Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Witness to History

No amount of dissuasion: possible eruption of violence (courtesy of mama dearest); contraction of contagious diseases that lurk about in crowded places (my own fears); the morning drizzle (nature); not even the possibility of a human stampede (my darlin' brother) was going to keep me away from the historic promulgation of the new Constitution at the crack of dawn on the 27th of August, 2010, that Promulgation Friday.

It was as if the City had thrown up its inhabitants into Uhuru Park. It was raining wananchi. As the seconds rolled into minutes, the Park’s terraces were swollen with humanity, with still a good many others perched on trees and the roofs of the buildings around the Park, we waited with great expectation!

My calf muscles were screaming for relief after a morning of balancing my entire body weight on my toes. My neck muscles were not silent either; having been stretched to the max, craning to catch a glimpse of the day’s events, which went well, for the most part. The new Constitution was signed into law, and we rejoiced... our hearts filled with fresh hope!

However, there were a few flies in the Promulgation ointment:
i) Kamlesh Pattni: When this man (in my eyes, he’s still not managed to shake off his image as the personification of all things corrupt) strolled into the VIP section of the Promulgation arena, the wide grin on his face awakened in me memories of lost billions from our national coiffeurs and disregard for common man which I had buried in a shallow grave. (Oh, Brother Paul, was it absolutely necessary to rub these un-glittering national indiscretions in my face on P-day?)

ii) Omar el Bashir: Yo, enough has been said about this one already! Still, I wondered whether his presence in Kenya was a premonition of things to come. Could we trust our leaders to uphold the spirit of the new Law? Methinks not! But, I earnestly pray for God’s wisdom and political good-will in the process.

iii) The on-again off-again sound system: It stretched my lip-reading skills to the limit.

The side-shows by my fellow country-men included live commentaries, jokes and heart-warming camaraderie, which were a great source of distraction and hilarity. Kenyans have a great sense of humour. It helps ease the pain of our collective existence.

Nature kept smiling upon us. From time to time, a cold breeze would sweep through the Park and refresh the stale, still air... Oh, sweet relief! I pray that the new Constitution will offer Kenyans some relief from some of the man-made (read corruption) pain and poverty that plagues many of our people.

God bless our beloved country!