Tribalism & ethnic differences

Every Kenyan asks this nagging question.

Kenya is a diverse country divided into about forty seven ethnic groups. Kenyans love urban life because everybody wants to feel the influence of the western culture. Kenyans think it’s cool when you are well versed with the western culture but it isn’t cool to embrace the culture of a fellow Kenyan’s ethnic tribe. Educated Kenyans are those who have the whole western culture at their fingertips and not those who have all the diverse kenyan(African) cultures at their fingertips.

Kenya’s major cities are the most unique cities in Africa. This is because the cities are full of people from different tribes with diversified cultures. In the city people are defined according to the tribe they come from. Every tribe groups itself in its own setting in the name of ‘looking out for each other.’ You’ll hear a pack of kisiis whispering amongst each other after a certain person has passed by saying, “that one is a mkale (Kalenjin).” Then you’ll come across a pack of Kalenjins gossiping one new guy in town saying, “yule ni mkikuyu.” This applies to all tribes. Every tribe is wary of the other tribe. This tribalism issue is very complicated in Kenya.

I wish that Kenyans could see that all tribes are the same, the only difference being ethnic languages and cultures. But we have one unifying language and that is Kiswahili. If only people could forget about their mother tongues and all speak in Swahili to kill ethnicity.

To prove that Kenya is a tribalistic country, here’s the question you will be asked severally as a Kenyan; ‘we ni kabila gani?’ Which translates to, ‘which tribe do you come from?’ Watch the video below for more about this issue. Don’t forget to subscribe and share to as many people as possible.

By jessecameathi

Writer and artist from East Africa.

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