I watched the recent documentary on Conjestina Achieng’ and felt a twinge of despair at her plight. It is a real shame for our collective conscience as Kenyans, to let one of our celebrated heroines wallow in a world of dire poverty, helplessness and ill-health. What happened to our collective pride of being our brother’s keeper, the African way? This is just but a reflection of the unenviable position our moral compass has declined to. I will not mention the alarming spate of strikes that has ambushed our daily lives, the forgotten children and patients who are most affected by the standoff between the powers that be. I choose to focus on the HOPE that we sorely need, that which makes us wake up every morning with the belief that things will get better.
The strength of a society is defined by how it defines its weakest members. How have as Kenyans treated those who are weaker than us? Our true character is mostly revealed in the ever-present traffic, where might is right, and everyone is a Schumacher in their quest to outdo the other to get to a non-existent destination. I believe the National Values of Kenya as defined by Article 10 of the Constitution still ring true. To refresh your memory on Civics, these values include Patriotism, Human Dignity, Good governance, and Sustainable Development. I strongly believe the youth of this country are conscious of the immense potential within them, and are aware of the huge responsibility that awaits them in actualizing Vision 2030. The great infrastructural developments taking place in the country are to be commended, but this is purely hardware. The software that will propel this Vision is ingrained in our collective consciousness. Integrity, morality call it what you may, is the software that will drive the dreams of the nation.
I challenge each and every one to introspect themselves, search deep within ourselves and pose this hard-hitting question, am I a true Kenyan? Am I living the dream I would desire for my future generation? Then, and only then , can we learn to accord those who have bled for this country, the respect and gratitude they deserve for serving and representing the black, white, red and green that reflect our values. It is only then that we will realize that Leadership is not a position, but a responsibility. We would conduct ourselves with decorum that is due to the offices that we occupy. The likes of Joe Kadenge would not have to languish in need, after exemplary service to our nation. We would then not be required to pull them out of the woodwork during festivities to showcase them, then promptly forget about them the second the event ends. I dream of a Kenya that will embrace its heroes, both known and unknown, do you?