Sunday, August 23, 2009

Count me in or out

National Census 20 years ago:

For one reason or another, we were not counted. I still can't remember why, all I know is that our gate didn't have that cryptic code marked in white chalk that all the other gates in the hood had. The stigma of being the only kid who didn't have a story about the people who came to count us was too much to bear. I promised to make amends once the next census came.

National Census 10 years ago:

The long wait was finally over and I wasn't going to miss this opportunity. The thing I remember most about that famous evening was that it was the first time in quite a long while that we had sat together as a family in one room. Guess our lifestyles and tv preferences meant that if you weren't in your room, you were outside. Truth is, we never sat together as a family again, as people moved out soon afterwards.

The exercise itself was not without drama. Me, the rebelious teenager, decided to answer that controversial question by saying that I am a Kenyan, much to the chagrin of my parents. Don't get me wrong, nothing to do with tribalism, rather a statement to my folks that I had no ties to their ethnic origin, having been born and brought up in Eastlands. I spoke fluent sheng and visits to ocha never lasted more a few nights in a year. The ennumerator didn't have a problem with my answer, and I felt relieved I had exorcised the demons of missing this important event 10 years ago.

National Census, tomorrow:

Like every employed soul, every surprise holiday is treated with the same gratitude as an unexpected bonus. Yipee!!! Tuesday is a nice day to sleep in, sadly it's also the day our area undergoes electricity load management exercise. As for the exercise the night before, let's just say not everyone in a red shirt carrying a black bag is automatically guaranteed entry into our flat.

And with regard to that infamous question, I'm thinking of rebelling against the current trend. Maybe it's in honour of my parents (esp my late mum). Or rather in acknowledgment of the fact that knowing my tribe or where the people of my tribe are located isn't in itself a bad thing, the census being useful for planning purposes, as well as a gold mine for research information into human migration, pathology and cultural studies. If someone uses that info for locating potential genocide victims, I don't think I will be held guilty. But that's my 2 cents, I might as well tell them that I'm from Mars...

Psa 125:3 The wicked will not rule over those who do right. If they did, the people who do right might use their power to do evil.

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At 8/25/2009 2:44 pm , Blogger pesa tu said...

Got counted last night.Too many questions Such as do i own a fridge?

At 8/27/2009 6:30 pm , Blogger mwasjd said...

@pesa tu

I also got counted on Tuesday night, guy showed up some 15 min after nine pm, well after the tv news headlines had made me wonder if I'd been left out. I wonder how the fridge has anything to do with vision 2030, is it a mark of development? Hopefully next time, I'll own a canoe, donkey and tuktuk :-)

At 8/31/2009 10:02 pm , Blogger Riba Capital said...

Was not counted, ok was out of the country ;), so that means there are no plans for those who are out and about..

At 9/04/2009 1:42 pm , Blogger mwasjd said...


For the next 10 years, don't listen to the budget or any govt plans, you are not included ;-)


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