I met Mike early this year when he applied for a communications consultancy job at my organization. He was a nice chap. Down to earth. Industrious. Knowledgeable. Skilled and always dressed to impress. I liked him immediately. As a result, I gave him the Kshs 4.2 million consultancy job.
Since he was reporting to me, over the next six months we became close, professionally and socially. I liked his maturity, sense of humour and devotion to details and professionalism. A well educated and travelled chap, Mike epitomized what most people need – open minded, tolerant and diligent.
Two weeks of our meeting, he proudly introduced Babes to me. Babes was the pet name he amorously called his fiancée, and as per him, soon-to-be-wife. You can always tell a man who has fallen hard and heads over heels for a woman. He just can’t stop talking about her. Well, such was Mike. His life, energy, future and hope revolved around the lovely Babes.
In any case, what was there not to love about Babes? She was a beauty truly constructed with royal elegance. Besides being stunningly gorgeous, smart and intelligent, she had wife material written all over her cleavage and curvaceous sexually charged frame. In addition, she was respectful. Well mannered. Graceful and polished.
Mike threw a lavish big fat African party for her early this year to celebrate their six years of being together. He planned to wed her before year end, in the absolutely picture perfect Sheba Beach Resort in Lamu. From what the gods whispered, it was going to be a wedding made in Canaan and why would it not be? For what was worth, a few months ago Mike’s account was stinking of 4.2 million.
The idiot millionaire
After he completed the consultancy job, I never heard from Mike until recently when I bumped into him at the shopping mall. He was looking dishevelled, confused, and was smelling either of sweat or he hadn’t brushed his teeth. He momentarily hid behind his exhausted smile when he saw me. The super confident, author of sense of humour Mike was now replaced by a timid fellow who looked like his existence was literally held by a thread of his mother’s prayers.
Interestingly, there was no mention of Babes to complete every sentence. Immediately curiosity took over me and like Oprah Winfrey, I was thinking of doing a talk show about him with the byline: Meet Mike, the idiot who squandered Kshs 4.2 million in two hours. Or better still, Meet Mike, the new millionaire in town who doesn’t know where people buy happiness, cologne or toothpaste.
It took some diplomatic persuasion to convince Mike to join me for a drink. An hour later, I was sweating profusely in areas I didn’t know existed in my body. Mike had broken up with Babes two months ago coz his “tribal family” couldn’t stand him marrying a Kikuyu girl. His parents, in particular had made it clear to him that they won’t have anything to do with him if he went ahead and married Babes.
Well, not wanting to go against the wishes of his people, Mike had painfully called it quits with Babes. However, what was interesting to me was how he had suddenly gotten so brainwashed to the point that he seemed to agree with the wishes and skewed tribalistic perspective of his parents and clan. I mean how unfair is it to reject someone just because of their tribe?
Mike took over an hour to try and convince me – though he sounded like he was desperately trying to convince himself – why he couldn’t marry Babes because she was Kikuyu. Dude, you dated this chic for six years. You even proposed to her and you were planning to marry her. So, what exactly besides the fact that she’s Kikuyu don’t you want to marry her? I had asked him without blinking.
He was lost for words, save for the fact that it was the wishes of his parents and people. He clearly was, and I insist from how he sounded and looked, still deeply in love with Babes. Though he tried unsuccessfully to look happy, I could tell he was hurting and missing the love of his love, his soulmate. Before we parted ways, he had shown me photos on his phone of some confused damsel he plans to marry later this year.
Foolishness of tribal stereotypes
Let me admit that Mike’s story has bothered me for a while now. Maybe I’m too liberal or too christian, but frankly speaking I just don’t get it with how we have leaped so low as human beings, and specifically as Kenyans to discriminate our fellow human beings strictly on the basis of their tribe.
By the way, don’t get me wrong. I am not blind to the fact that they are super crazy, psychotic Kikuyu women, and pretty much women from other tribes out there. Of course, we all have heard stories, stereotypes and prejudices of how women from tribe A or B are this and that. But it doesn’t justify the cowardly and foolish act of judging someone strictly based on their tribe.
Politics of division
What is appalling to me is the fact that most of these people perpetuating tribal animosity and holier-than-thou attitudes are well-educated and travelled people. Shamefully, they also call themselves Christians. They purport to love God, yet they can’t stand their fellow human beings just because they don’t belong to their tribes. I wonder which God is this, they exactly worship, if they can bluntly discriminate His own creation.
Peeps, this foolishness of tribal stereotype and prejudices is killing our lovely nation, and it needs to stop. Why have we allowed politics of division and greediness to dedicate even the people we fall in love with or marry, the schools and churches we go to, the people we can donate blood to? Does marrying from your own tribe guarantee you eternal happiness and fulfillment?
Okay so you hate certain tribes, what exactly did they do to you? Did a whole tribe screw you, or it was simply one, two or three people? And don’t you think its so idiotic to hate a whole tribe just because of what one person did to you?
How has your tribesmen being in leadership directly improved the standard of your life? Aren’t you buying everything at the same price just like everybody else? Are you near God because your tribesmen is in power? And do they share with you the looted public funds? So, why the hullabaloo about tribes and politics?
Remove your tribalistic lenses
Don’t judge everyone you meet through the lenses of your twisted stereotypes and prejudices about their community. I am luhya, and proudly so. But guess what? I DON’T like ugali, neither do I like tea. Chicken? Obviously yes. I mean, who doesn’t love a nice barbecued or fried kuku? I know of my brother Mwandago from Bibi Mawe location in Shimba Hills, Kwale County in coastal Kenya who would literally kill you for chicken.
In retrospect, I love me my mokimo. Yes, I said it. I would lick your brain like ice cream if you attempt to come between me and my mokimo. Kwanza the one manufactured by the lovely Mrs. Loise Wainaina, my mother-in-law, with un-wilted pumpkin leaves and lazed with fresh harvested maize.
I also love me my mursik, samaki wa kupaka – (Fatuma of Tarboush in Malindi hope you reading this). I love me too my muthokoi and some fees (read fish), heheh! kwanza the one from Dala that has been dipped in soya beans sauce and served with well fried spinach mixed with bubbly onions.
So, next time you see me. Don’t get so hanged up with that ugali or tea thingy, simply because I am luhya. And by the way, I don’t support AFC Leopards. I am not a watchman. I don’t own a bicycle and I am not related to Musalia Mudavadi. Trust me, you will be surprised the things we have in common, if only you could remove your tribalistic lenses, for a minute.
Let’s appreciate each other. Celebrate our differences and unique cultural endowments. God in his wisdom didn’t error creating different tribes. So, why should you stereotype someone based on their ethnicity? Embrace everyone in love, and see the world become a better place right in your eyes.
One in Christ Jesus
More importantly, love whoever you want to love. Marry whoever your bubbly heart desires to marry. Date whoever you want, and for those who have a problem with that – well, let them go to hell. Its your life by end of it. You aren’t marrying for your parents or people. You are marrying for you. Its ultimately your happiness, not theirs.
Let Kisii marry Kikuyu’s. Let Wafula marry Chepkosgei. Let Musyoka fall for Naliaka. Let Mohammed squeeze some rocky passions out of the loins of Adhiambo. Forget this stupid thing about sijui they are not from my tribe. So, what? If Babes makes you happy who cares what your crazy, twisted, tribalistic, backward tribal parents pr clan think? First John 4:20 says, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother and sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen”.
In fact, Galatians 3:26-28 is even more blunt and out in your face. It says: For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentiles, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Peeps, life is too short. We have no time to hate fellow human beings. Let’s stop behaving like our tribes are superior than others. We are all children of God. So, let’s go out and spread love. Class dismissed.