They give new meaning to the phrase ‘putting forward one’s best foot’. Sinewy and agile, keeping abreast with the pacemaker, trudging mile after mile under the scorching sun or the biting cold, aiming for the ultimate prize… the Olympic gold; paid for in blood, sweat and tears. They run for glory, pride written all over their face as the drums roll, the national flag is hoisted and the national anthem sung… “O God of all Creation…”
Reality: They run while aiming at the ultimate prize… feeding their family and surviving the political, social and economic turmoil that bedevils the country as regular as clockwork. At night they pray. They pray for a little less rain. The rain of corruption and tribalism.
A bit of history: Mzee Moroa Galana is dead. Do you know Mzee Moroa Galana? No, you don’t. Mzee Moroa Galana is not synonymous with the Kenyan National Anthem. In other countries, he would be a hero. Why? He is the one who suggested the tune of a beautiful Pokomo lullaby be adopted for the national anthem. In other countries, he would be feted as a hero- a living hero. Here, we have dead heroes; immortalised in death (for a short time, anyway, before the next scandal) while they were left to wail in penury while they lived.
The lyrics: O God of all Creation
I refute that God, or at least the one referred to in in our Kenyan Constitution, created everything. Corruption, nepotism and tribalism are definitely man-made in Kenya.
Bless this our land and nation
Kenya is a blessed country: the Great Rift Valley, Mt Kenya- God’s own mountain, pristine beaches, a beautiful people… Now, we have water and oil in Turkana. We have seen what oil has done in the Sudans, Nigeria and the Middle East. We shiver at what the future holds for us; for surely as day; the politician will auction our resources to the highest bidder… with the end justifying the means.
Justice be our shield and defender
Once upon a time, justice was our shield and defender… Whom am I lying to? Money has always been our shield and defender… the more, the merrier. Why hire a lawyer when you can buy a judge?
May we dwell in unity
Presently, the only people dwelling in unity in Kenya are the cabals and cartels that run the country; or rather, the cabals and cartels that ruin the country.
Peace and liberty
Foreign concepts that have their origin in European countries. Enemy to the country’s progress and development (Our community is being targeted). Still, we need foreign aid and so we have learnt to run a show of peace and liberty in order to receive this aid.
Plenty be found within our borders.
Perhaps it is time we as Kenyans (do politicians count as Kenyans?) really put thought to the words of our national anthem. What is it we want to be found in plenty in Kenya? Corruption? Tribalism? Nepotism?