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My Covid-19 Resilience is National Resilience for National Cohesion

Gladys Mwiti, PhD

Resilience is the ability and capability to recover quickly from difficulties and traumatic incidents that unexpectedly hit us, leaving some dead, others broke and many thoroughly shaken. If we break down under the burden of Covid-19, Kenya will also disintegrate. Many small cracks eventually become craters.

Just as my hustle and your hustle is Kenya’s hustle, so is my resilience and yours Kenya’s resilience. This builds up Kenya’s wellness and enhances national cohesion.

Prevention Modalities

Resilience begins with determination to obey prevention modalities as set up by the government, then working hard with determination to survive the pandemic and encouraging others to do the same.

The other day, I watched several episodes of the Boston Marathon. This world-famous race attracts over 30,000 runners. Last year, there were 30,234 participants, and Kenya, a small nation ranked 48th in the world in size and 29th in population, came first with Lawrence Cherono winning and Kenneth Kipkemoi third.

Big nations were also represented. We have won that race many times again and again. As we bring home the medals, the world keeps asking: Why Kenya?

Kenya is great, not just in athletics, but in many other areas. I focus on athletics to emphasise that, each of these winners brings personal qualities of focus, discipline, commitment, a victor mindset, devotion, persistence and belongingness, that is, values consistently practised, step by step, one day at a time, mostly privately, with the support of family and friends and a proud community that celebrates every victory as theirs.

How does one explain this kind of persistence, for example, of Eliud Kipchoge, who won the Berlin Marathon in 2015 on bleeding blistered feet? The insoles of his shoes reportedly fell out but he chose to finish the race!

National cohesion is built on personal discipline, commitment, tenacity, focus and persistence that makes every Kenyan think “winner”. My win and my gain is my nation’s. As I obey Covid-19 guidelines, I’m protected; so is my family and nation. Somebody said: “We can rebuild the economy after Covid-19, but we cannot raise the dead.”

Social Distancing

It’s sad to see leaders breaking the Covid-19 social distancing requirement. Besides Covid-19, it’s also sad to witness wastage or theft of national resources by entrusted caretakers.

The objective of Vision 2030 is a “newly industrialising, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030 in a clean and secure environment.” That depends on resilience.

We dare not sacrifice Kenyan’s greatness or lose ground through careless living and lackadaisical talk. Like the mighty athletes, winning over Covid-19 and beyond needs the commitment of taking one step at a time, even on bleeding feet, with the eyes on one goal — my resilience, national resilience, national cohesion and Kenya’s greatness. A wonderful lady — @Lucythejewel — recently tweeted: “Hii Kenya, mimi sihami (I won’t leave Kenya).” My Tweet rejoinder: “Mimi pia, Kenya sihami (Me too).”

Where else? This is my Kenya!


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