By Koigi wa Wamwere
Almost seven decades ago, the Kikuyu mastered enough courage and nationalism to kill colonialism and give birth to independent Kenya.
Can Kikuyus today master enough courage and nationalism to kill negative ethnicity and give birth to a united, democratic, and developed Kenya?
Kikuyus and other communities must exorcise their demons of negative ethnicity to save themselves and redeem Kenya.
I am a Kikuyu by God’s right. Yet this does not make me better or worse than people of other communities. However, because of the need to co-exist with other Kenyans, when thinking consciously as a Kikuyu, I think worse than when I consciously think as a Kenyan.
When thinking or acting consciously as a Kikuyu, my negative ethnicity shapes and influences my thought process more than positive ethnicity.
When Kikuyus think ethnic, they also think they are better than me – a fellow Kikuyu – when I am acting Kenyan. Nazi-Germans and Hutus also thought themselves better than those Germans or Hutus who had a heart for Jews, Tutsis and other people.
Because of negative ethnicity, I end up as a person who does not think or speak to advance truth and knowledge. Like any tribalist, I end up thinking and speaking to advance Kikuyu hegemony.
After wearing the badge of a Kikuyu, my mission no longer becomes about protecting even my personal interests but to advance Kikuyu interests from which I may not benefit.
Ethnically thinking Kikuyus consider themselves ‘God’s chosen people’ and other people as ‘gentiles’ who are created to serve them. Kikuyu’s claim to Jewish identity reinforces their negative ethnicity. It negates their African-ness, which President Uhuru claims to champion.
However, Kikuyus who profess Christianity forget that, after overthrowing Jews as God’s chosen people, Jesus Christ preached equality between Jews and other people.
Because of negative ethnicity, many Kikuyu people believe the creator made them to rule other communities who in turn the creator made for Kikuyus to rule them.
According to Kikuyu bigots, Kikuyus never do anything wrong to one another – even when Kikuyu elites exploit Kikuyu masses, kill and make many disappear. On the other hand, they also believe other communities never do Kikuyu any good, only harm.
Kikuyu elites believe they are entitled to all resources and power – just as pastoral communities believe all cattle in the world belong to them and are wrongly in the hands of other people from whom they must liberate.
In the logic of negative ethnicity, all Kikuyus are born superior to non-Kikuyus and all non-Kikuyus are born inferior to Kikuyus.
Unfortunately, Kikuyu arrogance and anti-Kikuyu bigotry is the grease that lubricates social media, most popular platform for propagating negative ethnicity.
Begrudgingly, many Kikuyus think their thoughts are always right and thoughts of others are always wrong.
Because of negative ethnicity, a Kikuyu who criticizes Kikuyu-led government is a traitor. The person is worse than enemies from other communities are and they should eliminate him first to reach the enemy.
To enhance ethnic unity, ethnic dictatorship is created to be led by an ethnic overlord or king who all Kikuyus must obey. Whoever withholds loyalty to the ethnic king should be eliminated.
In search of ethnic security, negative ethnicity does not hesitate to create an Interahamwe. Ethnic dictatorship will use the Interahamwe to terrorize and dominate within and without the community.
As is the case of all ethnic bigots, it is the belief of a Kikuyu bigot that only a Kikuyu leader can govern Kikuyus fairly, however unqualified, and will therefore only vote for a Kikuyu president, governor, senator, MP or MCA.
When elections come, Kikuyus like other communities remind themselves to support Kikuyu efforts to have an ethnic king. The reason is as one Kikuyu teacher put it, “Luos, Kalenjins, and Kambas have their ethnic kings too”.
To actuate this dream, Kikuyus only vote for a Kikuyu candidate from president to MCA.
To Kikuyu tribalists, Kikuyu dictatorship is okay but not that of another community. Hence, while Kikuyus who opposed Moi dictatorship were heroes, Kikuyus who criticize Kikuyu dictatorship become traitors.
Had Moi been a Kikuyu dictator, the Kikuyu would not have opposed him.
When Kikuyu community opposed Moi dictatorship, it was not because it was a tyranny that needed removal, but because the dictatorship belonged to Moi, a non-Kikuyu.
Equally, when other communities supported Moi regime, it was not because it was democratic but because they preferred its dictatorship to a Kikuyu dictatorship.
While non-Kikuyus may criticize Kikuyu-led government, Kikuyus must never. It is betrayal.
To Kikuyus, a non-Kikuyu who criticizes a Kikuyu-led government is an enemy who deserves elimination whose execution the traitor from within must not be allowed to frustrate with pleas of common humanity.
Because of negative ethnicity, a Kikuyu or Luo that is deemed a traitor deserves death more than the enemy, especially for blaspheming against the ethnic King or Queen Bee.
Because of negative ethnicity, whatever is in the Kikuyu culture is civilized and whatever is in other peoples’ culture is primitive. To circumcise is civilized. Not to circumcise is primitive.
Tragically, there is no height to which Kikuyus will not hoist themselves and there is no depth to which non-Kikuyus will not demonize Kikuyus.
Conditioned to serve self only, Kikuyus will support anything and everything a Kikuyu president will say and do, and non-Kikuyus will do and say anything and everything that will discredit Kikuyu leadership.
Lastly, negative ethnicity kills national patriotism and in its place promotes ethnic patriotism. The latter is the foremost killer of nationalism and nation of Kenya.
This death of the nation is what gave birth to the fiasco of 2007/8 in which 41 non-Kikuyus ganged up against one Kikuyu community.
Nevertheless, if Kikuyus desire national leadership that is acceptable to all, they must cleanse themselves of negative ethnicity and champion the crusade for nationalism.
See part 2 of this article here: Non-Kikuyu Ethnic Bigots are Also Guilty of Negative Ethnicity