Third World Person ... First World Problems

Third World Person… first world problems focuses on the struggles that students from third world countries/ the global south encounter when they move to first world / developed countries

We Are ALL Shabikis of BS

Going home for the summer holiday is always an experience. If I haven’t mentioned it enough times I’m an international student in the former democracy, America.

As soon as May rolls around I am no longer in the US. Physically I’m there but mentally I’m in Kenya. I imagine all the fun things I’m going to do when I go home, the good food I’ve missed out on for the past nine months and I guess I’m also slightly excited to see my family and friends. 

There is a major difference between the last time you were home and the time you come back. In my mind the country doesn’t evolve, it kind of stays stagnant waiting for my return. This is the furthest thing that happens. I’ve found that I miss my country but it doesn’t miss me as much because it changes at the drop of a hat.  

For instance, when I left last year, I only knew of two betting agencies/sports things… whatever they’re called. When I came back this year, they had so many different ones and the ads were everywhere.

My favorite is the Shabiki betting thing not because I bet but because the ads would play on this vernacular radio station (Shoutout to Radio Ramogi) and I would wonder why they were always talking about being Shabiks. A wise man, my father, calmly explained to the rest of us ignorant nonfluent Swahili speaking folk that Shabiki means fan or supporter in Swahili. Hence, the people stating they are fans of cricket and also the title of this blog post because we are all supporters of bullshit.

This week in Kenya and Tanzania we are supporting the BS of three very strange gentlemen, Ezekiel Mutua, Joseph Nkaissery, and President John Pombe Magafuli.

Ezekiel Mutua has and probably always will be a major enemy of progress. He is the head of the Kenya Film Classification Board which banned The Wolf of Wall Street and others because they compromised or would possibly taint the morality of Kenyans. Which morality you ask? I don’t know because I’m still looking for it in the country that was going to shut down the largest refugee camp in the world.

Last week Mutua and the KFCB decided that they would ban a handful of Nickelodeon shows, including Hey Arnold! (a classic), because they promoted homosexuality. Children are being robbed of Helga saying “move it football head” and subtle sexual innuendo because of a shoddy report. I beg your pardon Mr. Mutua but that is complete and utter bullshit. Sir, there are already laws that diminish the humanity of our fellow Kenyans, do no let a report that chastises students for exploring who they are, inform your half-baked ban on shows that make an effort to represent the underrepresented.  Furthermore, for an organization and man like yourself who claims to be acting in the name of upholding Kenyan cultural and moral values you are going against the teachings of a mutual friend of ours, Jesus. I’m pretty sure he said in John 8:7 “Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Now I don’t know about you but this guy seems pretty wise and he also knows the way to heaven. So if you’re trying to get the entire nation of Kenya there you better stop throwing those stones.

As I’ve mentioned before Kenya is in the midst of its never-ending election season. Now for the non-Kenyans and unaware Kenyans who read my blog (hey, what’s up, hello), the Kenyan constitution stipulates “not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender” (Article 81b.) Now that may be a little bit difficult for some to understand but that basically means that women have designated seats in parliament so the nation can flourish and all that. It is written in the constitution. It's the law. That’s why I think it is quite strange that Nkaisserry, Cabinet Secretary for Internal Security would tweet this out

Courtesy @GenNkaissery Twitter

Courtesy @GenNkaissery Twitter

He actually started off very well supporting women who are vying and claiming that he wouldn’t be where he is without his wife. OBVIOUSLY! Then he tweets nonsense like this and you have to wonder what happened in the span of three minutes. It's like the devil grabbed a hold of his brain stem and said: “you’ve been too understanding towards women, you need to tweet something reckless." If I had known that all it takes to deal with harassment and violence is assertion, I guess I would be a man.

Mr. Nkaisserry please tell us what is this male territory you speak of? Is it a specifically designated area where men join together to campaign or what? And if it is why are there always women in these male territories? If there are male territories where are the female ones? Do you only have jurisdiction over the female territory and that’s why you can’t help the women in this so-called male territory?

Now Mr.Nkaisserry, I read the replies to your tweets and I thankfully saw very little ignorance. In fact, you tweeted out thank you to the gentleman that reminded you it’s male-dominated not a male territory. What blows my mind is that you would say this but when a woman is assertive like Milly Odhiambo or like Rachel Shebesh they are still met with violence, they are called bitches and all manner of things. If you recall Shebesh being assertive didn’t stop Kidero from slapping her. Nor did it stop all the other acts of harassment and instances of violence against women that takes place in the country on a daily basis.

I mean if all women have to do is be assertive in politics. The women politicians should have been able to stop Tanzanian President Magufuli from saying girls who get pregnant should be stopped from going back to school as it would corrupt the other students. My G what? That’s really rich coming from a guy who’s named Pombe. 

At least he said that the guys would be jailed for 30 years and forced to do farm labor. Talk about sex prevention, right there. But sir it’s 2017, I don’t know if that’s what you really want to do to youngins having sex. How about sex education? Safe sex? How about educational programs that help young mothers, night school or schools with a nursery for the kids? Look at that there is also some job creation in that. If you can’t beat them, join them. Am I right?

I don’t know about you but these issues seem pretty straightforward in solving. Mr. Mutua, why don’t you just take a chill pill and let people watch what they want to watch? Pretty simple but also read these words of wisdom. Mr. Nkaiserry, why don’t you arrest the people who are inciting violence and harassing women, and then educate them on the importance of women in government? Also remind them, they voted for this constitution that allocates a certain number of seats for women and they don’t have to go to the campaigns the women are holding. Mr.Magafuli, we’ve already talked in detail but you should definitely do less. 

There is this alleged African proverb or wise saying that no one knows its true origins, it states “ if you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman you educate a nation.” That seems pretty self-explanatory but I guess we’re the ones that are tripping by expecting and asking for more.