Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Shujaas

So yesterday was Mashujaa (Hero’s) Day, and everybody went gaga talking about great men and women, patriotic people who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom of this country, gave their sweat and blood to put the country’s name on the map, worked tirelessly to improve our lives etc. etc. But wait a minute, must a hero be someone who indulges in self-sacrifice, be willing to put their lives on the line for your sake, be read to sweat blood for our sake? When I think about those who have influenced my life, made me to be who I am, they are not always those who fit into your hero stereotypes. Yes, I know about my father sacrificing his house to put us through college, that teacher who inspired a dream, that boss who pushed me into the right direction and showed me career tricks…but I am however here to celebrate other small heroes who in one way or another changed my life, mostly unwittingly.

Caroline Mutoko and Kiss FM (and by extension FM radio presenters):
Why are they my heroes? They made me stop listening to FM radio and this has made the quality of my life better. Years ago, like millions of Kenyans, I too tuned in to the radio stations to listen to the nonsense that FM presenters regurgitate every morning. Kiss FM was the leading station by then but the more Mutoko ranted her nonsense then, I was put off radio. Nowadays I don’t listen to radio at all (with the exception of BBC occasionally and sports commentaries) and that has helped me keep my sanity. To be fair to her, I am made to understand that she has improved over the recent years, shed off some arrogance but nonetheless I am not willing to find out.

Michuki, Kiraitu Murungi, Kutuny, Ruto and other Kenyan politicians:
When Narc got rid of Moi and his cronies from power in 2002, I joined the rest of the country in believing that change was indeed on the way. Then came Michuki’s famous juggling of the liver analogy and Kiraitu’s women willing to be raped speech. Those made me realize that even after Moi, Kenyan politicians still have the intelligence of garden tools. People like Ruto (both William and Isaac), Jakoyo, Mbugua, Kutunyu and their ilk have since strongly confirmed this. They are my heroes because they successfully killed any aspirations I might have had of getting engaged in politics.

Alfred Mutua, Kenya government spokesman:
He is one of my biggest heroes. Whereas I previously thought that people who have gone through colleges, and even lectured there, are generally intelligent people who know what they are talking about and weigh their words carefully, Mutua has gracefully taught me not to make such assumptions. His denial about a blast at Wilson Airport, insisting that it was an explosion (or was it the other way round), his bundling of a matatu driver into his car trunk and his creative efforts at Cobra Squad taught me important life lessons, always look beyond education Charles.

Church Clergy:
I used to believe strongly in God, until I started giving the clergy, especially the so called televangelists, audience. Then doubts started to creep in. Don’t get me wrong, there are some honest believers out there but the more I listen to the clergy, the more I doubted the existence of God. When I stopped going to church and listening to evangelists, then I found God. Does this mean they are heroes or not, I am getting confused there….


  1. I have to admit, this is the most original analysis of Shujaa day yet! And come to think of it, they really have helped you to improve your life. Congratulations to them! P.s: You should soon include Local TV to that. The news presented made me run like hell away from them.

  2. Hey carolkmail, maybe I should have named you as one of my shujaas, it is because I read your post on blogging that I felt I should actually blog for real! Before it was something I did once in a while when I felt I was idle!!

  3. Hi, I understand what you mean about heroes. They don't have to always be those that sweat blood and tears for us I think but those who do make sacrifices for us or give us great examples just by virtue of their being. It seems there are fewer in number but they exist for each of us thankfully.