Let my flag remind, of my sacred duty. Black for the people, green for the land, red for the price of freedom and white for peace in Kenya, my pride, my strength, my joy always will be Kenya. This without a doubt evokes a good measure of patriotic emotionalism right? *mission accomplished* But what really is Kenyan Patriotism? Was I less of a flag-waver 13 years ago when i lived back home? or was the ultranationalist me confined to the pride emanated from watching our athletes bag gold medals in the Olympics or that one time the Survivor series was shot in my homeland *was it even televised locally?* I am in a continuous state of pondering; what really typifies homeland patriotism? If the last 8 or so years are anything to go by, locally Kenyans fill the bill. Laudable advances in appreciation of our beautiful country as shown in statistical increase in domestic tourism *gone are the yonder years when Nairobi was the only mod thing* In pursuit of emancipation and egalitarianism, people locally have never been more dead set on educating themselves on matters Political, *evident in the current pro-activity visible in civil society* Health *my mothers prudent platter shames me* Social solidarity unwavering support for homegrown Kenya *7’s phenomenon, appreciation of local brands* Economic* micro-finance advancements *we still are a micro populace* Technological *iHub, Ushahidi* this list is inexhaustible. In these onerous times, such headlines are undoubtably endearing. This indomitable spirit attests to a journey begun.
So what does this have to do with patriotism? Well, that’s simple. As i go about my day-to-day affairs domiciled in a country other than my own, I proudly wear a beaded wrist band with the true colors of my land and boast a pennant competing for space on my cars’ foreign license plate, * an inspection officer threatened to fail my car on account of this* my footwear bears the court of arms.*soma lebo (read the label)* These are just strewed examples of my diasporic definition of patriotism. It’s a wash the outside and overlook the inside of the coffee mug affair. Am so tempted to bow out on this self confrontation right now as numerous justifications spring left right*voices in my head*
Are all my symbols bona fide portrayals of my patriotism? In plain terms do i need to strap myself with the 4 colors to demonstrate to the world how nationalistic i am? Why can’t I commit to palpable undertakings as demonstrated by my compatriots back home? Wait, I think am been too tough on myself. Am a constant remitter of money southwards *well, informally* My résumé speaks volumes *still waiting for domestic advancement signals* I stay abreast with current affairs *am mostly put off by the grimness* i could go on but for the sake of self preservation i think i have put my point across.
I will not put down my symbols *i’d feel naked* but i make a deliberate shift, to create value for my emblems. I want patriotism for my beloved motherland to emanate from within me as opposed to without me. Then maybe, just maybe i won’t need my ornaments.