Where Does African Heroism Reside?

I just received a text message from a friend in Nairobi who let me know that the authorities are bulldozing all the temporary structures built to house small businesses: kiosks, hawkers and mitumba dealers. All this is being done to supposedly get ‘rid of thugs’. I have been saying it for a while now, the Kenyan government is at war with its own people. Now small business people are thugs; wardens shot dead by British aristocrats get no justice, journalists slapped by the First Lady and Maasai people agitating for a return of their land in Laikipia. It all adds up to the criminalisation of being poor. But I have gone into all these matters in the past and frankly speaking, they are driving me to rage and great sadness. Let me use this post, not to be escapist, but to ponder on the nature of heroism, whether courage is a political virtue. And to ask where Kenyan or African heroism exists. In my last post, I mentioned my grandpa who went to Burma to fight with the King’s African Rifles during WW2. I have wondered what experiences he had there and have decided to post some pictures before I can get a story out. I enjoyed these pictures and hope that I am able to upload them.

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About bulletsandhoney
I read my first book when I was three, then my second one a few weeks later. It has carried on this way for decades with only temporary distractions of eating, fighting, loving, heartbreak and other such irrelevant biographical details.

2 Responses to Where Does African Heroism Reside?

  1. Anonymous says:

    The dictionary meaning of hero is – a person who is admired for having done something very brave or having achieved something great.

    So the issue becomes what is “something very brave or having achieved something great.” I think there is the broader sense of the heroism, the guy that pulled a baby out of a burning building or the woman who took in several orphans to her home. But I don’t think you are interested in the universal heroic understanding but the daily sense of it, a hero that we deal with on a daily basis.

    The Hero we deal with on a daily basis or that we aspire to be like in Africa is a wealth guy given our abject poverty and the trappings that come with the wealth. Any one that has accumulated what we may perceive to be large amounts of resource is our hero. Given that wealth in Africa is never acuminated using savory methods then we indirectly hold the means of acquiring resources as “heroic”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There are no African heros, for if there were, they would have lifted Africa out of its misery. I do remember a post about “brain drain” you wrote a while back. Most Africans in the west would have been better off being the agents of change at home( if not them, who? What propagates change in a modern nation? Of course Science, technology, ideology). But alas, the Africans so endowed with these “gifts” are absent, practicing somewhere else, only once in a while ranting about whats wrong with the African governments.
    Guys, lets accept this: we are all cowards.

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