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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Recollection: Unnecessary Semantics?

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The year 2006 was an year that saw the conspicuous emergence of hate words being bandied about between Kenyans and Tanzanians especially online. Blogs were the ever ready wind that fanned the flame into a roaring fire.

Both these peoples haughtily flaunted their strong points. They also levelled scathing criticism against each other. Strings of expletives were added to the whole mix, to add colour!

Kenyans paraded their ‘mastery’ of the Queen’s language as their first strong point against their Tanzanian counterparts.
“Tanzanians don’t know English!” was the snap retort of many a Kenyan.

Tanzanians responded by explaining how Kenyans didn’t have any idea what was meant by ‘good’ Kiswahili.
“Nyie wala Kiswahili hamkijui. Mnajifanya na Kiingereza chenu hicho. Lugha ya kikoloni, haifai chochote!” was the snap rejoinder from many a Tanzanian

Kenyans relished every detail of how Tanzanians were deemed lazy. This was not taken kindly. Tempers flared; ‘war cries’ were uttered; disdain and condescension took centre stage in the whole shebang.

But that’s besides my point today.

There’s a time, in the same year, when the President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete was caught in the crossfire. This was after his reported discussion of the ‘political instability’ of Kenya with President George Bush.

Tempers flared within and without the Kenyan borders. To many, this seemed to be the height of contempt. The government of Kenya was not left out in the rhetoric that ensued.

I remember that around the same time Jakaya Kikwete was quizzed by a Tanzanian journalist about the Bush – Kikwete discussion that had opened the floodgates of mistrust. He brushed it aside by saying: “Tusifike huko, Tuyaache hayo mambo yalivyo.”

Many questions were asked by all and sundry. I also asked a question that received an answer from New York trying to explain what had happened.

Kumekucha asked his own questions in the form of an amusing tongue-in-cheek post .

What I found ironic about the whole thing, recently, was when Jakaya Kikwete was called upon to help in the mediation process after Kenya had suffered a nasty political and socio-economic blow.

He was very instrumental in the signing of the peace accord that would see the end to the then prevailing “political instability”. Did the “political instability” discussion that he had had with George Bush two years ago come to his mind?

Have a smashing day, dear brethren

7 comments:

Kheng.Fu said...

Meanwhile the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission officials have arrested a former Personal Assistant to Minister for local government Uhuru Kenyatta on corruption allegations.

Justus Kariuki Mate denied committing the offense at the Ministry of local government offices in Nairobi.

He is accused of demanding the bribe from Halima Hassan to facilitate her nomination to the Nairobi City Council.

He was released on a cash bail of 500 thousand shillings until June 19th when the case will be heard.

The KACC investigation team allegedly caught him receiving a sum of 200,000 shillings and immediately arrested him.

Meanwhile Minister for local government Uhuru Kenyatta is calling for full investigation into the matter.

Anonymous said...

KUMEKUCHA!!
yes I agree on your moderating this blog!!but don't you think it is unfounded for you to not let kenyans even see other peoples views when they are posted immidiately?? than stale news??
this seem we only get to read other peoples posted views when you decide and have time on your hands to post them!!

what I FOR SEE WITH THE TREATMENT YOU ARE GIVING PEOPLE ON HERE AT THIS TIME OF SADNESS AND UNCERTAINTY IN KENYA- FRUSTRATIONS!! WILL BACKFIRE ON YOU WHEN PEACE COMES BACK TO KENYA-
PEOPLE WILL NOT COME BACK TO YOUR BLOG BECAUSE OF THE FRUSTRATIONS YOU HAVE CAUSED THEM!!
1 MILLION BLOGGERS WILL DWINDLE AWAY MARK MY WORDS

AT TIMES LIKE THIS HAVE THE HUMILITY TO TREAT KENYANS WITH SOFT CLOVES!!
YOU ARE TURNING INTO ANOTHER KIBAKI WHO WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR CAUSING GENOCIDE IN KENYA THROUGH HIS ACTIONS!! YOU ON THE OTHER HAND YOU ARE CAUSING YOUR BLOGGERS FRUSTRATION ON WHEN TO RECEIVE NEWS FROM OTHER BLOGGERS AND HOW TO RESPONSE!!
BETWEEN YOU AND THE DAILY NATION?? WHO IS BETTER?? YOU DID CRITIC THEM? I WONDER WHY??

Anonymous said...

The bashing was all in the name of patriotism. After all dont we all learn a thing or two from each other?

Anonymous said...

Kiswahili is also the language of a former colonial power, the Arabs. The language has elements of Bantu tounges. What if you are not a Bantu nor an Arab?

English is a world language which Kenyans should perfectly command to face globalism.

Anonymous said...

Mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka now we can see the true clors of the son of Jomo ,what percent was for the honorable minister's lunch(runch)????

Anonymous said...

Chris, please toa hii moderation or at least try to moderate at a faster pace. We need the free flow or information.

Abass said...

anon 12:42, when were Arabs colonial power? The Arabs came to trade with the local people, were friendly with them, intermingled and even married them which resulted in the inevitable mixture of cultures, language etc. And so, you blame them for that? Or even worse try to compare them with Britain?

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