Nelson Mandela, lead singer of Sarabi Band popularizing Jukumu Letu

Nelson Mandela, lead singer of Sarabi Band popularizing Jukumu Letu

This week, Jukumu Letu partners start training of various artists in Makueni County, on how they can and should contribute to national building. The initiative targets creating a social conscience population of the Constitution and rights therein through the use of Disk Jockeys (DJs) – they can use their platforms to play social change songs, musicians – they can sing and write songs that have a social impact, theatre and puppetry – they can mimic to illustrate societal ills and raise awareness and social media users who can use their platforms like on Facebook and Twitter to drive debate and actions towards a better nation.

As Makueni residents prepare to host Jukumu Letu partners, perhaps a poem should suffice. It is an old great poem that should poke and remind us about humanity. Humanity from those in power and how they relate to their staff, those whom they lead. Hope you enjoy it.


Building the Nation

By Henry Barlow (Uganda)

Today I did my share

In building the nation.

I drove a Permanent Secretary

To an important, urgent function

In fact, to a luncheon at the Vic.


The menu reflected its importance

Cold bell beer with small talk,

Then fried chicken with niceties

Wine to fill the hollowness of the laughs

Ice-cream to cover the stereotype jokes

Coffee to keep the PS awake on the return journey.


I drove the Permanent Secretary back.

He yawned many times in back of the car

Then to keep awake, he suddenly asked,

Did you have any lunch friend?

I replied looking straight ahead

And secretly smiling at his belated concern

That I had not, but was slimming!

Upon which he said with a seriousness

That amused more than annoyed me,

Mwananchi, I too had none!

I attended to matters of state.

Highly delicate diplomatic duties you know,

And friend, it goes against my grain,

Causes me stomach ulcers and wind.

Ah, he continued, yawning again,

The pains we suffer in building the nation!

So the PS had ulcers too!

My ulcers I think are equally painful

Only they are caused by hunger,

Not sumptuous lunches!


So two nation builders

Arrived home this evening

With terrible stomach pains

The result of building the nation

– Different ways.