CHANGE- The Tasty or the Bitterest Price to Pay


In my time, Change comes knocking around me and my environs in different manifestations. ‘Was it that tasty juice to drink, or was it that bitter pill to swallow?’ I can’t imagine the latter. I wonder how you’d handle it when it ‘shockingly’ or ‘excitingly’ catches up with you.

Once, there was this dude who loved me so much, he would come over at my work place to pick me in a fancy car. He would take me to every expensive joints and hotels in town. You know what? Cost wasn’t a big deal.” It’s an amazing and exceedingly memorable time to visualize.

Gosh! One day I wake up and he is no more, may God bless his soul.” It was a night mare, a bitter pill for me to swallow, my bitterest pain.’ Can things turn around or Change? I honestly miss him. I bet that if you have ever passed through this moment you may know what I mean.

Change has been used significantly as a terminology that positively or negatively redirects a status, system or body, nature, mind set or thinking and ideology to define a new beginning, a rebirth or a complete transformation.

‘The thought of never seeing my friend again was like a dream that will never fade’. ‘Imagine the sweet moments, the fabulous and romantic times we spent together’. ‘Do I have to pay this price?

‘Is it worth going through all this pain? I wondered over and over. I really don’t know the answers to these questions yet this must be one inevitable Change,’ I thought. However a series of these kept lingering in my mind, and they would never go.’

Change of a Regime:-

What about this? You remember when Kenya was a one party state, when ‘Mzee Moi’ was at the helm of power. I was a teenager then. We used to sing songs that enticed ‘Baba sometimes referred as Nyayo’; and thus the Nyayo era. Those days were fun.

He was a spectacle to behold. I remember when my friends and I scrambled for ‘maziwa ya nyayo’ (milk for school children, authorized by his Excellency). I guess we were healthy kids of the time. Change reminds us that kids are dying and starving of hunger today, than any other time.


Clamour for Change

He really blessed us with his adoring and well choreographed undertones in his speeches. These are no more because Change caught up with it. He was invaluable and immeasurable in deeds.

It significant to note, that Mzee retired and we had to adjust from the niceties of his era to yet another Change. He also had no choice but to bow down to pressure mounted on him; a new dawn of Change had come.

In the early 90s a cry of Change was trumpeted by a group of young Turks. They persisted with a thunderous rhythm and an infectious nostalgia so great, that even a man of strong standing in society could not afford to laugh any more. The only way out; was to join the bandwagon or bow down to pressure.

Do you remember the sarcastic chants of ‘Moi must go! Moi must! Moi must go?’ It was a radical change from the usually impregnated lullabies from the likes of Joseph Kamotho, and George Saitoti who used to soothingly sing praises to ‘Baba’ as if the contrary was detrimental.

‘Mzee painfully paid the price by initially allowing a multiparty system in Kenya that opened doors for a democracy that embraced Change. This only agitated to his crude but safe exit. I passionately remember the crazy song that reverberated in the country like a thunderous wind of Change.

“Yote ya wezekana bila Moi…, yote ya wezekana, bila Moi,”  …Am telling you this song did wonders in Kenya. It meant that all was possible without the reign of ‘Baba’. This culminated into Kenya witnessing one greatest Change at that time. The exit of KANU from power.

It was then thought that a young man by the name Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta was not man enough to rule by him self. The intrigues that led to his one sided nomination only acted as a disadvantage to him and a stimulant to the change.

He later ceded power to a vibrant Mwai wa Kibaki who symbolized a departure from the past to Change of a new dawn. A new regime of ‘reformists.’

Change of constitution;

Change is an ongoing process, ‘you make this to day, and tomorrow you discover it’s faulty.’ You repair and replace an engine at a cost, only to find out it’s not perfect. My friend once told me that “change can mean death or pain or happiness.” I don’t agree less.

The agitation of a new constitution started way back in the 80s. Even after gaining and celebrating independence, Jaramogi Odinga wrote a book ‘Not yet Uhuru’ implying that Kenya is still grappling with serious effects of colonialism.

True to his word, all corners of the nation have one way or another been crying foul. Shouts of equity, discrimination, nepotism, tribalism etc became the order of the day. Not withstanding advocates for Change came out strongly with the seven bearded sisters being the masters of the game.

The seven bearded sisters had one unison song, ‘Change.’ It vibrated in all corners of the nation, shaking even the high and mighty. Finally, activism was the order of the day. And this wasn’t disappointing either, for it gave birth to the latest order of Change.

The new constitution, is the latest favorite baby, it seems to be carrying a load of positive Change.

Change; The Price To Pay:


In the first scenario;’ I lost my friend, it was so painful, so unbearable, I grieved in pain, I was so bitter,’’ By loving him this was the price I had to pay. I lost him agonizing with bitterest pain. I wondered if I will be able to cope up with that grievous Change. This was a kind that required psychological adjustments.

In the second scenario, there was agitation that would see a Change in regime; it was a bloodied scenario that saw tribal clashes. The struggle made some; fugitives, others were jailed, detained; others went into exile or murdered.  This is a price they had to pay for meaningful Change to become a reality. Some never lived to witness the Change.

In scenario 3; why did we persistently call for a new constitutional dispensation? Have you realized that Change is not always a stagnant affair it is always under scrutiny and repair?  “If it is not this it is that” It is not full proof that an engine is perfect until you overhaul it.

This time the constitution required an overhaul or total Change. Not even an overhaul will guarantee you perfection. It is imperative, instructive and authoritative to seal any loopholes that are constantly identified. There is this strong desire of transformation from an old self to a new self.

It must be driven by some common interests; that of Change. The birth of a new constitution was a people driven process which was born by a common desire to liberate Kenya from any form of political, social and economic captivity. To end those days when we were told; “Kenya belongs to some few individuals”.

It was indeed a Change that has given Kenyans a chance to seek freedoms that were beyond their reach. A fruit that acknowledges that; “power is people and for the people”.

Change is real and positive only when actualization of the agitated ideology, item or envisioned agenda or historical set up is overhauled and ways of doing things are practically transformed from an original form to a new state of being.

What are the benefits/determinants of transformation?

This is a question dictated and determined by factors like time, events and chronological successes and or failures of an entire system. For instance in both scenario one and two; the determinant for need of Change was that of failures and events that had taken place during that time.

Change is a practical and political step that systematically interrogates itself to the extent of conducting a surgical operation. The operation is ideally born from a discovery that, for the organ to survive there is need; to repair or reconstruct and heal the existing wound. Here time factor is of essence.

It is therefore suffice to say that; the benefit of positive Change supersedes and suppresses the continued existence of a branded faulty beginning that only embraces the status quo to the extent of limiting that growth.

Growth is spurred by a stimulus in which some negative habits are dropped and new positive habits introduced. Was it bitter or tasty for you?

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