Raila Amolo Odinga - World Economic Forum Annu...

Raila Odinga

Uhuru seems to have a propensity to disregard systems. We can draw contrast using the very scenarios highlighted above. When Raila opposed the unilateral appointments that were a disregard of the law, Kenyatta banged the table insisting the process was credible.”

The tragedy of democracy is that the tyranny of numbers most often overwhelms sense, yet, democracy’s nobility as a means of expression of self determination remains unmatched. It provides us with a unique opportunity, an opportunity to exercise choice, or apparent exercise of choice, and with its deficiencies, I would never opt for its alternative.

When you walk into an election booth, on 3rd April, and perhaps later on, I would urge you of one thing, vote for yourself, which is what I will be doing. I am unable to summon enthusiasm, sufficient enough to walk into the election and vote a President. But I can always vote for myself, and cast a ballot for whosoever I choose, not because I choose them, but because I remotely hope that they can espouse my hopes in the ultimate, however tiny.

The reality of our nation is that the next five years will be extensively strenuous. We are faced, with a novelty of governance structures, an ambitious reform agenda that targets to redress the steps we messed and more importantly, the vision, to which we have pledged the loyalty of our effort, Vision 2030.

We need a person, therefore in president, who can assure us that they will nurture the values we aspire to realize as a nation, mediate the failures of our past and reconcile the present with the dreams of tomorrow. In short, the next five years will be a transition, burdened by the uncertainty of newness, and we can create a firm foundation for tomorrow or drop the gains time has given us. The next five years, have no opportunity of stagnation, we will either succeed or fail as a nation.

These must be the central question as we determine who to elect as our next leader. My readers will appreciate, that I have variously disapproved of the two leading contenders in the Kenyan presidential race. Yet, today I concede with reluctance that I will cast my ballot for one of them. Has my own choice been whacked into submission by the noise of masses, I doubt that, or rather, I choose to state that I accord my choice to our reality. A reality that betrays the hopes we hold, yet we hope that from that despair, a spring of certainty may arise.

The two leading candidate are Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta. I realize they have unique similarities, including the fact that all their middle names are not on their national identity cards. One is a son of the founding President and the other the son of the founding vice president. God, rest the souls of the two old men, they certainly gave us two graves to which we have been beholden as a nation and we continue to, and God liberate us.

What has been my consistent view on the two, On Raila, I believe he has a deficiency in his organizational capacity, in the last five years, the office of the prime minister has offered this country glimpses of epic inefficiency and sometimes mismanagement. In my opinion, it functioned as a disjointed unit, perhaps riddled with excitement than purpose. Read more

Letter to Life, Our 5th Conversation

I write

I write

“life, you teach me that I should aspire, that I should hold beliefs, dreams and be bold to pursue them.  That it is a sacred obligation for me to dream, and that whenever I fail to dream, I betray the essence of my being. You whisper to me, that if I constrict my life to reality and be incapable of creating a world where my being is translated in exclusive freedom, dream, then I would not have lived.”

It is 312 days since I wrote to you. Just like I feared, the letter was never hidden in the secret on our two fold. It reached men and women, and in their own ways they construed our talks. Time, has also disproved me of my beliefs or gave me inconsistencies.

When I wrote then, I was aggrieved. I am certain you will recall I had undergone some disappointments. I silently objected that your agents wanted to accord my being to your traditions and streams. Then, I thought, that the world owed me a respect of my unhindered potential.

I still think that purity of existence would require men and women to respect my struggles and ambitions. But in the rage, I almost believed that it was unfair for them to fail to respect my ambitions. I almost thought, that what the world owed me was my right, and that rights should be given freely, not withheld.

Time has given me certain truisms, that perhaps, when I believe myself, sufficiently to aspire, then I should not expect the world that never dreamt with me, to respect those aspirations. While in the ideal, it is true that the world owes my aspirations inherent respect, I equally owe that very world an explanation of my dreams.

Indeed, I am bold. I aspire endlessly to occasion shifts in the thoughts and ways of men. My aspirations based in my own beliefs of what a beauty of collective being should be. Indeed, I have given myself to the seeking of collective greatness, believing, that my own liberty is served when I pursue collective greatness.

And while in the years past, I have thought that the sincerity of my thoughts, for I conceive them in absolute care of other men and women, should resonate with every man and woman, I realize that in that belief of collective greatness, I actually seek to exalt my own beliefs.

And so, what men and women see as selflessness is actually selfish. In my seeking of collective good, I realize I am seeking my own self. This has been such a great revelation; that I can never be selfless unless I am honestly selfish. I realize today that if my thoughts and actions have to be true, that if I have to be justifiably persistent in my ventures, I have to cease to see me in my world, and instead see me in the world.

And so, life, you teach me that I should aspire, that I should hold beliefs, dreams and be bold to pursue them.  That it is a sacred obligation for me to dream, and that whenever I fail to dream, I betray the essence of my being. You whisper to me, that if I constrict my life to reality and be incapable of creating a world where my being is translated in exclusive freedom, dream, then I would not have lived.

This puzzles me, I thought living is facing my tears and sweats, perhaps paying school fees and learning, perhaps owning a car and going for a holiday, perhaps being arrested when I break laws yet the world give me endless temptations, perhaps fall in love, marry, bear children and live happily thereafter. Life, you tell me, that that is being, not living. So, we who wake up with our hearts limited by our fears are, but have not dared live. You, life, have told me that those who are will only be considered brave if they dare live, and that living in its purity expresses itself in dreams. So the brave are those who find strength to dream; those who are able, in the depths of their hearts, to create what eludes the obvious.

At first, this was a maze. In a way, it is as though what is real in reality is ideal. I know that men and women are born with a seed of expansion. A craving to conquer, our elders expressed this with their bows and arrows; conquering lands and setting empires, then for those who had been conquered had been denied a chance to expand; they would revolt, and die seeking freedom.

I have been born in the ages, when men and women understand that conquest by might is the most temporary victory ever for it faces the certainty of revolt or default erosion. In my age, I am unable to hold arrows and set forth to create kingdoms or states, or hold guns to chase those whose skin color is not like mine. This, I believe, gives me a chance to seek an expansion that is pure and true. I can address myself to seeking an expression of my dreams, in world that is not free, but which knows freedom by heart.

Back to the intricacy of dream, I determined that the world owes a respect to my dreams, but that I owe the world strength to explain the dream. So, if I disprove of tradition and custom, I have to have the strength of explaining why men and women should discard it. What I fail to know, is what scale I shall use to measure the efficiency of my explanation. I still do not know whether to get disappointed when my explanations are not adopted in the ways of men and women. I still do not know what to do, when I dream, and pursue the dream, and the traditions that are repressive, according to my values, defeat that dream.

I do not know if, I have to use the ways that men and women understand. My fear is some of these ways betray the very dreams I hold, if I pursue them, I will be conforming. And you say, conforming is being; never living.

In my confusion though, I want you to know this, I believe in your lessons and I will dare live. I will find strength and dream. I have found strength and dreamt. I will pursue those dreams. I will seek to be strong and respect both the right that the world owes me, but also discharge my obligation to explain those dreams.

When I fail, I will try again, for I do not know whether to be disappointed and to quit. I remain to seek this answer, whether quitting a dream s necessarily a betrayal, where I have to endlessly persist?

I have bared myself before you. And I feel relieved, just again, men and women will construe my honesty with their nonchalance, perhaps they will be carried into the confusion of my thoughts; perhaps see my confusion as naivety. Yet still, I have bared myself before you. And I feel relieved.

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