MEMORANDUM: A CITIZEN’S CONTRIBUTION TO NATIONAL ETHOS, ‘KENYA THE LAND OF THE INCORRUPTIBLE’
Kenya has variously been referred by us and our neighbours as ‘nchi ya kitu kidogo’. What appears like a belittling preamble ‘nchi ya kitu kidogo – the end of an era’ appears in the BBI documents and BBI website. A rebuttal on the same through this memoranda thus is timely.
This is a tag we have to shed off, if we can believe in ourselves we can change that to ‘Nchi adilifu, Nchi ya watu wa maadili mema’. ‘The land of ladies and gentlemen of good order’, ‘The land of the diligence’.
Transparency needs to be espoused by one and all in Kenya. One should be proud to say what they have, where they got it, how they got it. Making it Public.
After a few people come forward we will not just have catchy headlines but there will be a new leaf in terms of opening up ‘kufungua roho’.
After sometime fellow citizens will not see it as pride or vexing those with less. Self lifestyle audit ought to become something we can carry on.
As long as the lifestyle audit is imposed and only applies to public servants it will do little to build the kind of confidence needed to drive this agenda.
The late Capt. Thomas Sankara (RIP) renamed his country Upper Volta to Burkina Faso ‘the land of honourable people’ or else ‘the land of the incorruptible’. it’s something we can aspire to. What might be the Swahili equivalent to this line of thinking? Still, I do not see anything wrong with naming ‘Kenya -The land of the incorruptible’. Got it!
Then we could see how to craft it to fit an easy to sell, keep and maintain by one and all. Certainly, a good number will sneer at it at first but just like our national anthem it is our prayer too that God will help us to become ‘ a land of the incorruptible’. This will also go well into the future we aspire beyond 2022 and Vision 2030.
‘Magic Kenya’ has not caught up much among the locals even after paying heavily to promote it.
The national dress minus a clarion call for Kenyans to believe in themselves has failed to catch up too: A national dress must instill in the people what they are or can be.
I guess no tourist guide in Burkina Faso would ever miss the chance to state the meaning of that word, and very proudly for that matter ‘we are the land of the incorruptible’. I believe the citizens there do try to live up to that standard anyhow.
When my late dad won the naming competition of the ‘Times Tower’, that now houses Kenya Revenue Authority, there is something that came to become a family ethos – to believe in the power of an idea, however naive it looks, once shared it can frame a whole debate. That is why I decided to share this.
I have enclosed the photo of a gecko I took by my office window. The picture shows an almost translucent character who we can see what he got, has eaten and would hopefully bring out the meaning to this concept of ‘Kenya – The land of the incorruptible.
The original memorandum was submitted online on 7th February 2020.
Building Bridges Initiative,
PS. Posted here with minor alterations
The reader can get more about this author’s thoughts on the BBI here.