The sons of coincidences? It depends, credibly, on how well you know them. Or about them. They were born and raised in Kenya, resided in Korea for a decade and more, fell for foreign girls, begot sons—pointies, I guess.
They both served in Kenya Community in Korea chairpersons. If your guess is as good as mine, their political expedition was either incubated or beaten into shape by the realities of Korea’s politico-economic domains embedded in its near miraculous economic growth dynamics. Oh, the duo love suits— the Caraceni style gentlemen.
The morning is somberly chilly. But of course. It is July in Enkare Nyrobi, Nairobi’s original name in Maasai vernacular. At the table is Raphael Omala. Peers still call him Raph. He sips his last mouthful of milk tea with an expression of finality on his face. You can tell by his smile that the man is contented by the taste of Kericho Gold. I guess the love for tea exposes his heritage
On his left hand, the day’s meet-the-people diary rests between the index finger and the thumb. It’s been several weeks of crisscrossing Nairobi’s western lands (Westlands). A strategic routine. Raph knows quite well that a few more souls need some convincing to ponder on his leadership dogma and vision.
He rises on his feet before glancing at the diary one more time. Just then, his phone vibrates aggressively almost tipping off the table where his tea mug sits empty as if to appeal for a “saucer”. Raph picks the call. “Mkubwa!” It is the campaign volunteer lead on the other end. “Time to hit the road”. The first son of coincidence and the founding chair of KCK, is running to be Westland’s Member of Parliament (MP). Elections are on August 8. The last time we checked. No Kidding.
About 270 kilometers away in Meruland Patrick Ntonja glimpses at the mirror for the second time. The red necktie is now perfectly in its place. Just like all his formal suits, the creamy-kakhish suit he is in today fits well in his miraba minne body frame. The thin stripes on the suit makes Daktari a towering figure—a look of a fitting groundbreaker leader. Do not be mistaken, nonetheless. This is one of the humblest sons of Meru you’ll ever meet..
Daktari, as his contemporaries call him, scans at the last text message he received: “Polite reminder…television interview on Baite TV still on.” Brother Doc, as I fondly refer to him, was the second chairperson of KCK and my ‘boss’ at the time. His conviction for a better Igembe North has seen him stop by the market places, churches and homes of the locals for they too need to hear and consider the call to arise. Come morning after, on August 9th, this son of coincidence hopes to be in the August House.
We celebrate Raph and Daktari because they represent the bold and the brave of a generation rising to the occasion. In my persuaded opinion, these two sons of Kenya characterize the coming of age. The duo, I am convinced, grasps a unique ‘diasporic worldview’ on matters leadership and confidence to localize their experience from the East. They have dared to take a leap into the so-called murkiness of politics with an optimism of a rising sun. In Africa, the sunrise licks away the gloominess of the fog. We hear them say, “servant leadership is no longer a wishful thinking”. I wish them well.
But we must support them. With ‘dime’ or cheer, lets send them forth at least for their boldness. That is how the would-be legislators will arise. This, I must add for the sake of beloved motherland. If we must use social media, ‘politically speaking’, remember that respect is earned. Patriotism is an honor. Tolerance is noble. Someones tribe is sacred and cannot be wished away. Hurling negative, vitriolic or bashing posts and comments online is a distasteful ‘digital diarrhea’. Forgive my language. The country must move on in the morning after the elections.
To Raph and Daktari, we care more, because you are brothers with whom we ate from the same bowl, or toasted a glass together. We keep our anticipation high riding on the hope that a decade in diaspora, especially in South Korea, was a time long enough to acquire a development model our motherland has been waiting.
The road ahead is of course tough. As young vibrant people, we don’t promise heaven because we’ve never set our feet therein, yet. Resilient is a virtue we must embrace.
I close with a line or two from Desiderata, my all-time favorite poem: Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
On August 9th, whether you make it to the August House or not, remember that you’ve charted the way. The candle of transformative surge has been lit. And for that we are inspired. Your success is our desire.
NB: *Paragraphs 2-5 based on the writer’s imagination.
The writer, Benson Kamary, is the immediate former chair of KCK.