Don’t we all at one point or the other wander in our own worlds of thought? Or physically go around the world or the country with no destination in mind? Wanderers. Or drifters. When the lecturer or the preacher is treading on not so interesting topics, you then drift to the Maasai Mara, imagining that you are floating around in that fancy hot air balloon. Just when you are about to land, the balloon deflates and you see yourself crashing on the ground below. You then wake up with a start! The lecturer asks you to answer the question and all what you can do is stare at him/her. And the preacher says that you give the final prayer; then you only manage to say Amen to the uproar of the congregation; that awkward feeling engulfing you. On the other hand, we sometimes tour different places in the country and indeed the entire world not only to relax, but also to look for adventure and this adventure may lead us to new territories and destinations we never planned for in the first place.
Walking into The Kenya National Archives, I did marvel at the achievements of two great Kenyans. I guess majority of us do not bother to get inside this building and learn one or two things about the history of this country; we use it as a landmark to give directions or a convenient place to meet, talk of strategic positioning in the CBD;
Boy: I have been waiting for you near Archives for the past one hour. Where are you?
Girl: Sorry sweetie, my hairdresser is fixing my hair (read weave); I will be there in the next two hours.
If you find yourself in such a situation, pay the mandatory Kshs. 50 (for adult citizens) as entrance fee and take a tour inside the Archives as you wait for your better half – you shall be glad you did it.
Murumbi: This great Kenyan must have travelled far and wide around the world. His collections are so many and in various categories; in fact they fill the central part of the ground floor exhibition. They range from sculpture to jewelry to history books to postage stamps to paintings. Am not sure whether he accumulated all these to sell or what but today they are displayed so that the general public may benefit from them. Talk of passion. You marvel at what an individual can achieve/do in his/her lifetime, without necessarily expecting monetary appreciation from anyone.
Tom Mboya: The great politician who was selfless. At his youthful years, supported by the African-American Students Foundation eighty one Kenyans earned scholarships to study in different colleges across the United States. That was way back in 1959, even before Kenya attained Independence – culminating in the famous ‘Mboya Airlifts’. Later on, this was expanded to include other countries – for instance in 1960 about two hundred and thirty students from different countries in Africa were selected. That, to me, is an accomplishment many will never achieve in their lifetime. And if you want to know the impact of this act, Obama, the current US president is a product of one Kenyan who benefitted from the sponsorship to study abroad courtesy of Tom Mboya. The beneficiaries of this noble act by Tom Mboya, am sure, were handed a lifeline in their study life and eventually came back to pursue great career options in their countries, contributing positively to the growth of the economy and supporting their households.
Then as I was walking in the streets of Nairobi, I came across this billboard urging the populace to use vasectomy as an effective family planning method in order that their families may live comfortable lives. And I remembered a certain story (I guess it’s a true story) by my colleague;
This man married a Mzungu, and together they were blessed with two beautiful children. Since they wanted to live a-two-children-per-family life, they agreed on the most appropriate family planning method: Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation. They then marched to their doctor and agreed on the procedure. The wife let the man undergo the surgery first (ladies first but men before). This man must have forgotten how Eve led Adam into eating the fruit. After the vasectomy was done successfully, the woman refused to undergo the tubal ligation. Talk of one party not honoring her part of the agreement. And to add salt to injury, she relocated back to her country in Europe together with the kids, leaving the man devastated, confused and most of all childless, unable to sire children in his lifetime again. It is said that he has never recovered from this tragedy to date, and he lives like a mad man. Now that is something – left me shaking my head; the billboard that is.
Away from the billboard and its advocacy, I attended that week’s Sunday Service and the priest’s (Fr. Kanja) summon was so relevant in today’s life that I have decided to pen something from it lest I (we) forget. This is the part to remember; that the world today is going wrong because of three things:
Individualism: The belief and practice geared towards satisfying oneself at the expense of the rest of the people in the society. It is the amassing of all opportunities to oneself. The notion that every good thing should happen to one person and pulling strings to ensure that this is indeed fulfilled. This has created two societies; the haves and the have-nots. When the haves engage in corrupt activities geared towards the ultimate misuse of resources especially for the public development, then we have a problem. Those who have continue the upward trend towards posterity while the have-nots continue with the downward spiral to absolute poverty. The poor remain oppressed.
Hedonism: This is the belief that pleasure is the ultimate goal in life. The person then pursues his/her desires to the depths of the earth thinking that happiness will be fulfilled. This has caused many addictions in the universe. The irony of this belief is that someone can never get all the pleasure to the point of being satisfied; that’s why we see some of our friends change as they become hooked to behaviors never before imagined – and they become proud of them. Point to note: pleasure will bring the thrill and happiness in the short-run but in the long-run there will be nothing unless more pleasure is sought by an individual.
Minimalism: This is doing the bare minimum. Putting in the minimum effort to produce the minimum results. This is what we all do in our daily lives. We pretend to be working while we are hooked into social media the whole day and then shrug that we have already accomplished our daily activity which is to appear in the office and be seen by our bosses in our desks. None wants to go the extra mile – who does that anyway in this day and age? Who wants to go the extra mile to achieve an A* in the unit while a C will do? Who wants to go to the library and do thorough research while the assignment or project can be done by your colleague at a fee? Why study hard while you can sneak the notes into the exam room? Minimalism brings into our lives tragedies which could have been avoided if thorough job was done.
A drifter, ladies and gentlemen, is a person with no real place to call their home. He/she wanders from place to place, sometimes looking for something, sometimes because it’s the only way to get away from everything that made him/her become a drifter in the first place. We all have our reasons for becoming drifters.