The idea for KURA came about in late 2016. I was trying to deal with a nagging sense of frustration about issues to do with the perceived, and probably real, state of Kenya’s leadership over time. I also felt very unprepared and ill equipped to perform my duty to vote in the 2017 General Election, which was fast approaching.
At the same time, I needed to do a test on some new animation processes and this subject seemed a good story to build the project around. The short film is the core idea behind what is actually a much bigger action thriller story, which we did not have the resources to produce. But rather than shelve the idea altogether, we undertook to do what we could within the limitations of what we had and began production in January 2017.
I wondered, to myself, what is this “democracy” thing? Am I qualified and equipped to make a rational informed choice? What is our track record on elections? What are the vested interests? Are we using the vote to effectively install leadership that is a good fit for the job of delivering good governance and desperately needed development?
It quickly became apparent that I was quite ignorant about Kenya’s history. How has our country conducted itself in the pre-colonial, transitional, and post-colonial eras? After reading a variety of books and articles, it seemed (sadly) that we had not done well at all. Since the 1960’s, available information seems to indicate that our electoral process has been questionable at best and a complete sham at worst. As such, as a population, are we citizens under consensual government from a popularly elected leadership, are we subjects under imposed government from cliques of influential rulers, or are we something altogether different?
I don’t yet have all the answers I’d like, but by at least engaging with the issues, some answers have begun to distil in my mind. I firmly believe that WE CAN DO BETTER! We can get better informed; we can deliberately break away from the tribal approach to politics; we can make better use of information technology to deliver efficient and reliable electoral processes; we should be able to think of our country almost like a business and seek to install a critical mass of highly competent managers of integrity who will deliver the best performance and return to the citizens of Kenya i.e. the shareholders.
Kenya, we can do better. Each one of us has a role to play in making our country better. What is your role? How will you respond to this question?
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