So, what if she stocks condoms at her place or carries them in her hand bag?

‘WOMEN SHOULD NOT CARRY CONDOMS WITH THEM’
-99% of men wish so.

Nothing expresses the intention to sin than the sight of condoms. Every bachelor’s house never lacks some three of four packets stacked somewhere in some unused jacket, some carton underneath the bed or somewhere very close to bed. It is not just a sign of precaution but a display of optimism that you will ever get laid, even when enduring a looooong dry spell like Arsenal’s trophy cabinet.

Even for someone like me who is saved and given to abstinence and faithfulness, there is a permanent and steady supply of condoms in my house. I can’t explain their origin, given that I have never bought a packet of condoms in my life. I am saved. And yeah, I don’t sleep around. But my circle of friends are at their sexual prime and my house has served as a lodging every once in a while. So they have done enough to stocking up of the prophylactic sheaths. Even my friends who hardly get laid and not in stable relationships, stock up condoms. But very few men are OK with a woman stocking up condoms in her house or her bag.

If you went to a woman’s house and after making out she professes that she is game for a lay and you panic that you don’t have condoms and she told you,
‘Hold on sweets,’ and she reaches for some basket and leashes out Rough-Riders and goes like, ‘here we go,’ most men will probably freak out. Many will respond to the heat of the moment but will be hell-scared and probably curse inwards how rotten the world has become. 93% of men will never ever show up again in that house.

I conducted an informal survey among my friends and took the same survey to Facebook and the results were unequivocally clear. My questions were simple:
a) If a woman invited you to her house and in the end provided condoms for a lay, would you still lay her?
b) What will be your immediate reaction?
c) Would you date her afterwards?
I asked at least 8 male friends and all were adamantly insistent that they will not date a woman who stocks up condoms. 4 said that they will not even sleep with her on that specific date. 3 said they would definitely screw her but will not dial her number ever afterwards. The other one, who is perverted and has morals of a dog and weasel combined, said he never will mind but dating her for long term is out of question.

I took my survey to Facebook and randomly queried about 15 of my sexually active mates. The answers were the same save for two who held the liberal view that those women are playing it safe and realistic. The two also said that they would date the women, even so. But I must say that the two also are not the best of sample that you can use to represent facts.

All of them were virulently opposed to the idea and vowed to step out of the door quicker than they came in. In fact one equated it to stumbling upon ARVs in her closet. The irony! Most men were typically disgusted by the notion of a woman who stocks up condoms. In fact, men will be less forgiving if it were pills.

Going by the recent pulling out of the NASCOP condom sponsored ad from our tubes, maybe we should examine this, some more. Here is an irrelevant personal experience…

I once visited an acquaintance in her apartment. She is one of those friends whom you can’t define the nature of your relationship, except that you ever once kissed and it wasn’t a very good idea.

Naturally, she had friendzoned me but to save my face and with future prospects, I secured my pride by distancing myself from her. I knew a few months or years down the line I will be lucky. By my estimation, Janet (if we can call her so) is one of those above average chicks, with a body worth tapping. She is talkative; well-informed but just can’t find a man to keep. From the way she talks she seems like she was ever hurt once and she is quite cynical about relationships and their product called love. This means she doesn’t get laid as much as she would wish. So many of them around.

So one lazy after noon, she initiated a Facebook chat that resulted in me being invited to her apartment, on a Saturday evening. The agenda for the evening had not been set, so it was a blank cheque. I am normally poor at reading signs. It always strikes me back one day later about some behaviour that called for duty, like her lying on the bed talking in a low tone while I am seated their telling her about beef farming in Argentina. Boy, I can be clueless.

So, tall as I am, bearded as I am, and intelligent if you wish, I thought I had been invited for an innocent dinner. The pessimist that I am, it never occurred to me that I should have bought some condoms. I showed up at her third floor door and knocked. She wore a smooth, sleeveless top that revealed both her arms and cleavage. Nice stuff. Her skirt was flirtatiously short. Actually provocatively brief. My slow brain interpreted this as her indoor wear. I can be spacey!

She gave me one of those clinging hugs, really rubbing her bust on my chest and a light erotic peck that I read as playful. To make this short story longer, she shook her bum as she sauntered to the kitchen. Little Joe Wood, gasped, cleared his throat and sneezed, if you know what I mean. She brought me a glass of water. She played the script of a loving but cheating wife who is receiving a husband after a six-month absence. Well-played Janet. And then she decided to take the lead, when she discovered a goat can read road signs better than I can read her advances.

When she brought the food, we sat in the couch together, she feeding me, plainly and doing all those things that romantics do. My role was to play along as a good visitor with a benevolent boss. Actually, I thought it was the friendship that was driving her. Actually, she had an agenda. Next she served wine. Well, I don’t do wine since I came from the village and given it is too sweet for a real man, but I just played along. Next was a kiss out of the blues that startled me. Joe Wood was up.

“I think Janet, you are working me up,” I said helplessly because the smaller brain was taking charge.

“That is the idea,” she said with that smile of, ‘tonight is the night we gonna make it happen’ and I knew I was in trouble.
“I don’t even have the rubbers,’ I quipped, trying to be manly and responsible, ‘and you know these things…”
“Hiyo tu ndio shida yako? She asked, almost sarcastic and daring me. She grabbed me from the chair and pushed me towards the bedroom. My head said NO. My heart said MAYBE. JOE WOOD pointed towards the bedroom door. Joe Wood always wins in moments like this.

There is that chaotic sense of awareness when a free lay comes around and you don’t have rubbers and your mind is exploding nudging to move on and throw caution to the wind. The sober self-reminds of your friends and folks who have died of HIV, unwanted pregnancies, abortions gone wrong, but the thighs will beckoning. I don’t about women, for men, it is impossible to think straight in the presence of a naked woman.

In the bedroom, her script was playing out well, but I was totally befuddled. No man wants to be made a stud without his consent and I was doubly worried. Next she handed me a brand of condoms that I was unfamiliar with. They looked expensive, though. All of a sudden my enthusiasm and excitement were gone. Something inside me just went off. Joe Wood recoiled and shrunk to the size of a comma in font size 8, Times New Roman.

I excused myself. Grabbed my jacket and told her, it can’t happen. I have never seen a woman so hurt. It was all in her eyes, the disappointment was palpable and insufferable, but more so her steadfast reputation in front of my eyes was gone.

You can call me sexually dysfunctional, stupid, and insensitive and other unsavoury adjectives, but a woman handing me condoms is something I am not yet ready for and will never be ready in a long time.

Like all men, the common wish is to come across a woman who has slept with as few men as possible. Even women know this fact, and that is why when you are on the subject of her exes, the golden rule is never to exceed five. Two of those are of course labeled jokers whom nothing ever happened between them. Three include the normally problematic first lover who just walks out her, the second is always out of the country and the third is the immediate ex.

No man is supposed to believe these load of crap laced with bullshit, but it is fair to say, no man is ever prepared to handle the truth.

Matter of fact is that, an average Nairobian woman who drinks, goes out and dates has probably seen more ceilings and woken up from many beds than the number of goals Messi scores in a season. Currently Messi has scored 42. You may refuse to share a glass of water with me in a restaurant but there is that inescapable fact that she gives head and swallows and that is the mouth that kisses you daily.

She probably has aborted once or twice, if not a mother already. Alternatively, P2s are part of her dietary needs. It is not these worse but the number of women who fit this description in Nairobi, can fit into Uhuru Park, Central Park, Nyayo Stadium, City Stadium, and I think Kasarani stadium.

Men are of course involved in this vicious cycle and they duly know that women have been laid in Nairobi; it takes two to tango. Men acknowledge that finding a virgin is as good as finding a policeman who is not corrupt. We know what women are capable of, and we have slowly sanctioned it. Yet, we can’t be comfortable with them stocking up condoms. Unless she is a prostitute or a professed mistress or hooker, it is wrong for a normal woman to have some for herself. The overriding assumption is that, she sleeps with as many men as she wants and she is a super freak that nobody can handle.

So if you are a lady, and you want to stock some, reconsider that. It can scare away a potential lifetime partner. Blame it on the sexual double standards.

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Chinua Achebe: Why I loved him so much

By Silas Nyanchwani
snyanchwani@gmail.com

On Friday, at around 10.33 am, I was crossing Wabera street to the office. The streets were not so crowded and Nairobi was quiet. A random thought just struck me. Is this one of those days when something  really nasty happens?Like say a bomb is dropped killing so many people and uniting us as Kenyans, the more .God forbid. You really can’t stop your brain from conceiving such silly ideas.

Something significant did happen, actually. As soon as I turned my laptop I did something we all do:Turn to social media for something funny or any update. Actually I wanted to follow up the Nigerian-Kenyan beef of the previous day. But the news from America on Nigeria was not so good.  Someone had just tweeted #RIP CHINUAACHEBE. It sounded likely.

And unlikely. At first I thought it was one of those internet deaths. So I checked on Wikipedia, no up date. But Twitter was streaming on with scanty details. An hour later, Wikipedia included the date of death, but no info about the cause of death. The family denounced this in a back and forth way prompting one tweep to write that ‘Chinua Achebe’s death news is behaving like Kalonzo'(indecisive). It was later confirmed and I have been saddened ever since.

NGUGI PHOTOYours truly towering over the Literary giant Ngugi wa Thiong’o at the University of Nairobi’s MPH,in 2010…

If ever, there was a writer who caught the imagination and the creative capabilities of Africans; it is be Chinua Achebe. Doubtless. And now he is gone. And I am poorer for that. He died on Friday morning, 22nd March in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts this past Friday.

If there was a person I really wanted to meet, just to be in their presence, it must be Chinua Achebe. I have already met Ngugi wa Thiong’o and a dozen other chaps that I look up to, but Achebe would have certainly instilled something in me. Growing up, I used to harbor thoughts that I will be the modern day Chinua Achebe; I am far away from that reality than Pluto is from earth. I mean I am only a year shy of the age when Achebe broke ground publishing Africa is eternally greatest novel; Things Fall Apart. My four classic novels are somewhere in the head and the media has often fumbled searching for the right adjective to describe my ability to write and tell a good story. The things our brain can conceive. *slaps self back to normalcy*

I first encountered Achebe when I was in class 7 when I stumbled upon a copy of No Longer at Ease and to date, I remember two things I read in that book. First, if you live by the river, you can’t bathe or wash your hands with spittle. And secondly, the funny interpretation of the acronym RSVP (Rice and Stew Very Plenty). I remember comforting myself that if I can understand Achebe at such a young and impressionable age, then I would be able to understand everything else he had written. And the search begun. I stumbled upon  Things Fall Apart in Form II, though I never read it until in campus, while studying Literature. I did however read Elechi Amadi’s masterpiece Concubine. One of the novels I have memorized to date.

Studying A Man of the People in high school was a revelation. It was the funniest book I have ever read. Its absolute portrayal of the typically bad politics of Africa was best exemplified when the area MP came to our school for a Prize Giving ceremony. The MP Stephen Manoti, who incidentally has been re-elected, cannot speak in straight English and is famous for direct translations. He is the quintessential African politician. A nice chap, but not the best for politics. He was a replica of Chief Nanga, complete with the village charm. Our Literature teacher Mr Omwoyo did well to make me fall in love with Literature and by extension books and the written word.

In campus, the University of Nairobi’s Literature Department is where some of the most revered literary names in Africa have walked through. Chinua Achebe visited in 1988 and would have visited frequently, had he not been consigned to a wheel chair over the last two decades. Taban lo Liyong, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Micere Mugo, Christopher Wanjala, David Rubadiri, John Ruganda, Austin Bukenya have memorable links to that department. Walking in that department, you can actually feel these fellows, some alive and others departed.

Meeting these people can be overwhelming or underwhelming. I met Micere Mugo in 2010 and I asked her how can we,  young writers break even? And she told me the best place to start is stop deifying the giants of the 1960s like Ngugi and Achebe. Sensible, but is it realistic? I mean, there is a sense of provocation when you read Ngugi’s passionate argument on language, or Achebe’s elucidations on fiction and the role of a novelist as a teacher. I mean these guys write with so much authority that you are instantly persuaded reading them. Their writing carries with it a certain weight and conviction which has informed the literary discourse since independence.

I have read Achebe, and I have read Soyinka extensively. Achebe takes the biscuit for me. Not so much for his simplicity, but for his commitment to telling the African story in a way that is accessible, memorable and entertaining. As he once said, he never wanted to glorify the past, as if Africans were saints. Neither did he want to praise the White man, too much, acknowledging too that they had their shortcomings. Basically, we are all human, only that Africans are cursed with terrible leadership problems that are responsible for our lagging behind. His non-fiction no-nonsense book The Trouble with Nigeria should be a compulsory read for everyone.

He wrote simply.He wrote powerfully. He wrote comprehensibly. He wrote to teach. His narrative power is irreplaceable. And we hope we will move up to take up his place.

Achebe was a true gift for us and for that our lives have been greatly enriched. He has lived long enough to share his magnificent brain with us. And for that we are terrifically happy.
***

An excerpt of the obituary I wrote on Friday after hearing the sudden news.,

Dubbed as the father and the godfather of African literature by renowned Ghanaian-British-America philosopher, few people can disagree with that declaration. He is the most widely read African novelist and his four famous novels; Things Fall Apart, No longer at Ease, Arrow of God and A man of the People were instructive in their teaching, entertaining in their narration and above all examined Africa in the pre-colonial era as well as the disillusionment and the chaotic politics of post-colonial Africa.

Achebe was a celebrated novelist, short story writer, poet and an essayist with a perspicacious mind that was able to observe, register and transform even the most mundane of activities into hilarious wisecracks and he supplied more proverbs and idioms in the Africa literary sphere than any other writer, maybe bettered by Elechi Amadi’s one hit wonder Concubine. His Things Fall Apart protagonist Okwonkwo is a household name in Africa and the best embodiment of masculinity in pre-colonial Africa.

In East Africa as well as Africa and the entire world, his books have been used from time to time in secondary schools as well as in Universities Literature Departments.

His edifying book The Trouble with Nigeria is a recommendable read for every African and anyone tired with the politics of this continent. And what he wrote nearly three decades ago about the rot in Nigeria’s public institutions is applicable even in this era, when you would expect more from the leadership that is schooled and enlightened. His seminal essays, the ‘Truth about Fiction’ and ‘The Novelist as a Teacher’, distinguished him greatly as one of the foremost literary voices and critics in Africa and in deed the world.

As the founding editor of Heinmann’s African Writers’ Series, he opened the door for many more writers including Ngugi wa Thiong’o whose Weep not Child was among the first titles to be featured in the series that is hitherto impossible to replicate. Ngugi, Amadi, Arma will all go to be one of the greatest African writers of the 20th century.

Over the last four decades, just like his contemporaries, he wrote less. He told Binyavanga Wainaina who has been Director of the Chinua Achebe Centre for African Literature and Languages at the Bard College in New York that the reason has to do with what he realized in 1975. Achebe claims that he woke up one day in 1975 and discovered most of his friends had disappeared. Either they had died or in exile. The he shifted more to essays as the room for creative expression had been stifled.

His consignment to the wheelchair over the last two decades after an accident served him no good and we have only heard less of him until his last memoir, There was a country; A personal history of Biafra last year, which rekindled the sore memories of the Biafran war that claimed his best friend; the highly elliptical and elusive poet, Christopher Okigbo. The Biafran war has also been revisited by Chimamanda Adichie, whom Achebe endorsed as one of the young people who are endowed with the gift of ancient story tellers.

His contribution to African literature was immense and he will remain one of the greatest and the best ever writers to have ever come out of Africa. That he has not won a Nobel Prize escapes many, though his criticism of Joseph Conrad and run-ins with powers that be in the western world’s academic circles and his stand on racism might have played a hand in that. He lauded Wole Soyinka when he won in 1986 but insisted that it was a White man’s prize and asked Soyinka to go back to Nigeria and they fight their(African) own battles.

He was a great voice. A prophet. A teacher. A story teller. A custodian of the rich African heritage and Africans have learned so much from him and he will remain a gift, and though he has gone, his works will definitely outlive him.

Long live Papa.
***
Some of the more popular quotes and novels from GrandPa
 Art is man’s constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him.
 One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.
 Stories serve the purpose of consolidating whatever gains people or their leaders have made or imagine they have made in their existing journey through the world.
 “If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own.”
 “We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya: “He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.”
 “Writers don’t give prescriptions. They give headaches!”
 “Every generation must recognize and embrace the task it is peculiarly designed by history and by providence to perform.”
 “Procrastination is a lazy man’s apology.”
 “There is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally oneself with power against the powerless.”

The Luo-Kikuyu-Kalenjin problem is something we must fix now

Let us just speak the truth here. You can choose to disagree, but the fact is: we are in a more dangerous precipice than we have ever been. Let us just admit it, we all got to the voting boot, the tribe in us came calling. So should we should not really hate ourselves, rather we should build a reality around this premise.

90% of Kikuyus don’t hold a favorable opinion of the Luo community. The many Kikuyus I have spoken to, think of the Luos as loud and arrogant without even the slightest grasp of what business is. In fact I just lost a prospective girlfriend/wife for being a Raila sympathizer.

90% of Luos don’t hold a positive attitude towards the Kikuyu community. The many Luo friends who have spoken to me have proclaimed the usual stereotypes of Kikuyus being thieves with a maniacal obsession with money. These stereotypes are a part of our everyday discourse. Some take it with a light touch. Some loathe it. But even in our local comedy, we exploit them to the bone.

The Luo-Kikuyu problem has been there and it is not going anywhere. We should be thankful that the two communities don’t share a border; otherwise the history of this country will be very much different. The mutual contempt, hatred and prejudice cannot be wished away. Even the voting patterns reflect this sad, if shameful state of affairs. It is always like a protest that the other tribes will pick on whom to side with under the able guidance of their tribal chieftains who switch sides more frequently than you wink in a day.

As one Ugandan journalist put it: the fact that Uhuru and Raila received more than 95% of the votes cast in their respective strongholds is already an unhealthy situation for country that ascribes to democracy. I couldn’t agree more. But as the argument goes, the Luos have ever supported a Kikuyu for the top position. Legend has it that Oginga Odinga unselfishly refused to take the presidency in 1963 until Kenyatta could be released from jail. When Kenyatta got out of jail, Odinga agreed to deputize him. A few years down the line, ideological differences drove former friends apart with something historic happening in Kisumu in 1969, the year Tom Mboya was assassinated.

The fall-out consigned the Luos to a life of misery where they had little in the way government goodies, given how they used to be distributed. When Moi took over, the man who wanted to overthrow him was also a Luo and the misery continued. The fact that the Luos (and the many others opposed the dictatorship of Moi), meant that there were fewer Luos in top government jobs.

In 2002, Raila declared ‘Kibaki Tosha’ and that effectively removed the dictatorship of Moi. In 2007, we all know what happened and Raila was still forced to play second fiddle. Many have come to accuse the Odingas of naïve complacent that has been costly. Where some see an unselfish trait, a trait that wants the best for the country, others sees utter buffoonery and the conclusion many have arrived at is that the Kikuyus will never, ever, ever vote for anyone who is not one of them. It is their democratic right, but we will scrutinize that in a moment.

This mutual and cancerous hatred is one of the worst social construct and a tragedy of the 21st century. It is so poisonous that the sense of disillusionment among my Luo friends is not good at all. I watched as they beamed image of Kenyans happy for the Jubilee victory across the country. The towns showed included Nyahururu, Nyeri, Kikuyu and Murang’a. There were other crowds in Nairobi and Nakuru, but going by many factors, linguistic and physical, one could easily tell that they were specifically lauding the Uhuru presidency and thanking Ruto for delivering the victory. What many Kenyans are adamantly sure is that the same crowd cannot vote for Ruto if he vied for the presidency even if he was pitied against Satan.

The result of the elections, while predictable, shocked the country and the whole country was torn into two parts. No blood was shed, there were no policemen climbing perimeter walls or teargas canisters being lobbed to disperse crowds. But we have never been more divided as a country since independence. And we are headed down a terribly slippery road that will tear the country down forever.

The fact that the most qualified and the least corrupt leaders received less than 60,000 votes goes to show that as a country we hate progressive ideas and these things will stick with us. But how can we cure these suspicions?

I have had an opportunity to be a student leader at the biggest and the best university in the region and that is where Kikuyu/Luo bad blood is nightmarish. Every leadership and managerial positions are perceived from the Luo-Kikuyu matrix. In fact the Facebook fan page of the students of the said university will best capture the contempt students from these two communities harbor for each other. It often gets uglier and even the management of the university is cognizant of the fact and tries as much as possible to address the issues. Actually, the university is divided through the ethnic divide but somehow it functions pretty well.

Those afraid of the Luos, do so out of ignorance and a refusal to embrace the bigger picture. The same can be said for the Kikuyu. Those of us who come from other communities subscribe to the laid down stereotypes and often it is a question of choosing the lesser devil.

But true leadership is about bridging the gaps. Disabusing Kenyans of tribalism and we start talking about sharing and redistributing the wealth much more equitably. After all, haven’t we discovered oil recently? The economic prospects have never looked better and grimmer at the same time. The next couple of months will determine the path we will take. It hurts.

If we embrace one another and clamour for better and credible institutions, we will stop the belief that your tribe, if in power is a source of wealth. Differences will always be there. Not that the Germans care so much about the French. Nor do the Italians care so much about the Spanish. But with proper structures, our prejudices will remain just that; prejudices.

And now the Kalenjin have joined the fray. How sad! These three tribe vote for their tribal chief overwhelmingly and that contributes to our instability since the numbers will always favour the majority who occupy a smaller geographical region.

By me, until power moves from the two communities to other communities, that psychological leap, necessary for development will not be achieved. If life was fair, Raila should be the next president and then we break away from all these leaders and focus the Peter Kenneths and Kiyapis of this world. But that is wishful thinking. It seems we are more determined to remain tribal until something really nasty awakens us. God forbid.

As of now, it remains, one half of the country, which is almost 90 % of the tribes in Kenya is not very happy with the outcome of elections. The other half’s half is unsure of the coalition and the only people contented with it are people from Central. They really need to rethink this. For the nation to get over this hangover, we should embrace other candidates as well. Our democracy is as such. For now, the time proven stereotype that they will never vote elsewhere will always portray them in a bad light to many people.

Yet as Chimamanda Adichie said, stereotypes are not so much untrue, as they are incomplete. This is the platform from which we must have this discourse. Otherwise, we might run out of sand to bury our heads and the carpet to sweep the dirt.

The Luo-Kikuyu-Kalenjin problem is something we must fix now

Let us just speak the truth here. You can choose to disagree, but the fact is:  we are in a more dangerous precipice than we have ever been. Let us just admit it, we all got to the voting boot, the tribe in us came calling. So should we should not really hate ourselves, rather we should build a reality around this premise.
90% of Kikuyus don’t hold a favorable opinion of the Luo community. The many Kikuyus I have spoken to, think of the Luos as loud and arrogant without even the slightest grasp of what business is. In fact I just lost a prospective girlfriend/wife for being a Raila sympathizer.
90% of Luos don’t hold a positive attitude towards the Kikuyu community. The many Luo friends who have spoken to me have proclaimed the usual stereotypes of Kikuyus being thieves with a maniacal obsession with money. These stereotypes are a part of our everyday discourse. Some take it with a light touch. Some loathe it. But even in our local comedy, we exploit them to the bone.
The Luo-Kikuyu problem has been there and it is not going anywhere. We should be thankful that the two communities don’t share a border; otherwise the history of this country will be very much different. The mutual contempt, hatred and prejudice cannot be wished away. Even the voting patterns reflect this sad, if shameful state of affairs. It is always like a protest that the other tribes will pick on whom to side with under the able guidance of their tribal chieftains who switch sides more frequently than you wink in a day.
As one Ugandan journalist put it: the fact that Uhuru and Raila received more than 95% of the votes cast in their respective strongholds is already an unhealthy situation for country that ascribes to democracy. I couldn’t agree more. But as the argument goes, the Luos have ever supported a Kikuyu for the top position. Legend has it that Oginga Odinga unselfishly refused to take the presidency in 1963 until Kenyatta could be released from jail. When Kenyatta got out of jail, Odinga agreed to deputize him. A few years down the line, ideological differences drove former friends apart with something historic happening in Kisumu in 1969, the year Tom Mboya was assassinated.
The fall-out consigned the Luos to a life of misery where they had little in the way government goodies, given how they used to be distributed. When Moi took over, the man who wanted to overthrow him was also a Luo and the misery continued. The fact that the Luos (and the many others opposed the dictatorship of Moi), meant that there were fewer Luos in top government jobs.
In 2002, Raila declared ‘Kibaki Tosha’ and that effectively removed the dictatorship of Moi. In 2007, we all know what happened and Raila was still forced to play second fiddle. Many have come to accuse the Odingas of naïve complacent that has been costly. Where some see an unselfish trait, a trait that wants the best for the country, others sees utter buffoonery and the conclusion many have arrived at is that the Kikuyus will never, ever, ever vote for anyone who is not one of them. It is their democratic right, but we will scrutinize that in a moment.
This mutual and cancerous hatred is one of the worst social construct and a tragedy of the 21st century. It is so poisonous that the sense of disillusionment among my Luo friends is not good at all. I watched as they beamed image of Kenyans happy for the Jubilee victory across the country. The towns showed included Nyahururu, Nyeri, Kikuyu and Murang’a. There were other crowds in Nairobi and Nakuru, but going by many factors, linguistic and physical, one could easily tell that they were specifically lauding the Uhuru presidency and thanking Ruto for delivering the victory. What many Kenyans are adamantly sure is that the same crowd cannot vote for Ruto if he vied for the presidency even if he was pitied against Satan.
The result of the elections, while predictable, shocked the country and the whole country was torn into two parts. No blood was shed, there were no policemen climbing  perimeter walls or teargas canisters being lobbed to disperse crowds. But we have never been more divided as a country since independence. And we are headed down a terribly slippery road that will tear the country down forever.
The fact that the most qualified and the least corrupt leaders received less than 60,000 votes goes to show that as a country we hate progressive ideas and these things will stick with us. But how can we cure these suspicions?
I have had an opportunity to be a student leader at the biggest and the best university in the region and that is where Kikuyu/Luo bad blood is nightmarish. Every leadership and managerial positions are perceived from the Luo-Kikuyu matrix. In fact the Facebook fan page of the students of the said university will best capture the contempt students from these two communities harbor for each other. It often gets uglier and even the management of the university is cognizant of the fact and tries as much as possible to address the issues. Actually, the university is divided through the ethnic divide but somehow it functions pretty well.
Those afraid of the Luos, do so out of ignorance and a refusal to embrace the bigger picture. The same can be said for the Kikuyu. Those of us who come from other communities subscribe to the laid down stereotypes and often it is a question of choosing the lesser devil.
But true leadership is about bridging the gaps.  Disabusing Kenyans of tribalism and we start talking about sharing and redistributing the wealth much more equitably. After all, haven’t we discovered oil recently? The economic prospects have never looked better and grimmer at the same time. The next couple of months will determine the path we will take. It hurts.
If we embrace one another and clamour for better and credible institutions, we will stop the belief that your tribe, if in power is a source of wealth. Differences will always be there. Not that the Germans care so much about the French. Nor do the Italians care so much about the Spanish. But with proper structures, our prejudices will  remain just that; prejudices.
And now the Kalenjin have joined the fray. How sad!  These three tribe vote for their tribal chief overwhelmingly and that contributes to our instability  since the numbers will always favour the majority who occupy a smaller geographical region.
By me, until power moves from the two communities to other communities, that psychological leap, necessary for development will not be achieved. If life was fair, Raila should be the next president and then we break away from all these leaders and focus the Peter Kenneths and Kiyapis of this world. But that is wishful thinking. It seems we are more determined to remain tribal until something really nasty awakens us. God forbid.
As of now,  it remains, one half of the country, which is almost 90 % of the tribes in Kenya is not very happy with the outcome of elections. The other half’s half is unsure of the coalition and the only people contented with it are people from Central. They really need to rethink this. For the nation to get over this hangover, we should embrace other candidates as well. Our democracy is as such. For now, the time proven stereotype that they will never vote elsewhere will always portray them in a bad light to many people.

Yet as Chimamanda Adichie said, stereotypes are not so much untrue, as they are incomplete. This is the platform from which we must have this discourse. Otherwise, we might run out of sand to bury our heads and the carpet to sweep the dirt.