Somalilandsun- For those that have never been to Nairobi, let me inform you that there is a huge statue of Jomo Kenyatta outside the building housing the senate and the parliament.
The statue shows vibrant Kenyatta swinging the fly-whisky, it is made of gold, and most probably funded and maintained by the tax payer’s money. This is not only the state funded public memento of Jomo Kenyatta, we also have the Jomo Kenyatta Mausoleum, Jomo Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta Hospital, Jomo Kenyatta airport, Jomo Kenyatta education foundation, Jomo Kenyatta groundsin Kisumu, Jomo Kenyatta avenues in every town of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta high school, Jomo Kenyatta beach, and there is also the effigy of Jomo Kenyatta on allthe denominations of coinsand bank notes of Kenya. I mean the name of Jomo Kenyatta appears on almost every public institution in Kenya. All these has been done in a selfish recognition of the fact that Jomo Kenyatta was the first President of Kenya. Though Kenya’s independence was earned through armed actions and several other liberation movements like independent churches and trade union movement. The armed action was headed by Dedan Kimathi Wa Miciuri, trade unionism was headed by Markhan Singh and later on by Tom Mboya, anti-colonial religious movement was led by Elijah Masinde of Dini ya Musmbwa, while political nationalism was led by Oginga Odinga, Masinde Muliro, Ronald Ngala, Paul Ngei, Pascal Nabwana, and James Gichiuru.There was nothing which Jomo Kenyatta did single-handedly apart from enjoying fair treatment from the white prison wards , but his fellow jail-mates were treated very cruelly, I mean Jomo Kenyatta was not alone in detention, there were other ten Kenyans too, the likes of Paul Ngei, Bildad Kagia, Karumba,Markhan Singh, Kibachia, Elijah Masinde and Joash Walumoli (at Manyani maximum prison for leading Dini ya Musambwa), Acheing Ramogi Oneko, Arap Manyei and very many others. So the question is what is the essence of putting Jomo Kenyatta’s name on everything to an extent of putting his statue outside the parliament that was built by the colonial leadership? Where are other names that equally suffered for Kenya’s freedom, like arap Manyei who was detained for forty-three years?
Political psychology and literature uses a concept of narcissism or political psychology of megalomania in describing such acts of political selfishness. A person is narcissistic if he or she loves the self to an extent of neurotic or psychotic break-down, I mean being in an abnormal love with the self. And ultimately, historical outlook at Jomo Kenyatta’s reign was basically an epoch of political narcissism in Kenya. A testimony to this premise abounds in fact that the name of Mama Ngina, the fourth or fifth wife of Jomo Kenyatta is also abundantly used in naming Kenya’s tax funded institutions, for example, Mama Ngina road, Mama Ngina beach (the largest beach along the Indian Ocean in Mombasa) Mama Ngina High School and so forth. Mama Ngina herself is just an innocent lady of peasant birth in Ukambani with no knowledge in tourism, academics, architecture orarts that can make her name an epiphany on a public institution. Her is only a subject of narcissistic power play.Unfortunately, it is a modern reality that, the narcissistic tradition and political culture is the main legacy that Jomo Kenyatta bequeathed to his successor, Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, his name is also on currencies, schools, roads, barracks, hospitals, churches, dispensaries, Mortuaries and funeral homes. All these has been done against the contradistinction that Moi himself was basically a fruit fortuitous approach to politics, not a missionary to any calling, his greatness came with sycophancy and neurotic loyalty to despotic leadership of Jomo-Kenyatta.
This Narcissistic political culture is among the social and psychological forces that have made political socialization in Kenya to be replete with tribalism, flawed electoral processes, political violence and many other political failures, because political power but not business entrepreneurship, in Kenya a platform for the turn to eat. Kenyans must pause and erase the social errors of political narcissism from the pages of the books of their social and political history.
By; Alexander Opicho (from Lodwar, Kenya)