had been kicked out of the group at 1am. Some people had left the Group. It was a carnage. A purge. I quickly browsed through the unread messages. It’s amazing how emotions had run high, some friendships or whatever the relationship people have on WhatsApp, had been shredded and ruined. It was pitiful and sad and unnecessary and poor. All because of politics. It was the middle-class version of the protests in Baba Dogo last night. I took the opportunity to leave the group. 

But it’s also a beautiful day. It’s 16 degrees outside – just cold enough not to kill us, cold enough to numb the pain of elections for those whose candidates lost and have a whisky for those celebrating. Maybe the sun will come out, maybe it won’t. My lemongrass is dead. The second one that is dying on me. It’s no big deal, I’m used to heartbreaks but I choose a glass full approach. I have other plants that are not dead yet so I prefer to pour all the love in them. There is a saying about letting sleeping dogs lie, only mine is ‘let dying plants die.’ I also bought a garden stool at the traffic lights at Riverside Drive. This fellow was flogging these garden stools that you can fold and put in a purse. I thought it was pretty cool and creative, plus they were only a thousand bob. When I got home I realised that its legs were uneven. I laughed bitterly and thought, sure, cheap is indeed expensive but then I chose to look at the positive, which I didn’t find. So I said, oh well, I know people who limp. And some of them are not bad people. I chose to see my stool as someone with one shorter leg, and people with one short leg also deserve love. 

We shall resume normal programming on Tuesday when things really get back to normal. 

In the meantime, remember that your ears never stop growing. These are just fun facts that nobody wants to talk about.

Stay safe, Gang. 

 

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66 Comments
  1. Temperatures are still high: My fifth did not fifth, but my fourth did, and it was a disaster. Hoping that their fifth will be a good fifth for all of us. Consolation: My fourth never added a teaspoon of sugar in my tea for those 10 years, and neither was my fifth going to. Wacha nipambane na hali yangu polepole.

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    1. I let my wounds fester all of last night and I’m giving myself today to mop about. After this, life has to go on, I’m still Kenyan, this is my country too. And I lost an acquaintance over politics jana. But to the winners, don’t gloat, give those who lost, quiet dignity to regroup.

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      1. The fifth I voted for didn’t fifth. Its kinda the first election loss…the previous votes (3) have all counted on the winning side.

        It was the first time I voted for him. Didn’t know it hursts that much. Like you meet people that know you voted for the side that lost and they can’t keep their beaks tightly lipped.

        Am proud of the fifth that didn’t become though. I have prayed to have half the determination and persistence he expounds.
        Somehow, I have a feeling in the background that he is more an enigma if he doesn’t lead when we’ll see his weaknesses and condemn him.

        Future elections will be boring without Jakom. Rest now, the enlightened know you wished us well. The loudest gnashing of teeth will come from those loudly celebrating now. I hope the elected fifth proves me wrong, but I have kept my expectations low.

        Viva Jakom.

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  2. Thanks for this piece. Love and blessings in a quiet country today. Some of us bitter others of us happy. (We can slap English upside its head too once Ina a while.) Sasa let’s normalize allowing people to vent and only guide for decorum or mute a group. I am all for group therapy and freedom but without infringing on others’ freedoms as well

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  3. It’s done. (Bar for anything else). We all need each other. Keep safe gang. And thank you for maintaining the peace.
    Asante Biko.

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  4. My fifth didn’t fifth ,and that’s okay..the previous never bought me a packet of unga..so its never that serious.
    Love and light to you biko

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  5. Isn’t it shocking how we are tolerant to educational, gender, regional , cultural differences but practise toxic intolerance on political differences.

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  6. Why not cut the long leg(s) to even them out? It’ll make your day. Lol
    This country is bigger than any one of us. Let’s embrace peace.
    Thanks Biko for keeping it real.

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  7. It is a pity to see the approach people decide to take when such moments of tension and frenzy rest on us.
    My prayer is that people shall learn to embrace democracy for what it is. Understand one’s decision is final and above all, our motherland is one.
    I’m reminded of Malawi’s drought that tried their democracy for what it was and with that Biko, I’m also reminded of a Chichewa proverb:
    ‘ Ngati mphepo yofika konse.’
    See you next week Biko.

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    1. Please translate. I understand little nyanja/chichewa and mix it with bemba. “yofika konse” reaching everywhere, what about the rest. Zikomo kwa mbiri

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  8. Sorry about your lemon grass. I also tried growing some and they kept dying. I’ve finally managed to have one that has survived and I’m happy. Keep trying…

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  9. Ahaaa! Interesting. People are just political all over. But let’s maintain peace. Whatever you say, let it preach peace at the end of it.
    Thanks Gang

  10. My fifth did not fifth either, my heart is still soar. I have cried. Tried to use the famous Mandago’s phrase of not putting politics in the heart and the poor phrase is not working on me. Maybe my heart loves/invests deeply. I need a new lesson. For those of us that won, kindly be kind to the guys experiencing loss. This is a loss nobody teaches you how to overcome or equips you on how to handle. But the sun has no option but to rise for sure may not today but it will rise eventually.
    Create safety guys.

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  11. The pig saying is: do not roll in the mud with pigs, you get dirty and they enjoy it….peace dear Kenyans, tusibleed ndio walead

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  12. Though my fifth didn’t fifth, it would be strange to throw a hissy-fit or exchange words in that regard. It’s never that serious, and doesn’t change anything apart from relationship/networks breakdown. A no win scenario on ground.
    One has to acknowledge that Jakom has gone through great sacrifices to enable Kenyans to enjoy democracy as we do today. That is a powerful legacy…take it or leave it.
    Congratulations are in order for the incoming President-elect. Maybe what Kenya needs presently is a prayerful president. Too many young folk are jittery about this; complaining about the prayers yesterday, speaking about Church and State being separate and hinting that Christian fundamentalism will be on the rise. You’d think that they’ll be compelled to attend Church or bible study.
    *rolls eyes.*
    People have to calm down and trust that our new leader will keep his promise to work for the good of the nation. If he doesn’t, five years is not so far. Simple.

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    1. What about if, a la M7ish, it is 25 years?
      2047 A.D. may not be a blink of an eye, but at least it’s just a flutter of false eyelashes.

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  13. Thanks, Biko for reminding us what could happen if we don’t keep the peace “I found tables and chairs strewn all over, windows smashed, blood spilled on the floor….Someone’s hat lay forlorn in the middle of the room.” If your fifth did not fifth or your fifth fifthed, life goes on. Back to the grind

  14. I was a neutral this time around. I watched as smiles fell like dominoes for others while the house of cards crumbled for those on the other side of the divide. Hopefully, it didn’t crumble on them. Hopefully, they will rinse the bitter taste in their mouths and rise again. Not to fight anyone though, the war is against poverty and poor grammar. Just that!

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  15. To those that lost, I sincerely hope your exes prepared you adequately for the heartbreak. If not, then they terribly failed in their mandate.

    To those that won, I pray that the win serves as a consolation for the heartbreaks you may have received. More importantly, I hope that the win doesn’t grow on your ego. Then, you will have lost.

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  16. Waah! I used the dictionary to understand several words (thank you Biko). Whatsapp group maneno’s ??? better to stay taliban

  17. Thanks, Biko for reminding us what could happen if we don’t keep the peace “I found tables and chairs strewn all over, windows smashed, blood spilled on the floor….Someone’s hat lay forlorn in the middle of the room.” If your fifth did not fifth or your fifth fifthed, life goes on. Back to the grind and please let’s keep the peace

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  18. William Shakespeare, once said; “there is no fairness in Love and War.

    Having voted several times now, and having deeply interrogated our political space, I must say that there is no ‘fairness in politics’ too. Those who are ideal for leadership have no chance and those who have a chance are not in any grain of reality ideal for leadership.”

    We lost the compass way long time ago.
    Kibaki tried to steer us towards the sagacious political and economic path but, we then took a detour and we are just perambulating in the jungle of political wilderness.

    As a patriot and with great optimism, I am encouraged by the fact that the government has relatively very many youthful leaders; I mean fellows who are still raising kids and really feel the pitch of the cost of living and not necessarily fellows who are enjoying pensions and who join politics to keep themselves busy and keep looting.

    We have a duty to patriotically put the government in check. We shall pray continuously keeping the FAITH, HOPE and BELIEVE that, they will achieve.

    In the words of ALVIN TOFFLER, “The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be individuals who cannot read or write. Rather, it will be individuals who cannot learn, unlearn and re-learn.”
    As a nation, let us unlearn the ills, learn from history and relearn with an open mind.

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  19. My 5th did not 5th but I am slowly coming to terms with the loss. some of us are moaning the hopes we had for a better Kenya.it may have been false and our 5th would have done nothing but he was never really tried and tested and we will never know if that was the new trajectory the country needed. That being said your neighbor whose 5th won or lost is most likely to help you in a crisis/emergency than your 5th ever would and we should always remember that.

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  20. The fourth could have done better, he just didn’t choose to. I am very hopeful, not certain, that the 5th will do great.

    I hope he does because if he doesn’t. He won’t last long, the people will force him out.
    Serve us not yourself and not we do not have time for revenge we want our lives better, united as Kenyans.

  21. It is only fair we allow everyone to feel their emotions, mourn, celebrate whatever but peace above all else

  22. These were my third elections to take part in (due to age), and I have not once voted for a winning president. I am exonerated from Kenya’s problems, and I can safely say my hands are clean. I did not take part in the country’s downfall/troubles.

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  23. Those whatsApp groups with small minded people, so sad, such entertainment! Choosing light and love like B!
    Stay safe fam.

  24. Hey Biko, might have a solution for your “limping” chair. Hoping there won’t be much bloodshed and you won’t need a harambee, maybe take the “longer leg” for an amputation to the height of the shorter one!!

  25. I didn’t have a Fifth, but the one I predicted would win took it. We need an energetic, good natured president since we have urgent and huge problems as a country. God, won’t you help us! Amen