" You died a good death if your life had inspired someone to come forward and shoot your murderer in the chest -- without asking to be paid." Says Chinua Achebe in his satirical novel “A Man of the People”
In this brilliant piece he seeks to put some laughter into an otherwise somber state of affairs that characterizes the African government. Chief M.A Nanga, Odili’s former teacher wins an election and is subsequently appointed Minister Of Culture. A position meant to defend and positively highlight the African culture. Never mind the chief is the perfect depiction of a culture-less man who despite a dozen extra marital affairs sleeps with Odili’s girlfriend.
In this society, that is largely a mirror image of our setting, corruption is the order of the day. Ordinary citizens are resigned to fate. The cyclical elections being used to formalize otherwise empty promises as aspirants are elected on basis of party popularity and taking advantage of the masses' ignorance.
Even new-bloods like the narrator, Odili, are blinded to a large extent by the trappings of power. Leaving an already hopeless society more hopeless.
Corruption, as is practiced in Kenya, is deeply engrained. The usual talk of “its our time to eat” and “having a share of the national cake” depict a picture parallel to present situation Kenya. Tribe is used as the currency to propel a few selfish individuals to power. I do hope that rings a bell about the CORD/ Jubilee tussle.
In the end a coup’ is staged and the script ends with more questions than when it started. Will this be that elusive light at the end of the tunnel or is it just a start to the series of coups and counter coups.
Dear Kenya, of all the happenings in that setting, the only thing yet to happen to Kenya is a coup. I am scared!
Most memorable quote for me remains “when you climb the Iroko tree, be sure to climb down with all the firewood that you need” Please keep this quote away from politicians who have just won seats in the recently concluded elections, for reasons that are obvious to you and me.
No man can Kill this Iroko man from Ogidi. Let no eulogist try to kill Albert Chinualumogu Achebe. I will offer to shoot the murderer and ask for no pay.