Within the last two months or so I have heard of some mysterious concept that I am finding great difficulty in swallowing.
Apparently, there is something called “positive tribalism“. Every time I hear this I struggle to know which way to react. Generally it is one or a combination of the following:
I have tried very hard to bend my mind around this concept and failed.
Every time I hear that phrase it occurs to me that it might just one of the most most ridiculous things I have ever heard, chiefly because if there WAS such a thing, then by logical extension there would certainly exist mind boggling things like positive bigotry and positive racism.
This strikes me as the very clever shadow puppeting that allows people to sneak in elitist bigotry masquerading as pride in one’s culture into making
unfortunate ridiculous crass mind numbingly stupid comments like “it is time for one of our own to be in State House”.
By and large, people who purport to be “agitating for the rights of their people” or “fighting for their community” or “fostering political unity of their community” by and large tend to be talking through their nether regions.
And what is this pride in culture anyway? (Nebulous canned responses about pride in one’s roots can be left at the door). What exactly is it to be proud of one’s culture?
Which further beggars the question, if this “pride in culture” is what is being abused left right and center, and used as the cloak over our elitism, so much so that it is becoming increasingly apparent that the more we identify ourselves as Kikuyu, Luo, Meru, Giriama, Luhya, Kisii, Kamba etc, the less and less we identify ourselves as Kenyans, what use is it?
Until human beings develop the emotional and intellectual capacity enough to really celebrate our differences, and not just talk the cliche, we need to give serious thought to leaving our Kikuyu-ness and our Luo-ness, our Kenyan-ness and our Tanzanian-ness, our Israeli-ness and our Palestinian-ness, our African-ness and our Asian-ness, our Blackness and our Whiteness, our Christianity and our Islam at the door and walk in what we all are — humans.
So tell me all about this “positive tribalism“. Because as of now — I don’t believe a damn word.