Thursday, 13 December 2012

Will Tribalism Ever End?

 Tribalism has always been a controversial topic of discussion. It is now a very thorny subject matter given the fact that the country is preparing to go to general elections. Going by the political environment in the country, it is unfortunate that our politics are tribal based rather than issue based. Politicians have aligned themselves to parties that have their tribesmen and women. Many people argue that the mindset of tribalism is being propagated by the older generation and that the youth are considered not do tribal. However, going by the comments made in various social media networks, this statement is far from the actual situation; the youth are even more tribal than the older generation.
From the foregoing, will tribalism ever end?  I may not know what your take is but I think tribalism will not end, at least not anytime soon. In point of fact, tribalism emanates from a concept that has been with us since time in memorial; discrimination. Discrimination is a notion that exists in every society from Kenya to Australia, Papua New Guinea to Bolivia you will indeed find elements of discrimination. So in a nut shell, tribalism is a form of discrimination just like racism or nepotism. Discrimination cannot end maybe in an ideal world.
Others have argued that we won’t have tribalism if we had one tribe or few tribes like two. Take the case of Somalia. Somalia as we know it has not known peace since 1990. Somalia has only one tribe-the Somali. The country has been at war ever since it is divided along clans that make up the Somali tribe. It all began with different clans claiming power citing discrimination by the ‘clan’ in power.
On the hand we have Rwanda which has only two tribes-Hutu and Tutsi. They fought each other in 1994 resulting to the world’s worst genocide. Now, Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa has over 100 tribes has conflicts which has not erupted from tribal rivalry but from religious differences which is also currently behind the woes in Mali.
So it will always come down to something to discriminate one person from the other. Tribalism cannot be stamped out completely but can be reduced as it is a form of discrimination. It is imperative that we desist from discriminating other people regardless of the parameter of inequity because there is strength and unity in diversity.