I THINK you have to hand it to Kenyans! They don’t beat us other East Africans only in economic strength and racing up the mountains of Iten but also in many other areas. In tweeting and humour, they are beyond our reach. When you thought they’d have been biting their nails waiting for elusive election results, their tweeps were busy amusing themselves...
Remember, oldies like yours truly, ‘tweep’ doesn’t mean some species of antelope in Maasai Mara, Kenya, no. If I remember my flitting lesson, it means a human being sending a tweet to others via internet. Of course, twitter, tweets, tweeps, tweebos, whatever, they make me feel dizzy, like I’m a small thing, high up in a tree, flapping my wings, little beaks tweet-tweeting away!
I’m glad I’ve failed to indulge the habit, being an oldie. But again, remember, we are no longer called oldies, evergreens, good old homily-givers, no. Now we are BBC. Born before Christ, if too far gone. Before candles if, like me, in your youth you used ‘agatadoba’ (tiny tin lamp). Before computers if you are hot on my heels. In fact, it’s being whispered History is ahead of us!
But we were talking about young Kenyan rib-crackers. Even before election time, those tweeps were at it, I’m told. Remember there were two presidential debates and, during the second one, Uhuru Kenyatta was hedging, on the land topic? I’m told this was because his family owns land as big as our Rwanda here, if not bigger!
And so to the tweeps, “Uhuru was allowed to beat about the bush because he owns the bush.” It’s not only that, they think “he owns the land in Land Rover and Land Cruiser. And “when you land in trouble, you are on his property”!
Even after waiting for up to nine hours to cast their vote, where in Rwanda we wait minutes, Kenyans did not lose their humour. When it came to automated result-counting, rejected votes were so many they started wondering how the candidate “Rejected” was doing better than many candidates, yet “he” had not debated.
After the counting technology had failed, the counting was so slow Kenyans realised they were fast only at running, not counting. The old, ugly adage, “no hurry in Africa”, they’d taken to a new extreme. While in Uganda election results come before Election Day, said they, they’d get theirs after the swearing-in. Or after the new pope’d been announced!
But some of their twitter jokes held some gems of truth that we in Rwandan can identify with intimately, considering the way foreign reporters have turned us into their punching bag. Like this one: “Breaking news: foreign reporters clash in Kenya amid growing scarcity of bad news”. Or like this: Foreign journalists be like, “This country is boring. I’m going to Chad.” Or “Before you go lecturing Africans on democracy, think about the last time you waited in line for nine hours to vote.”
Talking about which patience, doesn’t it explain how, in some African countries, voters can turn out 100%, and sometimes decide to pile all their votes on one candidate?
But foreign hounds are only interested in African blood and faults. It’s when you remember how every foreign media outlet or politician talked about Kenya and nothing else before the election, always remembering to mention 2007/8, and how they seemed to suddenly keep mum immediately after, that you understand exactly what Kenyan tweeps meant.
In this election, Kenyans have done us East Africans proud and, by extension, all Africans and friends of Africa. We should all congratulate them especially for snubbing the bullies in the international community who think they have the right to always lord it over us.
And, while on the topic, maybe those bullies should heed Kenyans’ warning. If Kenyatta were to go to the Hague, that country hosting the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Netherlands, would be courting trouble – as they warned, the land in its name will vanish and it becomes the Nether—s!
Remember when we used to call the country Holland? I’m told that’s actually one region of the country. In Netherlands the name, Holland is represented by ‘land’. That then means that Kenyatta will appropriate the region of Holland to himself and Ocampo will curse the day in 2008 when he parachuted into a land he knew nothing about. And if Ocampo didn’t understand the country, how could he identify the person responsible for starting the troubles? In fact, he seemed to lack the basics of logic. When you have two principal antagonists and there is trouble over what they are contesting, where do you start to look for the offshoot of that trouble? As they say in Kenya, “Acha tu!”
As a neutral observer, I was loath to see an election blighted by tribal sentiments. But Kenyans have spoken and their word must be respected. It’s Kenyatta and Odinga should accept to eat humble pie...errr, sukumawiki. Our Twagiramungu ate humble beans and is laughing all the way to BBC – the radio! That’s how now he’s spreading mirthful sunshine all round!