Saturday the 21st February 2015 was a proud day for Kenya when her sons and daughters assembled at Chester house to talk about the well-being of her soul.
Those who came were ordinary Kenyans of all ages drawn from all segments of society and regions. They were gathered out of the growing realization that the welfare of Kenya should concern all Kenyans.
It is out of this patriotic sense of duty immanent in a majority of Kenyans that the social media has grown as an avenue for sharing information. It is also a platform for constructive criticism in the hope that the birds would carry these millions of opinions posted daily from the facebook posts and tweets to the men and women entrusted with the leadership of the nation at the various levels.
Many Kenyans would agree that many of the progressive ideas generated on social media often end up wasted. They fall casualties to time, boredom and amnesia. It therefore means that the discussion must be taken out of social media onto the streets, churches, mosques, schools, hospitals, universities, slums, villages, banking halls and offices.
Those who stepped out of safety to attend the assembly of progressive voices this Saturday did so knowing that Kenya has millions of silent progressives. Millions who believe that tribe has no role in the future of Kenya. Millions who wish that values could replace wealth as a measure of leadership. Millions who want to see the trillions of tax shillings that trouble our ears and brains every budget day translate into services.
The majority of these millions of Kenyans have no interest in joining elective politics but a strong interest in seeing the correct leadership in place. Many hope for a day when election day will be a challenge not because there is no ideal choice on the ballot but because all the choices are ideal. The latter is obviously a better challenge.
The call for Kenyans to GO BEYOND TWITTER has a spirit that is bigger than its letters. It is the spirit that is vividly and dramatically captured in the Se tswana concept of ‘botho’ expressed as ‘motho ke motho ka batho’ (I am because you are). It is the spirit that drives one to develop a deep sense of another persons humanity.
It is the spirit behind the Swahili concept of uungwana whose anti-thesis is ushenzi. It inspires us to unconsciously exercise the golden rule – doing to others what you would wish done to you.
This is the new foundation for Kenya that the forum GO BEYOND TWITTER was brave enough to lay the first stone this past Saturday.
Laying this foundation stone is only the first step in the reconstruction of the Kenyan soul. It could be another 100 years and several generations until such a Kenya that we dream about is created. It could also happen in our own generation. It depends on you and me. The balance between our interest and indifference will make all the difference.