I am a meat wrapper.
Actually, I am the grandfather of meat wrappers, a grand warrior of the order of meat wrappers.
Not only am I a meat wrapper, I am also a butcher, a card carrying member of the butcher’s union.
So, not only do I wrap meat, I am also involved in dispatching animals to the next world, in promoting them to higher glory.
This is not a joke. I have really worked as a butcher, the proud slaughterer of some of the best turkey; stuffed and ready basted.
So unlike my colleagues in journalism, I am not really exercised by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recommendation that newspapers are very good for meat wrapping.
First, I am not intimidated by Mr Kenyatta or his strong opinions about my profession. I too have mine about his.
I am a very happy, free-born Kenyan tribesman, I wear the furs of citizenship with ease. I don’t need the approval of another man to practise the trade that feeds my wife and children. It’s my right as an honest man.
Secondly, as a good company man, I can advise a customer how to get the best from my products, but it is not my place to dictate how they should consume them.
In other words, it is the buyer’s right to use his newspaper to wrap meat. What he does with his newspaper is his business.
In other words, if you go to Germany and buy a 2014 Mercedes G Class AMG, with exquisite hand-crafted interior, and you decide that your favourite pig will be sleeping in it, we can privately think you are a fool, but we can really do nothing about it. It’s your car.
(Let’s insert a hygiene note here: meat is actually no longer wrapped in newspapers. It is wrapped in plain, brown paper. This is because a newspaper is handled by many people and is unlikely to be clean enough to package food. But I guess you can always go to the butchery and insist that you want yours wrapped in newspapers.)
On and off, I have studied and find three leaders interesting: Chairman Mao Zedong, Nelson Mandela and Mwai Kibaki.
Mao was an idealist and a consummate despot. What do you think it takes to bend a nation of a billion people to your will and to motivate hundreds of millions of peasants to work their little backsides off for your big dreams?
Nelson was the archetypal humanist. He was stern and demanding, but he made those he met feel like a million dollars.
He demonstrated genuine and affectionate interest in his staff and the people he led. That is how he got them to do things for him, and that is basically how he won those he met around the world.
Mr Kibaki, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish. From those who have met him, I gather he is a man of extraordinarily strong character.
A self-contained man, he manages people through an aloof detachment, subject-matter mastery, and a very good brain. This is the guy who gets people to do stuff for him by keeping quiet.
Great leaders are not petty; they are not given to unreasoned outbursts. They are sparing with their responses.
A good leader can control a room just by body language.
A good leader does not put down his people, nor does he go out of his way to demonstrate how useless they are.
A good leader leads all, not just those who lick his boots. A good leader is not emotionally invested in little things, only in the big things.
As the chief of meat wrappers, I do not take offence when people are not pleased with our kind, for there are bigger animals to slaughter.
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Kenya is averse to recognising the role of the Mau Mau in the liberation of our country. Why don’t we have a ceremony to posthumously honour all those who actually fought for independence.
Rather than giving national honours to homeguards, politicians, civil servants and their relatives, why not honour those who actually did something for our country?
We should research and publish a list of Mau Mau fighters and their leaders. The Field Marshals should be created CGH, the Generals EGH.
The fighters and every man and woman who suffered in detention should be recognised by name and honoured.
Don’t you think we have done enough for the homeguards?