By David Maillu
Published February 6, 2024

For us to restore our cultural identity subjected to that destruction for nearly a Century, we will demand a long time of a cultural revolution. Since cultures are hard-die outfits, the colonial culture is also going to be a hard-die thing in Africa.A journalist from a leading newspaper made an appointment to
come to interview me in my house. In the meantime, I wrote two powerful
articles touching on corruption in  government and
irresponsibility in addressing our cultural values.

When he came, I asked him, “What brings you here?”

He said his newspapers wanted to know
whether I’m still here and what I am up to.

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During the interview he confronted me with the classical questions they
had been asking me for ages, ignoring what I am doing now and my views.

At the end of the interview when I gave him the articles and he read
them, he replied by staring at me for a while before saying, “This is
hot stuff. To be honest with you great writer, these cannot be published
because they hit at the raw nerve of the government, good and factual as
they are. If my newspaper dares publish it, the government will backfire
by saying it is not going to pay for its advertisement on our paper. The
government has a colossal debt which it holds at ransom to make us keep
away from publishing anything against the government. The government has
cleverly gagged the press. We are in intellectual prison.”

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We all know the evils of the government against citizens. We know all
the government small and meager thieves, the rapist, the exploiter –
everything. They live among us, but we remain silent and let the rogue
government consume us while we are silent. The government has bewitched
the mass. We are burning without sending out smoke. We complain within
ourselves, punish our spouses to vent the out heat from within. I
remember one of the East countries that carried out the demonstration
against the government by blocking the airport. The French citizens use
lorries, tractors, pour garbage on the road to paralyze the government
until it listens to their grievances. Out here we keep quiet and give
avenues and sanctuaries to devilish corruption. We have got power to
block the Mombasa-Nairobi, Nairobi-Kisumu road or pour garbage in the
city demanding government’s accountability. But can we?

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We are being beaten when we are saying, yes, yes, without raising any
confrontation. No government has ever done its best without being
gravely confronted by the mass and pushed to the wall. We talk about
mass action in the mouth but not in action. We are waiting for someone
to come from somewhere, or from Europe where we have infested so much
faith, to help us out of the mess. Even our intellectuals have been
bought to be submissive. If you don’t speak and act for the poor, who
will speak and act for them. Let’s put it bluntly like this: eat before
you are eaten.