This came by, sparked by Stephen Fry’s autobiography, Moab is my Washpot.

In it, he speaks of our colonial master’s crooked nose, The Monarchy. It is, as he sees it, their crooked nose, an aspect of what is quaintly and quite distinctly British, which every other nation finds peculiarly distinguished, but which every Briton believes should no longer exist and they, to the last man,(save the aristocrats of course) are determined to do be rid of it someday.

What great humiliation there would be, were they to undergo the excruciating surgery of straightening this broken nose, and still look a mess.The trauma of finding out that a straight nosed Britain, may look far worse and certainly far less distinguished than it did before may be a destabilizing reality.

Kenya’s constitution was certainly broken. That it needed fixing is accepted by all. Yet the state of a Kenyan’s mind does not care what is written in the constitution, as long as he is well fed, in good health, and seems to be, slowly but surely,  journeying towards that which he or she aspires to.

What shock and great humiliation I foresee, when our constitution is fully implemented, and the country still looks a mess. The world would stare at us and whisper and giggle about us excitedly,as people often do when friends have undergone some cosmetic surgery of their appearance.

We would unwind our bandages and present our new, straight nosed, fully implemented constitution to the international community and await the fawning compliments and gasps of admiration.

How hurt we will be when we see that the world is yawning and far from being dazzled by the blaze of justice and freedom and beauty that radiates from our features, there will be, by far, newer and greater causes and plights to fight for that they shall have set their sights upon.

How terrible it will be to understand, then, that it is the internal defects within our people, our attitudes, our way of life that needs changing and not the prescription the last doctor gave that was wrong.

If we do things for cosmetic reasons, we will always gets cosmetic results.

If we concentrated on our real defects; if we blamed our weakness of political will for impeding the achievement of greater social justice rather than pretending that it is all the fault of harmless scriptwriting warts then we might indeed be better off.

With excerpts from Stephen Fry’s Moab is My Washpot.


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