It is not in doubt that we are living in extraordinary times. It is also not in question that millions of Kenyans have had their livelihoods taken away from them, by a raging pandemic that has claimed over 2,600 lives, and infected 156,318 Kenyans. In a desperate time like ours, forlorn solutions are sought for problems that need well-thought-out action plans. And can sustain over a period of time.
On Saturday, Deputy President William Ruto met a group of country’s entertainers comprising musicians, comedians, and disk jockeys. Led by rapper Khaligraph Jones and radio personality Mzee Jalango, the creatives listed a number of demands to the DP, among them, unlocking the country.
Asking a government outsider, no longer sitting in the cabinet, where decisions such as opening a country are made, is to be very blind to the country’s political reality.
”I urge you to really help us talk to His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta to open up the country. Creatives are just but a fraction of the people suffering from the current lockdown measures,” a letter dated April 24th, from Khaligraph Jones read, after he the DP responded to an earlier Instagram post, on the same.
Unknown to Khaligraph and his colleagues in the creative industry, William Ruto is a ruthless political schemer, a sly fox per-excellence out to milk relevance from the plight of Kenyans in the entertainment sector. Without batting an eyelid or a single strain of remorse.
At the Saturday meeting, there was no written memorandum, holding Ruto accountable, for his commitment to helping ”unlock the country.” It was a photo session, with his signature populist moves, donning a Hustler nation cap.
In his statement, instead of telling Khaligraph and his colleagues how he was to help Unlock the country, the DP was high on political rhetoric. Asking the group to join his Hustler political agenda, by distributing food in different parts of Nairobi, and at the same time ‘promote the Ministry of Health’s protocols’.
”The artists offered to spearhead an intense campaign to promote the Ministry of Health’s protocols and vaccination drive as their contribution in the battle against COVID-19,” a section of DP Ruto’s statement reads in part.
Among the Ministry of Health protocols members of the creative industry have been asked to promote, are those enforcing the lockdown, curfew, and cessation of movement. What then was the intention of visiting Karen, if Khaligraph, Jalango, and Co are to enforce the same protocols that have shaken the creatives industry and rendered hundreds jobless?
Even though their efforts are well-meaning, and deserve swift action from the Kenyan government, members of the creative industry are still not awakened, politically. It takes more than photo sessions and a social media statement, to solve a problem as huge as the one we are currently in as a country.