In Summary
  • Of course, being Kenyans, we forgot that freshly-sown grass will not grow in a week, but I suppose it is the thought that counts as we put our best foot and face forward for our visiting President of the United States.
  • The inconveniences, the traffic disruptions, the heavy security, the cost, and even the temporary surrender of sovereignty will all be worth it weighed against the importance and symbolism of the visit.
  • In that regard, it is unwise for the Opposition, civil society, and other pressure groups to take it that the only reason for the visit is so that they can have the opportunity to “tell on” the government.

We have filled the potholes, cleared the garbage, run the homeless street families out of town, aired the drapes, polished the crockery, beefed up security, and for the umpteenth time attempted to “beautify” the landscape on the main thoroughfares into the capital city.

Of course, being Kenyans, we forgot that freshly-sown grass will not grow in a week, but I suppose it is the thought that counts as we put our best foot and face forward for our visiting President of the United States.

President Barack Obama’s visit will be like no other. It will not just be an ordinary president of another country, even a superpower, calling on us, but one of our own fulfilling a pledge to visit the country of his father before he leaves office.

Even if it is not an official State visit — and President Obama had to employ the devise of hosting his Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi to provide an excuse for Air Force One to head for our shores — it is still clearly the most important visit by a foreign leader since independence.

The inconveniences, the traffic disruptions, the heavy security, the cost, and even the temporary surrender of sovereignty will all be worth it weighed against the importance and symbolism of the visit.

Now, when expecting an important visitor, it is not just about tidying up your living room, but being genuinely welcoming.

It is bad manners for anyone expecting guests to start loudly lecturing them in advance on what they must say or not say.

It is bad manners to start drawing up lists of the gifts they must bring. It is also bad manners to signal that you will be reporting to the guest that the head of your household is not performing to expectations, or that your siblings are taking more than their share of the ugali.

President Obama should not be burdened with all kinds of nonsense from our petty domestic feuds.

Page 1 of 2