Remember To Remember To Sing Freedom Songs


The first generation of RPP has come of age, the time is high and nigh to pass on the mantle to the young, energetic and somewhat clueless generation. The years of being “dragged” by our parents to RPP events have long passed, we now vividly wait and pressure them to give us a chance to show and prove to them and possibly to ourselves just how much we learnt from our childhood sleep-filled activism events. Is it the time yet? Are we ripe enough?

Back in the day we couldn’t understand why we were enrolled in boarding schools at a young age and neither could our young brains comprehend why our parents failed to visit us during the once-a-term visiting days due to their status as ‘guests of the state.’ You see, it is not that they were dinning and wining at State House, they were actually accommodated at various Kenyan Prisons such as; Kamiti, Langata, Naivasha etc. Other times they would be cooling their heels at police cells or worse still, licking and nursing their wounds that had been inflicted by the City Council enforcement (Kanjo), anti-riot Police squad or the civilian militia group Jeshi la Mzee. Are we ready to subject our young families to that? Are we ready to spend an entire day in a cold cell?

The struggle is like a relay race, our parents’ generation has handed us the tools of the race.  We think and convince ourselves that we are ripe enough to run the race but just how much do we know of what it takes to be an activist? Is it merely the childhood memories of the past RPP Cultural week or the other struggle events that our parents ‘made’ or allowed us to tag along? In our individual adult or adolescent lives, have we experienced the pain and anger that compelled our parents to say that it is better to die on your feet rather than to live on your knees? Is it our time yet?

Some of us are lucky to be named after notable freedom fighters, the likes we now want and seek to emulate. It is sad but we got to say it; a lot of the gains and democratic space such as our progressive 2010 constitution that our parents shed tears and blood for are being swallowed back by the cannibalistic political elite. Like parasites, they have embarked on a mission to suck on our youthful aspirations as they toast each other with our nation’s resources. They are determined to strip us of our human dignity so that we scramble under their tables fighting for the falling crumbs as they divide us along Dynasty versus Hustler groupies. As the sons and daughters of the struggle, are we ready and ripe enough to call out their bluff?

As sons and daughters of the struggle since our childhood we have been dancing to freedom tunes, not really acknowledging the meaning of the battle, victory and at times mournful tunes. Our time has come to believe, embrace and get passionate about the freedom songs and struggle. The time has come when we must strive to cement the position that we were lucky enough to be born and bred in.

We have been told endless times by those in authority to get an education so that we can become future leaders. Be like us, they tell us as they give us handouts and insult one another. You got to trust the system and be patriotic citizens. We tried, yes, trusting too much at times, hoping against hope that finally the cries of the freedom fighters had been heard but just when we thought that we were about to reach the Promised land, the opportunistic political players dish out another round of betrayal. With time, we are slowly learning how to detect those that carry the opportunistic DNA and it is our duty to rally our fellow youths and together identify the right footsteps to follow and the ones to jump over.

It is time to remind the dynasties that we know our history and rights, It is time to speak up, It is time to stand up, It is time to put on the grown up boots. It is time to remember to remember the freedom songs. Afterall we are the RPP Uprising.

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