Will Ambassador Sang Attend the Michael Osumba Harambee?
According to KSB Intelligence Security Services (KISS), Ambassador Sang may attend the Osumba Harambee scheduled for Saturday, 31st August 2013 at Hagsätra. Initially, rumours swept across Kenya-Stockholm that the Ambassador will not attend the Harambee even though he had been officially invited. However, a KISS agent who regularly monitors Embassy activities told KSB that the latest information she has is that the Ambassador is seeking to postpone or skip a private function scheduled for Saturday so that he can attend the harambee.
Although he arrived in Stockholm almost a year ago, Ambassador Sang has not touched base with Kenyans and many Kenya-Stockhomers do not know him. The first time he was seen by many Wakenya was on 3rd August when he showed up at the Nyama Choma which was organized by Sound of Blackness. Although he did manage to touch base with KSB at the function, his presence was a low-key affair and he later slipped out of the Nyam Chom as suddenly as he had come, with only a few Kenyans having noticed his presence.
On the Day that the Millie Harambee was organized in Märsta, the Ambassador was spotted by agents at the “Swahili Festival” that had been organized by a group of Tanzanians in collaboration with a few Kenyans. According to an eye witness, the Ambassador was dancing freely on the floor and dressed very casually, a major departure from the known demeanour of Purity Muhindi who was more reserved, elitist and “high life” oriented. It was reported that at the Swahili Night, the new Ambassador wriggled easily (like Kofi Olomide) to the tunes of Ndombolo and so energetically that he literally gave ma vijana at the function stiff competition on the dance floor.
Obviously, the Ambassador’s honey-moon in Stockholm is over and it is time he rolled up his sleeves and got to know Wakenya. It is for this reason that the Osumba harambee provides a real opportunity for the Ambassador to show up his face and begin to acquaint himself with Kenyans in Stockholm.
Given the lengthy period of time he has been in Stockholm without serious moves to meet Kenyans, the risk the Ambassador is running if he continues to remain holed at the Embassy is that he may lose the good-will of Kenyans who hoped that a new Ambassador will act differently from his predecessor, Purity Muhindi who avoided Kenyans like leprosy. A KSB survey shows that many Kenyans would like to work with the Embassy especially at the socio-cultural levels. The problem has been that the Embassy has been less reciprocative because, in the case of Purity, attitude problems always stood on the way. The stereotypical view of the Embassy has been that Wakenya in Stockholm are basically problematic and difficult to deal with, an obtuse view which Purity could not break up with.
Breaking the jinx
When Purity was recalled, the hope was that a new Ambassador would open a new chapter and operate differently even if he had been pumped with anti-Wakenya propaganda by handlers at the Embassy. This is what former Ambassador Kinyanjui did and now, he is rated as one of the best Ambassadors Kenyans have ever had in Stockholm. Having been posted during the dictatorship of former President Daniel arap Moi, Kinyanjui converted a politically hostile environment in Stockholm into a cordial working relationship with Kenyans in a way that surprised even some of the staunchest critics of the then Moi government.
Unfortunately, when Purity came in, she messed up everything and demolished all links Kinyanjui had built with Kenyans, choosing instead, to surround herself with a group of sycophants (aka walambaji) who were not of any help from a PR point of view. In the end, it was walambaji who used to constitute the “Kenyan crowd” for it is them who used to receive invitations whenever anything official was happening in Kenya-Stockholm. When Purity eventually packed her bags and left for Kenya unceremoniously, a sigh of relief breezed across Kenya-Stockholm. Under the circumstances, Dr. Sang’s moves are closely being watched by Kenya-Stockholmers. For the Ambassador, every public appearance is likely to help him “break the ice” with Wakenya here. For now, it is a wait and see.
Another problem for the Daktari is more political than social. The Ambassador has taken over at the Embassy at a time when the country has just undergone a problematic election which has split the Nation into Kikuyu/Kalenjin vs the rest of Kenyans. The political angle is that if the Ambassador continues to ignore key Kenyan functions which are non Kikuyu/Kalenjin oriented, there is a big risk that such a strategy may be interpreted to mean that since he is a “Jubilee Ambassador”, he might have no business with activities whose organizers are predominantly Corded.
To break this jinx, the Ambassador will have to plan his movements carefully because on the surface, the Ambassador ought to serve all Kenyans equally regardless of their political affiliations. The new Ambassador is therefore walking a tight rope and any successes or failures in dealing with Kenya-Stockholmers will depend on his social arithmetic and political algebra. He may have to borrow a leaf from Kinyanjui otherwise if he follows the Purity way, his fate will be sealed and his diplomatic mission in Stockholm will be conducted away from Wakenya, the very people he ought to be serving.