Preach peace, spew hate and on the third day say ‘let’s pray’
Kenya is supposed to be one of the most religious countries in the world, which is quite possibly the mother of all ironies. And that’s saying a lot because we’ve had some outstanding moments of irony in the recent past. Case in point, the Jubilee Party (JP) and its adherents insisting that Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka must contest in an election they have disowned.
JP has even asked the Supreme Court to hold Odinga and Kalonzo in contempt for refusing to participate in the fresh poll. But this is a detail. The bigger irony was JP giving the National Super Alliance directions to the Supreme Court if they were dissatisfied with the outcome of the August 8 election. Karma was the court ruling in favour of the underdog despite all expectations to the contrary.
Having said that, the biggest joke of our time is the claim that we are a God-fearing nation. If an alien landed in Kenya on any given Sunday it would no doubt be impressed by the multitude of ‘saints’ crammed into thousands of churches across the republic. The same would happen if it landed on a Friday afternoon, or a Saturday.
Attending service in this country is part of the culture. Religion is just one of the elements that defines the Kenyan people alongside other defining factors like tribalism, negative ethnicity, corruption, impatience, selfishness and an unmitigated superiority complex.
Kenyans are able to separate mental processes that would normally be related so that the parts of them that profess to do good can function independently of the parts that are adept at committing evil. It’s almost as if we suffer from a collective form of dissociative identity disorder. The Kenyan identity is so profoundly split that it is possible to preach peace one day, preach hate the next, and on the third day assemble for a national day of prayer.
If Kenyans were true devotees of the Christian faith, like more than 80 per cent of them profess, then they would be aware that the God they claim to serve and love, never changes nor casts a shifting shadow. The spirit known to inspire deceit, destruction and double-mindedness? Well, that would be the devil.
Calling on the God of Abraham, while at the same time dancing with the devil, is a sure way to get spat out of His mouth. But hey, who really cares what scripture says when it’s so much easier to invoke the name of God at whim. The optics of a false religion are much more pleasing to the eye. I mean hey, since the days of the Pharisees and Sadducees, piety has always been a good look. It would be humorous to watch, were it not such a mockery of the remnant of Kenyans who subscribe to true religion.
Lots of things that have been humorous to watch have ended up tragic. For instance, it wasn’t too long ago that Ezra ‘Chilobae’ Chiloba was the darling of Kenya’s womenfolk. His sheepish ‘I-know-I-look-good’ smile, sharp suits, hipster glasses and affected accent endeared him to a certain group of women who gushed over him in perfect synchronicity. Turns out he was all beauty (if you like that kind of thing) and no good will.
We watched Wafula Chebukati waffle through his televised interview, looking like he was about to vomit in parts, and like he really needed to pee in others. He probably wasn’t the best candidate for the chairman job but like many other miracles in Kenya, he got it anyway. Kenyans are a very accepting people and so we allowed him to grow on us, even casting him in an avuncular light and christening him Uncle Chebu. Uncle Chebu might have a good heart. What he doesn’t have is both hands on the wheel as the Kenya careens towards a cliff edge.
But by far the most dramatic character in this entire saga has been Dr. Roselyn Akombe. Sister Rosie was always the brains in the operation. Whenever she opened her mouth in defence of the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission (IEBC), you really had no option but to see sense. She was intelligent, eloquent, composed and articulate. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this quadruple threat outsmarted our entire intelligence service by planning a stealthy exit, and then blew the lid on the dissonance at the IEBC without so much as breaking a sweat. Like a boss. I’ll take the actions of a strong woman over the preaching and prayers of hypocrites any day of week.