PS; Disregard my gender, the agenda matters more. This isn’t really directed to the chauvinists, but also to the women whose will and souls have been ripped out by the obvious sexism reducing us (women) to screensavers and bed warmers.
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From where I sit, Eldoret is my hometown. At the dusk of February 3rd 1994, Mwadime, a midwife saw it right to bless the world with one more woman. Sometimes, I ask myself there are so many ways this could have gone. I should have turned out a man, but no! My birthplace West Clinic, near Eldoret Union Primary School and geographically or constitutionally referred to as Wareng District. I remember back in the days playing cha-ki-mama in one’s Maru’s Farm (an old land tycoon) and cascading through the thick bushes of Busienei Forest (named after the current Turbo MP’s family). I schooled at Kapyemit Primary School, one of the initial beneficiaries of ‘maziwa ya Nyayo’. My best friends were twins, Muslim girls Shamsi and Salua. But Shamsi was my favorite. I had a silly crush; by silly I mean the boy I used to literally hit ‘ngoto’ and run, Yusuf. But there was also Mwaura, and then came Kiptoo.
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It never occurred to me that it mattered whether my deskmate was Mbuvi or my best friend at home was Njeri until 2007. Just the night before Kibaki was declared the winner, little pamphlets written ‘ONYO’ had already circulated the area. By the next morning, the chosen ones had already been marked. Gates to homes, homes that people had known for years,had been written 41 + 1. If yours had not been marked, you were the ‘madoadoa’ that had to leave. Believe you me, I saw homes we played in, had lunches at and even so, had sleepovers in burn down to ashes. I couldn’t understand how neighbors who loved each other, whose kids went to the same schools, had turned into sworn enemies.
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Maybe we all healed, or we pretend we have because the warring sides are in bed together but it doesn’t mean we don’t live in fear. Fear that if our kids grow up here, they will be ‘madoadoas’ for the rest of their lives. The eventual fear that every electioneering period, they have to pack up and disappear to their home counties. Whoever wins this year should remember that Uasin Gishu County comprises of more than one tribe. Whether this land, originally or initially belonged to a certain ethnic group, things change day and night. And change is like pain, it demands to be felt. This year, a lot of foreign and exotic names will show up on the ballot. A lot of speculations like those being made on who runs what or without who what doesn’t exist, but eventually we are us. There is no you, me, them. There’s only us!