Few of you know I am an avid reader, I love reading anything that doesn’t lead to exams. Anyway, one day I’m reading some journal and I stumble upon a piece on insecurity in the US. It went on to describe how three lads who were out in the city were attacked by a mugger, who demanded they give him all their valuables or he would inject them with AIDS. Two of the lads immediately gave up their money and everything else they had, but the third, man the third made my day. He refused to give up anything on him and told the mugger to fuck off. The mugger injected him and ran. So the first two lads look at him in dismay and ask, “Are you crazy? Now you have AIDS because you wouldn’t part with a few coins!” This third guy smiles confidently and says, “No, no, it’s alright, I’m wearing a condom.” PAUSE. I should leave you to guess whether or not I was banned from the library by the Librarian on grounds of gross disturbance of peace and violation of a million other rules I think he made up on the spot.
Now, my point was not to illustrate that some people only gargled from the fountain of knowledge. No, that story got me thinking, and I came to the conclusion that in Africa, that story wouldn’t have ended as it did. We all know how that script would have read had the same mugger attacked three black people. One of them would claim he already has AIDS and he isn’t scared, which would give the rest an opportunity to jump the mugger. They would proceed to beat him senseless then, to teach him a lesson, they would share among themselves what the mugger made that day. A crowd would have formed by now; someone would already have nicked a tyre from any car parked close by. Another would produce petrol while another from the same crowd would have a matchbox ready. The mugger would be dead before the police arrived at the scene while people would go home like nothing happened; after all, he wouldn’t be the first mob justice victim, right?
Wrong. The above is a white man’s perception of Africa.
Someone once mentioned to me that Africa will never reach any level of development minutely close to that of the first world countries; he was wrong. According to him, we strive hard to get to where the developed countries are, forgetting that by the time we are able to use nuclear energy, they will have discovered and started using another source of energy, perhaps sand? That by the time an African country manages to build a car, the West will have moved on to something more convenient, teleporting may be? He went as far as to say he was convinced the West would develop wings for mankind. Had it not been for non-existence of eye-hand coordination courtesy of my dear friend Alcohol, I would have given this fellow a beating. I opted instead to give him a piece of my mind, that he was wrong.
I know we may be the only place on earth where it is okay to rig elections, organize post-election skirmishes, then resolve the whole issue like it never happened through a power-sharing deal constituting 42 ministers in one ‘grand coalition.’ True, I still think African presidency is the biggest conspiracy since the ‘Americans landed on the moon conspiracy.’ I also acknowledge that my opinions do not matter to the Kenyan government because they would just form another of the 10 million named committees of experts to look into the matter. But hey, life gives you lemons. You make lemonade and if you don’t know how, you eat it. Either way it ends up in the stomach. That is the African spirit. I simply do not care that we will be rebuilding railways every five years after general elections because some idiot in Kibera thought the absence of the railway hurts Kenya more than the citizens of its landlocked neighbors, Uganda and Rongai. My point being, it is what makes us Kenyans and thus, Africans.
I am also fully aware, as you should, that Africa is the only place on the face of the earth where a 14-seater matatu will carry double that number of people and somehow everyone will find a place to sit. The Luhya people can bear me witness that 15 of them, including the driver will fit into a 5-seater Pro-pox (for the record I still don’t buy that they think Pro-pox is some variant of chicken pox or that Mascara is the plural of the Swahili word sigara.) In Africa, we have our own way of doing things. We will even act pornography in local dialects and we won’t be embarrassed when the star of the show decides halfway to tell her fellow actor “Mastyro perekea bibi yako“. In fact, we are so religious that the ratio of churches to available brethren is 20:1. Hell, it is illegal to take alcohol regardless that you are over 18 years of age or not thanks to one Mututho. And if you didn’t already know, everyone here is a businessman- we all know the quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket; plus you can’t make good money if you sell SHAMpoo. In Africa we have REALpoo.
That same Anti-Africa friend of mine also thinks that the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament held in South Africa was the worst football disaster ever witnessed, far more grave than Arsenal’s recent grass 8-ting competition. It is 2 sad my eyes had to witness it. Anyway, my friend was yet again wrong. I believe South Africa organized the best World Cup tournament ever witnessed, because they managed to creatively blend football with a colourful concert… the Vuvuzela Concert. Sure they have a clown for a president, who happens to think AIDS can be washed away with a cold shower, but I have to give credit where it is due. The event captured the true African spirit. In fact, the only reason an African country did not win the World Cup is because of our good hospitality. We let our guests pick the best food before we can pick some ourselves. Charity begins at home after all. I would say Africa and Liverpoop are solely to blame for the death of our trusted match-fixer, Paul the Octopus. Poor thing laughed so hard when he heard Africa actually hoped to win the tournament he died.
To the West we may be barbaric, backward, uneducated and primitive but truth is, most of them are so narrow minded they can see through a keyhole with both eyes. They came in the name of Christ, looted our land and our wives and all we got to show for it was a damn bible. That we couldn’t even read mind you because it was written in their damn language! As far as I’m concerned we have the best weed on earth and our women don’t need Silicone implants in their breasts to look beautiful. The scenery is simply exhilarating. Besides, money is not really an issue because if we need more we’ll just print it (ask Mugabe); and the people are great. The people man! Africa is best defined by its people, and I love them no homo. Long live Africa.