Thursday, February 25, 2010


A boy was walking on the beach with his father when they saw a man fishing. Getting closer, the boy noticed a bucket full of live crabs. To his surprise, the bucket was not covered. And so he asked his father “why hasn’t the man covered the bucket? Won’t the crabs escape? ” “You see, my son,” the father explained, “if you have only one crab in the bucket, it will crawl out so fast you will not catch it. But when the crabs are many, if one tries to escape, the others will pull it down to the bottom of the bucket. This way, they all share in the misery and in the ultimate fate.” We are all in a bucket called tribe. And the fisherman is the ‘‘tribal king’’. So long as we are together in the bucket, we are enslaved. But if we are put in the bucket as individuals, we will escape with speed. This is why we must reject tribe as our unifying factor and organising ideology.It gives a false sense of belonging, but it rarely feeds your children. This is why I call it a material lie. My proposal to the country therefore is this: We should all commit ethnic suicide.

But committing ethnic suicide has another two benefits. One, we will be able to see things as they are. Not as we are. Currently, the country is sober. But once Mr Moreno Ocampo lands, the polarities will emerge. Similarly, we have no views about the constitution. But what the politicians will oppose is what we will follow.

But with ethnic suicide, we will become human beings not tribal animals. Instead of supporting the politicians over the constitution, we will make a constitution for our children. And this is why we should listen to the church over the ‘‘stabilisation reforms’’. Our tunnel vision is limiting us on this matter.

Two, ethnic suicide will jump-start the process of healing. According to the ‘‘Law of Nature’’, something must die for the new to emerge. And nothing illustrates this better than the metamorphosis of a butterfly. After the egg hatches, it begins life in the ‘‘pupa’’ stage before entering the ‘‘larva’’ stage as a caterpillar.

Then the caterpillar weaves a silky cocoon around its body, suspends itself on a leafy branch and takes a long deep, deep sleep. Warmed by the sun, and protected from the rain, it waits. Then, one day movement occurs and a butterfly emerges. After drying its new wings in the morning breeze, it takes off into the air.

In each of the stages, something dies. But no loss is experienced because something new, even better, emerges. And this is what nature is calling us to do for Mother Kenya. Something must die for the new to emerge. Are we ready for this? My name is Eunice Kilonzo and I will commit ethnic suicide for the love of Kenya!

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