I enjoy watching the National Geographic channel especially the Big Five episodes. I have always loved the outdoors and open savannahs. The animal kingdom fascinates me so much so that after high school I chose Hotel Management as a potential career. The other one was to be a vet. I know… Strange. My dream was to work in those luxury lodges and tented camps entertaining wagenis, and doing game drives in those Land Cruisers with the sunset in the background against the golden colored grass. Perfect life. Magical Kenya – esque. That dream however, died an instant death when I approached my dad with application forms to enrol for Hotel Management at Le Roche School in Switzerland. The fees were about 1.5M then. Yaani even Utalii was not the plan. Talk of aiming high. My old man saw that fee structure and said, “How can it cost that much for you to be a waiter in a hotel.’’ That dream vanished faster than being removed from a WhatsApp group for sharing a view that the group admin doesn’t like.

Back to the National Geographic. There is this particular program called Hunter Hunted where the natural hunter (usually a carnivore) is cornered by its food (the herbivore) and its life is threatened. In this battle of greats, it is usually a never ending domee between the king of the jungle and the buffalo. For me, this is like a drag race between two supercars – just the animal version of it.

There was this one episode where a pride of lions went out looking for food and came across a huge herd of buffalo near a watering hole. They started collecting intel – lion style – and picked out an old, weak male as their target. Once their strategy was locked and each lion in position, they went in for the kill. They successfully isolated the weak male from the herd by spooking the herd away and within seconds, two lions were on the mzee buffalo’s back working hard to bring him down.

Once the herd had run a short distance away, they realised one of their own was under attack. They got into formation (the young ones and females in the middle, and the strong males at the front and side lines) and charged at the lions. Instantly, the lions abandoned their victim and retreated. There was a standoff that filled the air with tension. No one was backing down. The herd had surrounded their injured member and the lions were trying to get back and finish the job.

Suddenly, from nearby thickets behind the lions, charged three bulls headed for the lions like those green, new police anti-riot tankers freewheeling down Waiyaki way headed to quell riots. This caught the lions unaware and they bolted for safety on higher ground. Unfortunately, one was a bit slow and was cornered. All I saw after that was his helpless body being flung up in the air and trampled upon repeatedly. Poor lion, but happy buffalo I guess. 2017 has been a crap year because of the effect of siasa on our businesses, communities and lives in general. Sadly, our politicians have once again successfully turned us against one another. We have retreated to our tribal cocoons where we see tribe first and Kenyan second. If that pride of lions represented external aggression on our country, I’m sure we would resist it as Kenyans and defend our motherland. The only tribe then would be Kenyan.

I pray and long for the day we shall operate like that herd of buffaloes. It did not matter whether the attacked individual was old or young, male or female, black or brown. He was just one of the herd and that entitled him to full protection by the herd. The lions could not penetrate the buffalo wall around the injured bull. In addition, the herd decided to eliminate the threat all together, ili iwe funzo to the remaining lions. They took out one of the lions.  I’m sure the rest of the lions will never forget that experience. Next time they will think thrice, not twice before choosing buffalo steak for dinner.

Folks, let us eradicate the lions of tribalism and ethnicity that divide us and tear our national fabric down the middle. Many of us have lived peacefully as neighbours, business partners, lovers, and people of different faiths and so on for the last 4 years. Now silly season comes (election year, as I heard it once called) and we go into US vs THEM mentality. The phrase ‘hawa watu’ is used liberally. In the end, we are the losers. As Kenyans, we carry the guilt of innocent blood shed and property destroyed. Not to forget too that this prevailing hunger and brokenness is no respecter of tribe. Remember we are the same ones who will have to rebuild what we have destroyed as politicians sip champagne on their well-guarded and manicured lawns. Sadly, we can’t bring back lost lives. Lord forgive us…

This year has been the hardest for me and it has reached a point where it doesn’t matter who is in Statehouse. I just want the enabling business environment back so I can do what I do best and trade. Even my few plots for sale have no buyers, thanks to this hostile environment, yet I need to move on and start my new hustle.

Folks, let us be our brother’s keeper at all times and refuse these lions of division, animosity and hatred to penetrate our strong herd that is Kenyan. We are known to be warm, welcoming, hardworking, loving God and each other. That’s the Kenya I pray and strive to work towards for me and my baby sharks.

May peace reign.

Share this post:

9 thoughts on “Herd.”

  1. Levi Marang'a says:

    Super well said bro. Love it!!!! I am with you.
    I shall use that, “Buffalo herd mentality = ONE strong unit”.

  2. Shiro says:

    Well said. I stand with that prayer as well. #onelove.

  3. Linda says:

    This blog is a blessing. I don’t even know where to start. My best part was how we have allowed politicians to divide us. What pains me us that we let it happen every 5 years. I’m just praying for Kenya.

  4. Eva says:

    Asante Lucas, deep truth, for the love of our country..

  5. Janice says:

    Very well put Lucas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *