These are the times we wished Wangari Maathai was here. Or Mekatilili wa Menza. Or Koitalel Samoei. Or Dedan Kimathi wuod Waciuri.
But Wangari Maathai is no longer here. She died of ovarian cancer, at the tender age of 71. You would wish Mekatilili was still around to start the rebellion at Kaya Fungo, or Samoei Arap Kimnyolei to advance with his Nandi troops from the direction of Kaplelach. But wishes are no longer horses, so beggars won’t ride.
They will not tell you this, but Dedan Kimathi, whose imposing statue you’re so proud taking photos of hapo Hilton hotel junction, died at exactly 36 years old. He was the leader of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army, also known as MAU MAU, which we were told means Mzungu Aende Ulaya Mwafrika Apate Uhuru.
He’s no longer with us, too – and so are those other many Kenyans who put their necks on the chopping board to speak naked truth to drunken power, those days when betrayal was Kenya’s cup of tea and death our daily bread.
It means no one is resurrecting from the dead to come save Uhuru Park from the latest Mutilation Plan.They did their bit. Got clobbered like a Kano rice thief, or used as target practice like they do at the Stoni Athi shooting range, over there in the Kapiti Plains.
These freedom fighters, long dead, are also currently waiting for someone to stand up and poke the eyes of government to stop thinking that they can mess up with our Freedom Park. Had Dedan Kimathi been alive, he would have organized for the assassination of high profile government sympathizers – like the MAU MAU did to Ambrose Ofafa, and Tom Mbotela. Wangari Maathai would have chosen the non-violent option, writing letters to Kenya’s foreign partners to freeze all foreign aid to the Government of Kenya until they left Uhuru Park alone. And they did.
My favorite clergyman keeps giving the example of Moses in the Bible. You have a stick in your hand, but you keep complaining that you’re powerless to change anything until someone reminds you that the stick is enough revolutionary tool to bring about the change you want. You can decide to be like Moses the Complainer. Or Moses the Doer.
“If you think you can, or if you think you can’t – either way you’re right.” – Henry Ford.