First off I would like to say a huge congratulations to our athletes for bringing home the glory in such a big way. We are known to do things huge, what with shutting down a whole town for POTUS, but the victories in Beijing for us are even bigger. The athletes not only won medals (and tons of money of course) but also reminded the world of who we are as a nation. Resilient. Hardworking. Talented. Patriotic. The list could go on and on.
While many Kenyans do not have the slightest idea of the training and effort the athletes put in to get such results, we all rally behind them with an outpouring of Social Media posts about how proud we are of “our”athletes. An equal number of Kenyans do not actually know who the athletes competing for Kenya are, until the surly voiced commentator mentions them while they are on the starting line at the track.
But we all love them. We own them. We celebrate their victory as a nation. Our Deputy president runs on the airport tarmac in a show of jubilation as a welcome home reception. Never mind that a couple of months back there were wrangles within the athletics governing body and we never saw anybody “run” to their rescue.
We have become a nation of pure hypocrites. And I mean that with all due respect to Kenyans and our great achievements. Where is this spirit of patriotism when it comes to matters political or governance or communal? What really happens to us when the word ballot is mentioned? Just the week before our victories in Beijing, a leading politician was dubbed the “Lord of Poverty”by a renowned political analyst. What followed on Social media platforms (the same we use to congratulate our athletes) was a tirade of insult and sarcasm, tribal banter and attacks from one community directed towards the other. At that moment, one could honestly say Kenya is indeed a “HotBed” of Terror! Kenyans terrorizing fellow Kenyans!!
A week later, we all stand proud at the behest of our national anthem and bask in the glory of our victory in Beijing. Never mind that the winning athletes are all predominantly form one community. But it doesn’t matter!
I long for a day when we as a nation, will learn to put aside tribal differences and adopt a nationalistic attitude towards all aspects of society. We excel at banding together in the face of tragedy and achievement. That alone gives me hope that deep down we are all still patriotic. I have been privileged to travel different parts of the country and mingle with many communities. One thing that is consistent across the land is unwavering hospitality among Kenyans. This should be always be felt, ballot box or not, governing community or those in opposition.
Let us work towards making Kenya a “HotBedOfChampions” 24-7, not just during the IAAF tournament.
By Kelvo.See all news
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