Yesterday, we went out to vote. It was one of the most anticipated events of 2013. It was the time to engage the take-off lever of the Kenyan aircraft. As early as 5am, polling stations were filling up. Long queues were experienced across the country. Many Kenyans stood in the sun for as many as 6 hours, making that important decision – that of – who is going to lead us for the coming 5 years.
The Kenyan mothers have collectively delivered a baby – one that we have to live with. Parents who bear superbly healthy and beautiful children, and others who bear sickly and needy babies have one thing in common; they have to live with the outcome of the birth process. And so, the baby is here, bringing with it a new reality.
“Let the Kenyan people decide”, a cliché that was repeatedly used to accentuate the call to “democracy”, has come to pass. The “Kenyan people, have, finally decided”. The labor of expectations has irrevocably turned into tangible experience. So, democracy is here with us, reality is dawning, and questions are rolling – what is the possible outcome of the “Kenyan decision?”.
Even before we eat the outcome, it’s worth exploring what we are soon going to be experiencing. We are going to be feeling “damn stupid”. In the same way you drive through a dusty terrain, a layer of “feeling stupid” is going to be settling on our faces, and many of us will be asking “what the **** was that about?
We escalated the country to heights of unprecedented political expectation, a process that on several occasion turned hysterically emotional. It was everywhere, from TV to the walls on the streets to the urinals in dingy bars. The country was on a pill. The country was on ecstasy. The country got on a high. We danced all night and had mad sex. Soon, the euphoria will be gone, and the emotional deprivation will set in.
That stupid feeling is coming, as soon as fanatics realize that there is no reward for them. Just like watching football, Christiano Ronaldo has scored and fans will walk home in the cold of the night, lying to themselves that “they” scored against the other team. Christiano Ronaldo will get his 12 million Euro salary, and strike deals with with Nike, Castrol and Konami. In the forthcoming match, the fans will return to the same drinking den to beg for a beer from their (richer) friends.
There were promises that were turned into pictures of dreams we are going to achieve in not so many years. As we negotiate the difference between the promise on video, and what will be happening on the ground, we are going to be feeling “quite stupid”. In not so many days, many of us will be realizing that after all, it was as good as drinking beer, we got drunk, felt good, screwed everyone over while at it, then blacked out – then now, its all gone, we are left nursing a deafening hangover, and a few broken ribs.
A larger stupid moment is going to be settling in, when promises start to be broken. When the center cannot hold and shit start to disintegrate – like sewage burst. When expectations start to wither, as people realize that it’s the lack of independent informed opinion and tribalism that brought us here.
It probably is already a stupid feeling that the poll results are a bit unexpected from a large section of middle class Kenyans.