Tribalism in Kenya is our Greatest Undoing.

Tribalism in Kenya is our Greatest Undoing.

If anything, tribalism has been the black man’s biggest nightmare. And the danger that comes with that is that we turn out to be our greatest enemies. Tribalism ends up affecting so many other areas of our economies as incompetent people find themselves occupying offices they are not fit to occupy simply because they come from the same tribe as the boss at the top.

For instance, if it was true that Prof. Aggrey Thuo was denied the right to occupy an office he was qualified and competent to occupy at the Jaramogi University of Science and Technology simply because he wasn’t a local, is one that should worry us.

Last year when this issue happened, there were claims that powerful political forces were at play to ensure that a Kikuyu didn’t occupy the deputy vice chancellor’s post. As it goes, Prof. Thuo had come first in the interviews, only for the one who came third to be successfully awarded the post because he was a Luo.

Interestingly the argument was that the post was very senior for a person from outside the community to occupy. And as I said in an earlier post,  it is such kinds of actions that are deteriorating the quality of education in our higher institutions of learning.

This malady called tribalism when brewed together with the yeast of nepotism result in a deadly concoction with lethal effects. Once this concoction gets into our system, there is nothing else other than sure death. Death may not have to be instant yet in the long run, death is assured.

I am sure we have been victims of this discrimination. Here, the victim may mean that the odds either worked for or against you. If they worked against you especially when you were qualified for the job or assignment at hand, then you know how painful it can be.

As a patriotic Kenyan, I have seen incompetent people occupy public offices while qualified people for the work languish in endless misery. The other problem is that when things fail to work out, we start asking ourselves what went wrong.

                                                                    Say No to tribalism

We seem to be very good at these schemes because as always, it all starts with us choosing the wrong people from the political side. In the end, those bad choices have always had a huge impact on our lives. Some people live in denial that the bad choices at the top mean nothing to them until the effects of bad economic policies hit them at the bottom of the chain.

Truth be told, politicians are some of the most powerful ‘colonial’ masters we have in this country and continent at large. They are the people who go about planting the seeds of nepotism, tribalism, and hatred. Again they are the same people who influence things to change.

Choosing bad leaders means instead of fighting the ills in society such as tribalism and corruption and ethnic prejudices, they end up promoting the growth of such. Some of the things promoting these tribal prejudices are simply false clichés.

If we are to move forward, we must put aside the wheels of tribalism upon which we are driving and are being driven. We have to make the tough choices of looking at other people as people first before things to do with color, language, and the rest come to play which most of the time may not matter at all.

The choice is ours. I know it is not easy given that we align ourselves politically along tribal lines, development projects are also aligned tribally and so many other things. yet we ought not to do it in one day. Like a journey that begins with one step, so is this one.

Start today with a purpose in your mind to shun all negative tribal energies. That way, you would have started a journey of impacting the world. It is individuals who change the world remember.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at
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