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The Gift of a Tribe in Kenya

The Gift of a Tribe in Kenya

Did you know that Kenya is one of most tribalist countries in the world.  That means we value our tribe more than everything else that we are. Does that surprise you considering we are one of the most modern and civilised countries in sub-sahara Africa.  I think we need to be educated on the tribe.


I am not going to go into the intellectual part of what is a tribe by telling you the origins of tribe etc. No, because I do not think that is what is needed in Kenya.

Let is suffice it to say that a tribe is a community, a group of people that you belong to that share the same language, values and cultures.

Now did you choose to be male or female?  Did you choose your family? Absolutely not. Just as you did not choose which gender or family to belong to is the same way you did not choose which tribe or community you were born into.  That therefore means the tribe you belong to is not your own choice, it is a choice made by someone whom you do not know.  Infact it can be said, other than the creator, the other people who probable determined the tribe you were born into are your parents but not you.

What does that mean? It then means that your tribe is a gift from God or your parents.  How do you treat your gifts?  It is the same way you should treat your tribe. If it were possible  I would stop this article right here because that is all what every Kenyan needs to know and understand.  Your tribe is a gift and not a weapon to go using to harm, insult or maim others?

How Politicians use Tribe for their benefit

It is no secret that Kenyan politicians use the politics of tribe to divide the electorate.  Just in 2008, after elections we had what is referred to as post election violence. It was a very scary moment for all of us. It reached a point and I could see Rwanda happening all over again only in Kenya and my one prayer in time of war is to be with my family.  At that time I wondered do I go get my child from boarding school or what?

The cause of the violence at the beginning of 2008 was the presidential results were unacceptable to some politicians and so they decided to garner their supporters and convinced them using tribal terms to wage war against their fellow Kenyans.

Whilst that is all under the bridge and I pray it may never happen again.  Why do we allow our politicians to think for us, to make decisions for us? Why can’t e know the truth for ourselves and be set free by this truth.

As long as we continue to think along tribal lines we continue to enslave ourselves and descendants, to limit ourselves, to be easy targets for politicians to trick you to kill which is forbidden in the Holy book.  Do we forget that whatever we do will eventually get back to us and not the person who persuaded you to act in a particular way. Why? Because ultimately whatever you do is your choice.  You do not have to do whatever anyone tells you.

This is why we should get educated not only academically but even empower our minds and spirits so that we are an enlightened lot.  It is not in any politicians best interests for the citizens to be enlightened, they would want us to continue thinking we area a tribe whilst actually you are a human being with the same abilities like everybody else and you can compete with anyone in the world more now than ever before due to the technology advancement in Kenya.  You do not have to wait for connections to get you a job, you can also get yourself a job on the internet.

Make it your goal of the year to empower yourself and see yourself as who you really are not what the politician tells you you are.  They did not create you so how can they tell you who you are.  Define yourself.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I was watching Manu Chandaria, the 83 entrepreneur and philanthropist, on television and he said his greatest achievement is to be certified as a Kenyan citizen. Aren’t you proud to be Kenyan? Then he went on to say that the way every Kenyan should think is I am Kenyan first, second and third and everything else comes fourth ,fifth etc Please can you do that?  Can you teach your children that they are Kenyan First.   To view every other Kenyan as Kenyan and not ask their names in the hope of knowing which community they belong to.

It does not edify our society to think on tribal lines. Kenya is too advanced to think in terms of tribe and those of us who choose to stick to the old way of thinking in tribes, will just  find ourselves being left behind and we continue blaming everything else outside ourselves for our failures except ourselves.Is there room for a Tribe Culture in the Global World?

We are all created by God from which ever race one belongs to. He put us in this world which he created so that we can continue the work of creation and glorify him in that way so there is nobody who has a larger right to be here than any one else.

It is the same divine power that decided on his own wisdom that you be born in the country and community that you find yourself in but then because the same God gave us intelligence, humans have seen it fit to interact with each other on a global scale such that we are now global citizens. We can interact with someone in china instantly at the touch of a button. Where does this leave our native culture?

I know there are some Kenyans that do not feel the need to teach their children their mother tongue.  Whether this is right or wrong is for the individual parent to decide just as I decided in my own household that my child must know my mother tongue.  The reason I made this decision is because I have travelled abroad and the first question you are asked when you are out there is where are you from?  You proudly say Kenya and then depending on how interested the questioner is, they will ask you additional questions like do you have local languages etc. Say a word in your language and when you cannot speak one word their respect for you goes down the drain.

Why? Because we are all united in our diversity, you should be proud of the gift of your tribe and where you come from. Your tribe, the country you come from all determine who you are and it is important.  It is what sets you apart from the rest of the world. And who you are determines the contribution you make in the global market. So be proud of your culture but do not forget it is a gift and use it only for good and not harm.

All human beings (even in the developed countries) have cultures that they belong to, so do not be ashamed to pass on your culture to your children.  Love your culture but do not abuse it.

Empower yourself to think beyond your seeing yourself in terms of tribe and see your fellow Kenyan as a human being first and foremost and secondly as a Kenyan and your tribe can come in later on only if it edifies your relationship.

Life transformation does not happen instantly but take the first step of investing in your personal growth so that you start seeing things especially your tribe for what it really is.

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