Celebrating East African Writing!

1963 plus by Alex Mutua

Photo by Jerry Riley. Click on image or visit to see more pictures of Kenya

They walked in strapped in khaki Kaptulas and the black guards who were used to the Colonial Union Jack were mesmerized, a flag with green, black, white, and red was being hoisted in the famous freedom pole.

‘What is the meaning of all this?’

‘Freedom, bastards, they asked for it.’

‘Yes sir! We are ready to work for any government’

‘A black guards, … government?’

‘Yes sir’

1963 is the year when salary did not matter to members of parliament but the hysteria of freedom kept men on toes and every body was ready to smile before any photo box for remembrance. People could pose anywhere, like in forbidden lanes, with sacred statues, prominent stadiums and in this season national days moods and commitment were born. Jamhhuri day …1964 was…, wait!

Then come 82, the year when Kenyan realized governments could change mood and pinch their own. The year when one  lowest ranked army officer, Hezekiah Ochukah ruled Kenya for six hours and reminded  citizen what mattered most was the family album. This year affected Indians banking behavior, a thousands Kenyan stroke free gold, and what mattered this was the where about of next of kin. The family spirit was put to test

Ten years down the line the multi-partism invades the nation and a street child called Democracy, is found dumped in the streets of Majengo, she is adopted by patriotic Kenyans few.  She never grew, but we salute the political voices that roared and gave us these freedoms of expression. I love the legacy but….

47 years later I listen keenly angry not so much at threat to my self and this nation,  but of discovering that in the innermost heart of this land, stripped of pomp and pious façade lay a hideous corruption, wicked conspiracy and darkness that only the light of God can brighten. What happened!

Many visionaries creating diversions, where else many voices are creating delay to outcomes meant to be great. What can we do for this nation filled with echoes of clashing opinion syndrome where some voices want to be heard louder?

I look again, the street, plus the people plus the government, plus the lies, an economy, and realize so much has happened, yet so little has changed. Just like J.M Kariuki put it, the land still remain, the nation of ten billionaires and forty million beggars,

Treading this 47 year along miracles have happened, and we did not embrace them.

We go back to first love, alter our attitude, and focus our perceptions on fertile minds and results and love, we defile the virgin territories no more. Look at the flag, our flag, the rest is the history.

©Alex Mutua

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.


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