Trumpets don’t sound when something seismic happens in a society. The status quo buries its head in the sand and the change finds them unprepared or they recognize the threat and fight it. In whatever case, there is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Africa has been occupied by its people for much longer than some continents, to survive and thrive in the continent, the African people must have been doing something right.
African’s welcoming and trusting of “visitors” sold them down the river in the last 100 year enabling continuous extraction of resources for outsiders and introducing a dependency culture in Africa’s socialization process. Africa’s age old culture and belief system was substituted with foreign ‘civilized’ beliefs and value systems that were least understood and less internalized resulting in the breakdown of society. Age old government systems were dispended and replaced by European pencil drawn one. To pacify the restive population after the exposure during the World wars, colonization was substituted with the more palatable international development aid implemented at arm’s length with the help of “tin: gods handpicked for that purpose.
Mzee Kenyatta said,” When Colonialists came Africans had the Land (read resources) and they had the bible, then they told Africans to close their eyes for a prayer, when the prayer was done, the Africans had the bible and the colonialists had the Land (read resources)”, it was not a fair trade and has never been ever since!
Pleasantly, there is a group quietly working in Kenya to fix this anomaly, they are telling Kenyans that Africa does not need AID or handouts from outside, they need to realign their mental altitude! Let me introduce the problem definition and solution as explained by Nirvana Cable, Master Social Architect!
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental altitude from achieving his goals; Nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental altitudes” Thomas Jefferson
The Problem Definition
Empowerment happens when individuals and organized groups are able to imagine their world differently and to realize that vision by changing the relations of power that have kept them in poverty, restricted their voice and deprived them of their autonomy. ~Ros Eyben
Mindset is Decisive
Cultures are ecosystems of values and behaviors that hold in place social norms. For most of Kenya, the subsistence lifestyle is business as usual, the social norm. People embedded in the subsistence culture cannot see the wealth they possess as their wealth is inconsistent with their social norm of subsistence. The Kenyan mindset that drives business-as-usual is made up of two key behaviors.
The Culture of Silence (Voice)
When people are not free to sit and reason together, wisdom is not shared and new solutions cannot be found. Oppressed people have been trained to be risk averse. Even today, school children are caned if they get the “wrong” answer. Elders recall the not-so-distant past when Kenyans were imprisoned, or worse, for being on the “wrong” side of the political divide. Communities have been conditioned such that women don’t share their wisdom with men, youth don’t feel elders listen to them, and children don’t feel free to question their parents.
The Culture of Wanting Something for Nothing (Agency)
The most effective way for one’s community to remain in subsistence is to wait for someone else to provide what is personally meaningful. ‘Nani’ never comes. When everyone is busy with their own lives, who is going to manage mine? It is up to the individual and his/her communities to co-create what is personally meaningful.
Business Models determine what an economy can achieve
The Kenyan economy is made up of two business models that anchor wanting something for nothing:
• International Development Business Model
• Tribal Chieftain Business Model
The International Development Business Model is driven by the interests of mature markets. The international Development Industry (Lords of Poverty) –funded by mature markets–has yet to allocate major investment funds to serve the 4 billion living at the bottom of the pyramid. NGOs funded by International development monies provide allowances, tea breaks and meals, school fees, and the odd resource center, classrooms and schools, orphanages and/or medical camps. These Band-Aid (plasters) activities cannot lift communities out of subsistence. Communities need economic engines otherwise they stay embedded in subsistence lifestyles, thus justifying more Band-Aid approaches. This cycle of ineffective action has effectively trained Kenyans to wait for someone to provide for them. This dependency mindset is further held in place by Kenya’s second business model, the Tribal Chieftain Business Model.
Tribal Chieftain Business Model
Historically, Kenyan community resources were allocated by elders/chieftains who, for their role, were allowed to eat first, consume as much as they wanted (or could get away with) and were tasked with sharing the rest. Kenyans still expect their elders to distribute something small. Thus, democratically elected representatives are treated as another class of elders and their constituents think their job is to find and distribute community cakes.
People who practice capitalism—and think Kenyans are practicing capitalism, too—misidentify the Kenyan business model as corruption. Cake distribution is not corruption. Rather, resource distribution is the Kenyan Tribal Chieftain Business Model.
The Solution :Background
From 2007 until 2010 at the invitation of Members of Parliament, Kenyan youth trained by Nirvana Cable led workshops in several Kenyan provinces. During our four-hour workshops, communities began to realize how their thinking holds subsistence in place. Communities that we trained asked us to stay and walk with them as they used what we teach to transcend their subsistence lifestyle. In December 2010, we stopped leading workshops and spent the next 18 months finding a way to train the whole of Kenya with our methodology. In July 2012, Nirvana, her family and an American colleague moved to Kenya to join our Kenyan colleagues in taking our work to scale.
Finding a community willing to pioneer living in integrity
Over the past 18 months, communities in Kajiado, Kisii, Nyeri, Laikipia North, Kisumu and Kakamega have invited us to stay with them and train them in our Kenya Unusual methodology. It is here in South Butsotso, Kakamega that we first identified a community brave enough to live in integrity and challenge their limiting beliefs. Community welfare groups are coming together to transition from being a network of self-help groups to being a network of wealth realization villages.
Kenya Unusual Mindset Training
Kenya Unusual Mindset Training addresses the social, economic, political and environmental ecosystems that hold subsistence in place by giving an exit strategy from business-as-usual subsistence behavior to Kenya Unusual Wealth Realization.
Our mindset training gives communities the opportunity to reopen all lines of communication so individuals stand up, speak up and act together. Women can say what they have to say to men; youth can say what they have to say to elders; children can share openly with parents—anyone can speak, respectfully, with anyone.
In Maasai communities, women realized they have been holding their men in the position of oppressor. When those Maasai women apologized to their men for treating them as an oppressor, Maasai men spontaneously offered to help with household chores! As a result, their children now feel free to play with both parents.
In Kikuyu communities, after reintroducing and holding separate men’s and women’s Booi, the men and women come together to share with each other and further reason together. Male youth have been unexpectedly excited by these gatherings and are requesting Booi be held at least weekly.
Beyond harambees, Kenyans have yet to embrace capitalism, which is voluntary exchange for mutual benefit. Communities have not learned how to use their assets to realize their wealth. Currently, Kenyan business opportunities are mostly realized by Asians, Muslims, and “Wazungu”, whose native cultures understand the principles of market-driven wealth realization.
Kenyan education still prepares students for Industrial Revolution jobs, which are no longer plentiful anywhere in the world. The Industrial Revolution is complete. Humanity has learned how to commoditize (the act of making a process, good or service easy to obtain by making it as uniform, plentiful and affordable as possible) everything—even people!
Humanity has the real opportunity to move beyond the practices of the Industrial Revolution and use the advances of the Industrial Revolution to realize wealth for all. Given Kenya is not encumbered with the well-entrenched systems of the Industrial Revolution that now burden mature economies, Kenya is poised to set a new economic example for Africa and the rest of the world.
Elected Kenyan representatives will remain buried under harambee cards until Kenyans know how to realize wealth through enterprise.
August 26, 2013: Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos has rejected pleas to lift a ban he imposed on his county government officials from attending public harambees. Tolgos said he has not stopped the public from carrying out harambees. “I have not banned harambees, I have only stopped my officials from participating in such meetings,” he said.
The governor last week said all his staff, including executive committee, should not attend fundraising meetings in and out of the county. “Those who defy the order will face the sack,” said Tolgos. He said harambees will encourage corruption among government officials. Tolgos said his government will implement programmes and plans that will help to alleviate poverty in the region so that residents do not rely on harambees to deal with challenges they face. http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-133491/harambee-ban-elgeyo-staff-still-effect
Most Kenyan officials and elected representatives have also yet to master enterprise-driven wealth realization. New county budgets are largely being treated as cakes to be distributed rather than assets to be leveraged.
Devolution creates the necessity for county officials to preside over a learning organization wherein all county residents learn together how to leverage community assets for community wealth realization.
Kenya is blessed with abundant ecological resources that can be leveraged to bring her environment into balance, and thus be a role model for other countries:
• Lake Victoria
• Indian Ocean
• Geothermal, solar, wind, and natural gas and petroleum energy sources
• Grasslands that can be revitalized to sequester carbon and reverse global warming
Kenya Unusual’s Case-in-Point Training Methodology
We fully understand that everything that must be transformed for Kenya to realize her wealth will show up inside every community and organization, at every level of society, to be transformed.
Kenya Unusual requires systemic change to existing ecosystems. Case-in-Point training is required when existing processes are insufficient to accomplish anything beyond business-as-usual practices. Through Case-in-Point training every example of business-as-usual becomes the opportunity to create pathways to Kenya Unusual.
Source: February 2014 | Nirvana Cable, Master Social Architect | (254) (0)717 555 613 | firstname.lastname@example.org