Let’s SHIFT…..

Posted on January 19th, 2018
Categories: News

 By Tazim Elkington

As I sit here pondering what to write, my mind brings up the question again and again on ‘What comprises being Kenyan?’This question has been swimming in pools of many waters. The need for clarity and direction is imperative as we embark on this journey towards a more uplifted Kenya for Kenyans. Let’s carry on the discussion in defining a common platform where we operate from as Kenyans. There are constant, consistent ongoing debates on how individuals ought to do this, that and the other. How and what the politicians, religious leaders, the donor world, civil society, private entrepreneurs, legal firms, grassroots organisations and umpteen groups, need to do it differently.

We need to end the old siege of bombarding ourselves with an unending stream of reasons/excuses as to why it must be done one way and not another. The finger pointing blame game has passed its ‘sell by date’ and it’s now time to look for effective and efficient ways to ‘become, feel and be’ truly KENYAN!

A topic that invariably comes up at every 2nd conversation is what are the limitations that face us and why are we stuck in 19th century mode on various aspects. What do we need to do to propel us into the 21st century and get with the program? Before I get into what I see and feel, let me make my stance clear. There are many topics, aspects and discussions I get involved in that are taboo in many circles. Until we understand and realise that without conversations, communication and discussion – nothing changes, we will not change that which limits us. There are 2 sides to every coin and in following belief systems, some are expansive and some extremely limiting. We have innumerable traditional, cultural, religious, status, class, social, tribal, gender equality, community and family belief systems. This can cause much confusion if we stick to a belief that was necessary 100 years ago and out of date today as an example.

Because something has been done for 2 or 3 generations does not make it automatically right. What may have worked and the reasons why are based on a different way of life many moons ago. It is not only important but necessary that we question where a lot of our beliefs come from. Many are based on oppression due to the colonised mind that created us, people of colour, as the secondary or insignificant human ready to salute to superiority. Many beliefs are based on people living in small, tight communities as the population was sparse. People had to create these close-knit circles for survival and keeping the wealth amongst a people. Countless beliefs also came when orthodox religion was brought to us from different parts of the world. These religions took away our inherent belief in nature, in the rain, mountain, river, sun, moon gods and made us bow down to a MAN who runs a ‘house of God’. The umpteen mistranslations of the verse based on personal bias cannot be qualified or quantified. Some of our beliefs come from those in authority that want to keep us locked into belief systems that provide them with the power of control over our lives.

Two very destructive patterns that I have observed since my return home last year are: The Poverty mindset and the Culture of Silence.

In conclusion, here is what I know. Until we start changing some of these so-called disruptive bad habits and patterns, until we take responsibility individually and collectively, become accountable, face consequences regardless of good-bad or ugly, replace those who have no values with those who do, we will keep chasing the same ghosts of the old constitution. To implement the new constitution we need to ward of some very old un-serving limitations that are not current. Time waits for no woman or man! Let us start by taking out the spokes in our personal wheels, start redefining and re-evaluating where we operate from individually and look at how best to create a NEW KENYA from ME to WE!!!