A country of Big People and Little People
In Kenya there are Big People, and there are Little People. There are very few Big People, and very, very many Little People. The Big People call all the shots and make all the decisions, and the Little People obey.
The slightly bigger Little People spend all their time and effort trying to become Big People, because if you are one of the Little People in Kenya you are nothing. It doesn’t matter how you became one of the Big People, as long as you are Big.
Big People have many privileges. They ride ‘back-left’ in limousines, while Little People ‘kaa square’ in matatus. Big People do not have to obey normal traffic rules and do not notice the gridlock around them, because they use journey time to rest and work in air-conditioned comfort. Little People lose several hours a day marooned on clogged-up roads. But that’s fine, because the Little People’s time doesn’t really matter.
Big People are exempt from queues and general inconvenience. They can go to the front automatically and be served first, as all the Little People will make way for them. Big People do not have to be searched or subjected to security checks, because they are too Big for that. A Little Person attempting to impose any inconvenience on a Big Person will soon be made a Tiny Person.
Big People do not pay taxes. They are either given official exemptions, or they find more creative ways of escaping the net. Little People pay lots of taxes and pay for everything that the Big People do.
Big People do not go to jail. They commit many crimes, but are too Big to be punished. As a result, they commit even more crimes and become even Bigger. Little People are punished immediately for even the smallest misdemeanour, unless they are protected by Big People.
Big People are surrounded by lots of Little People called aides, assistants, drivers, bodyguards and relatives. These Little People protect the Big People from other Little People, and in return are made to feel like Slightly Big People.
Big People learned long ago that there are many more Little People than there are Big People. They realized that the only way to keep Little People from noticing they outnumber the Big People was to keep them in separate pens called Tribes. Once the Little People were herded into these special pens, they could be controlled easily by the Big People who would warn them about the danger that comes from other Little People in other pens.
The good news for the Little People is that things may be about to change for them. For one thing, more than half of the Little People are now Very Young People, because the Older Little People had been too active in procreating Little People. For another, the Little People now carry Little Devices that allow them to connect to all the world’s Little People. This has allowed the Little People to realize that being forcibly kept Little is backward and primitive.
Many more of the Little People are also becoming Medium People, and are asking why the Big People have it all their own way. They are asking pesky questions and refusing to fetch the ball for the Big People. The Little People are now realizing that they don’t have to be so Little after all. Some of the Big People are also realizing that the exclusive Big life is not sustainable.
Someday soon, Kenya will become a country for All People, where every person lives under the same rules and has the same rights; where anyone who has earned it on merit can become bigger; and where what is good for All People is what is done. Then, we will read in our history books about the bad old days when only Big People mattered.