Before his election to the presidency at age 51, Abraham Lincoln had eight times lost lower office elections. He was miraculously elected to the Illinois State Legislature at age 25 but was out of a job within a year. In fact his only other notable political success came at the age of 37 when he won a congressional seat by a razor thin margin. That was characteristically followed by a resounding defeat at his reelection two years later. You see, this man was not only a bona fide political failure but also a businessman of magnificent losses. To fortify his miserable credentials, the chap became a card carrying permanent resident of a mental hospital at the age of 27; this after suffering a nervous breakdown following the untimely demise of his sweetheart.
So what does Lincoln do with his shabby life? Well, after special prayers, the man wins the presidency and introduces measures that result in the abolition of slavery. He then successfully leads his country through the American civil war only to be shot dead at the end of it. Damn! Talk about courage, persistence and perseverance….and a potent dose of bad luck.
Well, that looser is apparently not done. Coincidentally, at the 200th anniversary celebration of his birthday, an African American of Kenyan decent will be inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States.
One thing we could do here today is compare Abraham Lincoln to the fat leeches taking a series of short naps inside Parliament Buildings….but that will quickly degenerate into a heaven versus hell argument. You see, the last parliament can only be remembered in terms of a fruit basket; bananas and oranges. There’s nothing to suggest that the current one will achieve anything outside of keeping its members from The Hague. In fact, its sole preoccupation is self-preservation at the expense of the tax payer. As we speak, Moses Wetangula, our comedic foreign affairs minister, is excitedly planning a multi-million shillings ministerial excursion to Washington DC. All this money is being spent so that a bunch of sweaty MPs can stand under a tree to view Obama’s inauguration proceedings from about one or two kilometers away. This is not a simple case of misplaced priorities or misguided outbursts. It is in fact, an affront to wanainchi.
The problem is that we have allowed our leaders to disenfranchise us to the point where we see Kenyan pride in terms of Tusker beer, success in long distance athletics and tribal dominance. Our uncanny ability to survive adversity is seen as a badge of honor….when in real sense, honor is totally avoiding adversity. There exists no powerful affinity to ensure the country’s destiny or identity because it truly does not exist. In other words, we have lost all hope.
How else do you explain our lethargy in confronting the excesses of politicians in power?
This is where we can learn from Lincoln. We should never give up hope. So far, doing so has resulted in a docile Kenyan citizenry accepting of all manner of abuses. If we accept to remain roadside spectators watching hummers and helicopters crisscross the air space, we shall all perish. Let us get involved from all levels. Courage fellas, courage.
The only thing we must not do is wait 200 years.