When I lived in Kibera, I shared my modest crib with Onyango,Kimani, Kipngeno,Mutisya and Abdi. Abdi and Kimani shared a bed because Abdi was new to the city. The only thing that separated our “bedrooms” was a “leso”, an old dirty bed sheet and a black polythene sheet that Mutisya had picked on his way from Industrial area.
We shared everything and we showered in shifts and on alternate Sundays. Life was hard but we were happy. Kimani pushed “mkoko” at Marigiti and in the evening he will come home with a mixture of almost everything that was sold at the market. From it, we made a stew. Everyday it tasted distinctly different and authentic even though the ingredients remained the same, the quantity varied. Sometimes the “pilipili” or “dania” will be in plenty hence the taste of the day.
We listened to Kameme together and KBC salamu za hodi hodi together and shared ushindi bar soap for washing and geisha Kubwa for bathing. Played draught at weekends.
In short we were more than brothers, and we remained so for 5 years until the elections were called. It was time to part ways. We got new identities jaluo, mkamba, kaleo, sapere, walalo and Banye. Identifying ourselves with the rich politicians we shared a language with was the thing, not the poor we had been with for years.
The wealthy man from my tribe won the election I headed to the same room I had shared for five years with people of my class, albeit with some election posters to deco our crib. Mheshimiwa headed for Grand Regency to celebrate. That night we slept without food. After a while things came back to normal we were back to sharing everything with Abdi, musyoka Onyango etc. Whenever there was bereavement amongst us, we all attended. Just the poor people. Mheshimiwa was busy on the beach. But when Mheshimiwa got bereaved I mourned for him for weeks, even though I won’t be let to go past his gate. When he engaged in Corruption, I defended him fiercely just because he spoke my Language, to cut short…..I voted for Mheshimiwa, he lives big but life for me, Onyango, Kimani, Abdi is still the same.
What if we had voted for one of us regardless of his tribe, could life be different??????? Identify with your own true tribe. RICH or POOR are the real tribes of Kenya. However the latter are the Majority and are ruled by the minority. Poor people rise up and fight for your rights. Did you know the only common thing between you and your much cherished Mheshimiwa is the language. Nothing else NOTHING!!!!!!!!! But the list of common things you share with Musyoka, Onyango, Abdi is endless. ooh religion was never anything we took an issue with…we respected each other religion HIGHLY.
Think and Educate other Kenyans THAT NOBODY OR NOTHING SHOULD DIVIDE US….WE’R ALL ONE UNITED KENYA!