Monday, July 6, 2009

Is this Negativity?

I have often been accused of being negative about all sorts of things. (Someone on twitter actually said I am "a typical Kenyan always hating on your own" and that I should be proud of what's ours; after all things could be worse (or something to that effect). The person who said this was responding to a statement I made about JKIA Airport (I think I said "it's a dark, dirty hole"....or words to that effect).

I am very critical of the Kibaki administration (I think that they have badly, badly underachieved), I criticize our roads (smooth &'s not rocket science), I criticize service in banks & restaurants...etc etc.

Yes I criticize alot. I fear this may make me a seem to some like a doom and gloom person. Let me set the record straight. I am the biggest optimist imaginable, I genuinely believe that Kenya has got all the potential in the world....what irritates me; what I am critical of is when we do not fulfil that potential or worse still..when we do not even try to fulfil our potential.

Take the example of our airport; Yes, it is small and yes it is old. It is also dark, dingy, dirty, poorly planned and neglected. The first two problems require long term and (possibly) expensive solutions. Is it the same with the last five problems? I do not think so. Our small, old airport should be clean, well lit, well maintained, well laid out and well organized. To say that our airport should be a dump just because it is old and small is defeatist and insulting. Infact, precisely because our airport is old and small, we should make the most of what little space we have available, we should make sure that it is maintained well and kept looking spick and span.

My criticism of the Kibaki administration; yes they have done all sorts of things but ultimately, they have achieved a fraction of what they could and should have achieved had they gone in with any sort of ambition. The wave which swept them into power in 2002 meant that they had the goodwill of the people to really undertake real sustainable reforms in this country. For example; they should have reformed (radically!..not the token reforms we've seen) and streamlined the civil service. They should have radically reformed the judiciary. They did neither. They concentrated their energies on political bickering and instead of a streamlined and efficient civil service, we have the most bloated civil service a time when the country is going broke. Instead of an efficient justice system, we remain in a situation where even the simplest cases often take years to resolve. #Fail.

The point is, I judge us by a high standard. I think that we should be achieving much more, I think that we should be aiming higher and making less excuses.

Kenyans often seem to have this attitude that having an excuse for not achieving is somehow an acceptable substitute to actually achieving. How many times do people promise to deliver on something and instead hand you excuses?

There's a word for people who accept excuses in lieu of results. Losers. We need to get rid of this loser attitude if we are ever to get anywhere. I hate it when we settle for mediocrity and I speak out about it. If that makes me negative, then so be it.

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