The legendary Rosa Parks cemented her place as the symbol of defiance to muscular authorities hell-bent on stifling her basic rights.
By refusing to give up her seat to white people, Mrs. Parks’ courage sparked outrage and energized the civil rights movement. Decades later, the first African American president was photographed seated on the same seat in a symbolic act that demonstrated just how far black people had come.
Many fallen black icons are celebrated for various acts of defiance and courage that helped shape the struggle for freedom. Blacks were considered inferior and unequal despite being natural born citizens of the United States. It took acts of courage, bravery, and outright defiance to bring about a sense of equality. Of course, the key actors in the struggle paid the ultimate price but they are forever engraved in monuments of history as the few who dared to challenge the status quo.
Closer to home, if we had a rotunda, busts of gallant soldiers who fought for our freedom before independence and legions of those who fought strongman regimes after Independence would be must-have.
History is littered with fables of those who fought and died for our freedom from the white man and later on those who vehemently fought the ukoloni mamboleo crusaders.
Historians have a picture of a handcuffed Dedan Kimathi, a picture of a bleeding Timothy Njoya after a beat down from KANU strongmen, a picture of a clobbered Wangari Maathai protesting the grabbing of Uhuru Park, a picture of a bearded Raila O Odinga in handcuffs trying to wave to his supporters from a police van.
Thanks to Jubilee, they now a have footage of Miguna Miguna being manhandled and frogmarched to a plane while rattling our his constitutional rights.
They now have footage of a Kenyan slamming the walls of a foreign aircraft in defiance of an illegal deportation decree.
Too many folks watching the clip, a picture of a dejected Kenyan protesting the inhumane treatment in the hands of his own countrymen is something that will forever be engraved in their hearts.
To Miguna’s young children, the sight of their father, a man whose verbal intonation is unashamedly Luo being given a rabid dog treatment is all they need to see in order to discern what kind of country their father came from.
And to the budding freedom fighters and the economically oppressed just because they don’t belong to the right tribe, Miguna’s act of defiance is all they needed to see in order to soldier on. They now have a template. If Miguna, a man with a safe legal career can walk away from it and choose to take on the ogre head-on, then why not me?
Jubilee’s trigger-happy episode has given birth to something that no man will be able to contain or control. Of course, the naive cheerleaders gleefully applauded the shameful showdown but what they did not see coming is the proverbial shot in the arm that Miguna delivered to the masses.
NRM, Miguna’s nascent outfit was a struggling creature but Jubilee has just immortalized it’s General in ways that even Miguna himself wouldn’t have done.
Mike Dande is a political analyst based in Washington DC