She was a stranger in the
country. She knew neither the language nor the social environment of the
people. There was so much to learn. One day she went out walking on a
familiarization tour. She met people on the way. Individuals and groups were
going about their various activities. First was a group of women selling farm
produce. ”Who’s the king of this country?” she asked them. “Agaza,” they
replied, almost in a chorus. She passed them and went on, satisfied to have
known the name of the nationa1 leader.
Next were some joyful people
singing and dancing in a wedding procession. She requested to know who the
lucky couple were. “Agaza,” came the reply. “What a happy king,” she thought.
"He is getting married today!" She also met on her journey some men working on
a plantation, and a couple of boys driving a big herd of cattle to the watering
hole. Again she asked who all this wealth belonged to. The reply was the same
as before: “Agaza.” This time she almost envied this King Agaza. Finally was a
funeral procession which she encountered on the way back a few days later. A
number of the people were weeping and wailing uncontrollably. She was moved.
After enquiring about who had died, she got the reply: “Agaza." She too broke
down and wept. How can tragedy strike such a leader?" she wondered. After all,
he’s just married!"
Gradually, she came to learn the
language. She learned that “Agaza" was the people’s way of saying “I don’t
understand what you are saying".
The year that has just ended was marked by numerous instances of “Agaza debates”
Only some insiders knew what they meant by “majimbo” (Swahili for “federalism”),
constitutional change, family life education, sex education and so on. Perhaps
the new year will witness to the erosion of this “Agaza culture” in our approach
to issues. Who knows, we might not only continue rejecting certain issues and
teachings outright, but also be enabled to actually suggest better alternatives.