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Last Updated on 16 February 2019 by Gertrude

Say you are a Luo and majority believe they know you. In Kenya, there are many ethnic tribes, I realised haven’t shed some light on what caused the 2007 general election. It’s the ethnic clashes, right? Wrong, just a few were having problems with a few. Okay, the Luo have long been known to speak their mind, especially their political mind in the Kenyan scene. Others, pride themselves in knowing that the world’s strongest leader comes partly from this tribe. What exactly do we know about the Luo then?

My Geography and History class in primary school and high school taught me that, Bahr el Ghazal it was. I didn’t even bother to look where that was because it’s in Southern Sudan. They are nilotes, skilled fishermen from the lake. Once upon a time, many thought that all Luos can do is marry twenty wives or inherit one’s brother’s wife once dead. Nowadays, we’re marrying outside our tribes, exotic women and so forth. Luos make the majority if not more than 80 percent of Kenyan Professors, doctors, nurses, policy makers. One wonders then why do the Luos languish in poverty if education is their opium? We don’t, mind you, we are just like every other Kenyan communities, with very selfish leaders or relatives. Spending our times struggling to meet ends meet is just a little part of who we are. Just like everybody else we cannot be the same, otherwise, we’d be boring, isn’t it?

Just like bahr el ghazal’s, ” a sea of gazelles”, we are meant to seek our own survival. We are meant to be proud of being Kenyans because it’s the land our forefathers landed on. That’s why every time the elections are over, we claim it was stolen from us, the presidency. Afterwards, we learn to survive in the thickest of the forest among the deadly lions. We keep trying, we will never be bwogable.

Who said that an intelligent man never lacks a mind? Oh we do, our only focus is on books: how to get riches out of books. Us, we don’t value wealth and what it brings? Wrong. Who doesn’t want to swim in wealth? It’s no wonder that my brothers and sisters in the Luo community are called braggarts. They swim in their hard earned wealth, spotting fast cars is just . . . normal. Living in big mansions, bungalows and penthouses is a tip. We love to spend the money. Indeed we do! Ours is a lifestyle.

You claim that we are to blame for the high rates of HIV spread in Kenya. You hold campaigns accusingly pointing wicked finger at us, ”you are the cause”. Oh, yes, Luo Nyanza alone leads in the number of deaths reported per year on HIV. The upcoming generation is considering a lifestyle revolution to turn the society into a healthy county.

I believe through youth empowerment,  facilitation, a little push,  the youth of Luo Nyanza wherever they are,  can make it. After all being a brainy requires for you to think step ahead of your peers. Think and create business. Don’t overly rely on books, spend more time with your creative genius because after all, you are well endowed. In sports, academics, creativity, English, why not use all these to rise above the odds of stereotypes. We don’t know the little things we miss when all we do is concentrate on Baba. Baba on the other hand, as his wealth at the turn of his tap. Let’s unite and revolutionise Kenya as the youths.

When in class, people are afraid of me, book-wise, because they know, they cannot beat me. Not bragging, it’s the truth. Let’s stop blowing our trumpets as it has proven to bring us to our knees. Being humble and filled with humility can make us soar the height we have wanted, in leadership and beyond. Oh, let’s choose our leaders without blindly following Baba. Of course, we cannot dismiss him, we can request for his blessings and directions, for once, beg to rule us, because we can.

If we rose beyond making other beings superior, we sure will get there. Let’s engage ourselves in projects scattered around the country and others we have created. Encouraging others to join our movement, where the emphasis is look forward, act forward becomes our slogan. In the rural areas, can we take our girls and boys away from dismissing themselves as too small or too nothing. Cannot we encourage them to start thinking independently towards their goals? Cannot we stand and say no to oppression. We are an outspoken people, aren’t we? Why should we allow us to be used, why? Why lead in acts of violence while we can use peace? Follow your own self, don’t be a people’s follower, form your own school of thought. Agree to come out of the political mesh webbing away our lives, our youthfulness. Stand, speaking your own voice. Knowing that, there is freedom of speech in Kenya. Rise, rise and rise! Cheers to you.

You as a youth of Kenya and as a Luo, what do you do to make change not only in your community but the world around you? Are you one of those stereotypes who fight tribal wars but languish in poverty somewhere in Seme or Karachuonyo? Do you believe that changing Luo Politics is a big step towards changing the way we look at our lives? I believe so, but, your attitude, yourself is change. Can you begin it?


stephanie

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