A short while back, we received an interesting email from one of our fans. The email was in response to our question, ‘where did the rain of tribalism start beating us?’. In her analysis, the root cause of tribalism was the case of our daily tribal stereotypes.
She pointed out that tribalism is passed onto our children by statements such as ‘hao ni wale hawatahiri’ or ‘hao ni wale wanakula watu’ or even ‘hawa ni wale wenye wasichana wao wanatahirishwa’! While in most cases these statements bear no proof, they end up defining a child’s reality!
So, this child grows up to be your age or even my age (being called Babu with a couple of decades under his sleeves)! The ‘reality’ this person had been brought up with is that ‘you should not marry from tribe X, they practice witchcraft’ or ‘you should never do business with tribe Y, they are thieves’!! Now, the seeds of tribalism that were planted in the childhood play-field start to blossom manifesting in the worst for of tribal hate! Now, the lady wont marry from this tribe because she was told that she will be inherited, the man, on the other hand, avoids ladies from the other tribe because she was told that they will ‘run away’ with his children!
So, are these stereotypes the root cause of tribalism in Kenya?
Indeed, tribal stereotypes are the glue that cement tribalism in a future leader’s psyche. Tribal stereotypes drive the future husband or wife to inculcate hate into the newly citizen of Kenya, thus making tribalism a vicious cycle! These stereotypes are like petrol for the engine of the gospel of tribalism and national disunity! But, that which has a root cause can be uprooted!
So, the root cause of tribalism is stereotypes and they are mainly passed down from parent to child! Therefore, to end tribalism in Kenya, we need to start passing national unity ideals to our children. Kenyans have had a fables culture, therefore that’s a perfect start in uprooting tribalism by its root!
Many have asked us, “how do you expect a ‘tribal’ generation to bring up a non-tribal and unified children?” While that may seem far-fetched, we beg to differ! Every parent would like to leave a great legacy! And, an upright child is the successful monument of the father. A social misfit is the shame of the parent. If your child is a tribal chauvinist, it is your fault as a parent! The tribalism manifested by your child is a direct failure of your parenting obligation!
Our belief, therefore, is that parents and teachers should take a leading role in clamping tribalism. They should mold our children without using tribal stereotypes so as to assure Kenya of a united future. After witnessing the bloodletting that shocked the world in 2007/2008, you should mold your child ensuring that they don’t start the next apocalypse! And, always remember that the tribal child in a legacy of your monumental failure.