Do you ever watch the news or listen to reports on the challenges that ordinary Kenyans experience daily and wonder, where did Kenya go wrong? Each year, Kenyans suffer from multiple human-made and natural disasters including corruption, economic downturns, droughts, and floods that make many questions the nation’s future. If we were honest with ourselves, most of the problems we face as a country are caused by greed, which undermines the ability of leadership to fulfill its obligations to you and me.
Before independence, Kenya’s abundant natural resources were reserved by colonialists, whose appalling actions made Kenyans wish for a reality where they would rule themselves. However, contrary to the glorious future envisioned by patriotic Kenyans who bravely fought and won our independence, the black man’s rule has done little to uplift ordinary people. Just as the white man, crooked black leaders have sold off the nation’s natural resources to foreign countries and stolen from the nation’s coffers, making it impossible for many to live comfortably.
You have probably heard of the statement, “Serikali saidia/Government help us!” that Kenyans chant each time a calamity occurs. The sad reality is that the pitiful cry remains a “poor man’s cry” in a nation where the rights, privileges, and affairs of the governed are trampled down by the ruling class. Just as vicious lions hunt gazelles in the wild, underprivileged Kenyans are taken advantage of by the rich, who use their power to benefit themselves.
An honest observer would plainly say that despite Kenya’s potential to sustain every single person, resources are controlled by a greedy minority, who consolidate their wealth as a means of retaining their power. The lack of ethics among leaders, both in government and the private sector, has introduced inequalities that widen the gaps between the rich and poor each day.
But, do you wonder what Kenya would have been if our fathers were not greedy?
If the nation’s resources were equally shared, each child, regardless of where they are born, would have access to quality healthcare and education. When they grow up, each child’s qualifications will help them acquire gainful employment without corruption or favor. However, instead of enjoying these rights, children continue to suffer and die from preventable illnesses while the youth fall into crime and delinquency after suffering from the
cruel hand of unemployment and poverty.
Perhaps, it is time that all Kenyans asked themselves, “When will I get what I am owed?” If real equity is championed by all social institutions, from religious groups, the media, to private companies, Kenya can take a step in the right direction, honoring the hopes and dreams of our ancestors. A good Kenya is a Kenya where everyone acts in goodwill and while this dream seems farfetched, it can be realized through the right leadership and action.