‘The Greatest Generation’ was a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the generation of Americans who grew up in the deprivation of the Great Depression, went out to fight the 2nd World War, and then returned home to build their nation into a superpower. I too have come to believe that I am part of Africa’s Greatest Generation.
Today is a significant day in Kenya’s history. By it’s end, we will either have a president-elect or or a new election process in the next 2 months. The naysayers have continued predicting doom and gloom over this nation. I however believe that the way the elections went including the subsequent court case are actually best way that this nation could have tested the institutions that were put in place by our new constitution!
Whichever way the Supreme Court rules, I pray that my fellow countrymen and women will not only accept the verdict but rally together as one to effect the judgment and build this great nation. Whether it goes the way you wanted it to or not! I pray that those who feel the verdict went for them will celebrate modestly and responsibly. And that those who feel it went against them will embrace it with dignity and graciousness. Whoever wins the presidency, either today or in 60 days, will be the president of every single one of us.
This is but a beginning as we travel together to build a future for our children. We stand on the verge of great promise and potential but a lot depends on our choices going forward. The fork in the road ahead of us leads to either greatness or mediocrity. I want to paraphrase the words of a great American preacher, spoken 50 years ago, just before our own nation attained independence. He could have been speaking about us today…
“Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy. Now it the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of economic injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Now it the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of ethnic cocoons to the sunlit path of choosing unity and inclusion.
I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the dream of our ancestors, as they united together against colonial oppression.
I have a dream of a day when there will be no slums in our nation, and every person who desires to work will own their means of production.
I have a dream that my three children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by sound of their last name but by the content of their character.
I have a dream that one day every county in this nation will be transformed into an oasis of freedom, inclusion and justice.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be engulfed, every hill shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
This must be our common hope. United we stand, divided we fall! Now begins the real work – the work of unifying a nation that has long been divided by real and perceived injustices. Now begins the task of building a nation our children will be proud to belong to. And in the process we must have hope and faith that the God of all creation is more than able to bless this our land and nation!
I pray that my generation will be the generation that sees this dream become a reality. I pray that we will arise to become part of the greatest generation that Africa has ever seen!