Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward

I received these oldies from a friend recently. Take a look at some of Africa's matunda [fruits] of independence and the interesting headlines.

(Weekly Review, Oct. 1976)

Current President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki, pictured above, two years before he was appointed Vice President by Daniel Arap Moi who had just taken over the Presidency, following the death of founding President, Jomo Kenyatta in August, 1978. Kibaki has over thirty-one years of experience in politics, as cabinet minister, Vice-President and then President.

(Drum Magazine, August 1986)

"Zimbabwe, along with Kenya, have become the success stories of Africa. There aren't many?" - a quote taken from the above article, click the snapshot to read in its entirety. President Robert Mugabe today at the ripe old age of 85 is still going strong after 29 years in public office, having served as Prime Minister, then President.

"Kibaki’s Challenge" and "The Men Who Must Make Peace." Here we are in 2009 and Kibaki’s challenge seems to have multiplied, while Mugabe has not made peace but is following the path of other despots.

Kibaki and Mugabe are by no means the oldest and longest-serving African leaders. See Reuters FACTBOX: Muammar Gadaffi of Libya seized power in 1969 and is still going strong. The late Omar Bongo of Gabon ruled for four decades before his passing in June this year. On August 31, His son Ali-Ben Bongo declared victory in the presidential elections. It's a long list or rulers - President Biya, at 76, has ruled for 29 years, Santos of Angola, has ruled for 30 years, Museveni of Uganda, has ruled for 23 years.

Kweli, tell me, are the matunda green, ripe, overripe, or preserved? Marmalade?

One step forward two steps backward?

Mama Shujaa.


  1. Hehehehehehe...Mama, it seems Africa is the only place people rule all their life with no developments then they had over to their children who continue the bad leadership

  2. Cee, What will it take to get the continent right? hebu niambiye?

  3. Totally see where your coming from Mama Shujaa. The real problem is that it is us the watu who prop up these dinosaurs right across the continent. Even the opposition only want to do what the big man is doing. I am afraid we must go back to the drawing board to work out what it is exactly that we want from our leaders, and then demand it of them.

    I am actually sadder today because I cannot say I am reading anything that comes close to the old weekly review of those days

  4. I think the saying, "we've come far, but we still have so far to go", rings true in many nations. I hope that change will come in great waves at some point.

  5. Wetwool,

    I agree, we need to go back to the drawing board. Back to basics. Back to agriculture, etc. that basic. Most people just want the basic amenities - clean water, power, good roads and opportunity to make an income. Our leaders objectives seem to be just to issue pleasanteris about this five star hotel, resort, or that. Most investment is geared towards pleasing outsiders, tourists (which generates income); I agree with you, the objectives of our leaders must capture what we want.

    Ms. Bar B,

    Yes and Mahatma Gandhi said "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

  6. seems like ive seen that photo somewhere in my old mans archive,

  7. Mama, That is a question I have kept asking myself for quite a while. But I guess we should also start with the person in the mirror. Right now we complain about the town being dirty and power rationing. How many of us, drop papers as they walk in town? How many of us have planted trees? I'm not saying our politicians are right in what they are doing, quite on the contrary but as Kenyans we should take responsibilities for our own actions and our country.

  8. @ Nairobian - untold treasures probably reside there. :-)

    @ Cee - Amen!!

  9. Excellent post. You don't mince your words and I like that about you. Yes, I agree, one step forward, two steps back.

    Greetings from London.

  10. Your words are both amusing and politically astute. I keep hoping that the political turmoil in Kenya will become a positive force for reform one day - not just a step forward, but a huge leap.

    Sorry to be so slow to visit - it has been a busy work week especially with my husband out of town and my kids not at school yet.

    Good luck with your soccer.

  11. ACIL, welcome back from your nice long holiday and thanks for stopping by.

    Sarah, thanks and take it easy over there.

  12. I am so glad this discourse, this dialogue is occuring here...And im excited to be part of it... It truly gives me great hope for Africa and for our world...

    Big love Mama, M


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Swallow Me

See the World, No Visa Required