My spiritual advisor was giving me some advice the other day. Excerpts…
“Chris, this being an election year there will be plenty happening and I notice that you take some of these things very personally. Too personally. Kwani who are you? Anyway it is not good for your health. And what you feel will not change anything. You should take yourself less seriously? Why don’t you post jokes in that Kumekucha blog of yours?”
Jokes in Kumekucha? But that is ridiculous.
But 3 weeks later I have chewed on what that wise Tanzanian said. It is true I take myself too seriously. And so you will also find a political joke at the end of this post. Enjoy and quit taking yourself so seriously, life is too short for that.
* * *
I have spent the last 3 months or so down on the ground with ordinary Kenyans trying to discover the most popular presidential candidate. It was an interesting experience because after a while I started getting the feeling that I was trying to stuff presidential candidates down the throats of Kenyans.
Martha who? Eti Raila? Ukitaja jina ya huyo mtu tena itabidii utoke hapa (if you mention that man’s name again you will need to leave).
And so I threw away my elaborate forms, notes and papers and started listening to the people. Really listening. What emerged may be a joke to most folks, but it is an accurate representation of what the majority of ordinary folk feel right now.
My poll results show that former President Moi is the most popular presidential candidate in the ghettos of Kenya today. The feeling amongst the people is that during his tenure they had a lot more cash in their pockets. The people are desperate to return to those days.
Huyu mtu Moi hawezi kurudi? Constitution mpya inasema nini? (This man Moi cannot come back? What does the new constitution say?)
Tying at second place in the Kumekucha poll is Professor George Saitoti and Rev Mutava Musyimi. Ordinary folks believe that if Moi cannot be brought back then the next best person who knew what Moi did that made it possible for them to have cash in their pockets is GeorgeSaitoti who was his VP for many years. It was not immediately clear to me why Musyimi ranked so highly in my poll but my guess is that it still has to do with getting the money to return.
I emerged from my tour of Kenya very confused but very clear on one thing. This presidential election is going to be about money in the people’s pocket, presidential hopefuls take note.
The really bad news is that evil Moi is going to carry a lot of clout in Rift valley politics this time round. No governor is going to get elected without his blessing. I find that really really sad.
* * *
Joke ya kusindikiza post….
While walking down Haille Selassie Avenue one day a pot bellied Kenyan MP is tragically hit by a speeding matatu and dies on the spot.
His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. “Welcome to heaven,” says St. Peter. “Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see waheshimiwa around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.”
“No problem, just let me in I am a lawmaker from the republic of Kenya,” says the MP who was at the forefront of voting several times for indiscriminate salary increments for MPs.
“Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.”
“Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,” says the MP.
“I’m sorry, but we have our rules.” And with that, St.Peter escorts him to the lifts and he finds himself going down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They even sing Kanu yajenga nchi for good measure. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on nyama choma, mukimo and Tusker. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly and nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. Everybody is shocked after all they have heard about Satan before.
They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the lift goes back up...The lift goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. “Now it's time to visit heaven.”
So, 24 hours pass with the corrupt MP joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
“Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.”
The MP reflects for a minute, then he answers: “Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.” So St. Peter escorts him to the lift and he goes down, down, down to hell.
Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.
"I don't understand," stammers the MP. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate juicy nyama choma, drank cold Tuskers, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"
The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning....Today you voted. Si you know politics?"