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By Muthoni Thang’wa

There are two issues that caught social media like wildfire this weekend.

One was Kalonzo and his now infamous flimflam around his
‘Your name betrays everything’ remarks.

The other was the picture in Kiambu of a smartly dressed police woman in uniform many considered far too tight.

One of the problems of taking social media too seriously is that it is the ‘home’ of all who struggle with egotism – never missing an
opportunity to make outrageous remarks just to get others to react to them.

But it is here to stay.

What exactly did Kalonzo tell Muriithi?

That your name betrays your agenda and hence I cannot answer your question?

Is that so terrible?

In this context it is.

If the village drunk indulges in bigotry, people laugh, but when a
politician who wanted our votes to be our Deputy President does the same outside the privacy of his home, it is a real problem.

I use ‘the privacy of his home’ since Kenyans have serious stereotype problems that seem harmless when thrown about in a private individual’s living room over tea or wine or
football.

Note the hollow laughter of his
companions at the press conference.
Intolerant ‘jokes’ seem funny and full of bravado.

In reality they are sloppy, unnecessary and an unhealthy way to entertain.

When such sentiments slip out in public or in the workplace, the world starts to turn dark.

As they say, what we think, we become.

AS A MAN TREATS THE WAITER

The other problem with Kalonzo’s attitude is that he was scoffing at a ‘working man’.

As they say, watch how a man treats the waiter, the bartender or the help and you will know who he is.

The whole idea is that ridiculing the
working classes is really the worst a person can do, especially one who needs their votes.

But it might be that Kalonzo is tired of national politics and wants to retire to Seikulu in peace.

Why would I think that?

There are three reasons.

One, only a suicidal politician antagonizes the media, especially the mainstream media.

The media can make you ‘their agenda’ and portray everything you do in the negative, even a
mere smile.

At the village level a politician can
do door-to-door calls changing public
perception, but if one wishes to be a national leader, the media unfortunately is the only way to sell his or her agenda to a nation.

If one is already in a distasteful relationship with such media, that may be difficult.

Two, the media can black out a politician.

This must be the single most painful thought for any politician.

Watch the space around you
and learn, politicians can do anything to remain in the public eye, anything.

What happens when the media ignores anything?

Three, people in the same profession stick together.

It is easier for a woman to say she
has enough shoes than to find a doctor who will attest to the mistakes of another doctor.

The same applies to every other profession.

If you choose to treat the media with disdain, it will not matter if it is Makau, Otieno, Galgalo or Mureithi you have made the very public
remark to, it might as well be all of
them.

Some are arguing that many Kenyans are tribalists, but we have reached a really dangerous phase in our sickness if we need to know the the tribe of ‘Mama Boi’ at the kiosk
before buying milk from her kiosk or the name of a journalist before answering a question in a
press conference.

Yes,ironically, a PRESS conference!

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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