At the end of 2013, Kenya witnessed an intense vetting process of police commissioners. Whether one believes the process was successful or flawed, we all collectively agree it was quite intense, difficult questions were raised and in certain instances, several skeletons came crashing out of the various closets we chose to look in.
As I prepare to leave on any backpacking trip, I toy with the idea of applying an equally rigorous vetting process for all the clothes and other items that I will be lugging on my back for those 1-2 months....and so it goes....
The Kenyan Explorer: White shirt, can you explain why you think you are the perfect candidate to make it to the short list of tops in the backpack
White shirt: (clearing throat)..Well, The Kenyan Explorer, I have 10 years of relevant experience in a similar field
The Kenyan Explorer: Please elaborate....
White shirt: Well, there was that one time you wore me to climb Mt. Longonot, and I did not disappoint
The Kenyan Explorer: Would you have me believe that based on that one experience you are fit to take on a 2 month trip? The Andes is not Mt. Longonot. Is it not also true that on that same day you proceeded to get soaked in sweat and did not have the decency to hide it?
White shirt: (stuttering)....Well, it wasn't my fault. I am a white shirt after all. I don't absorb heat as much as the black shirt, but of course I will get dirty and sweat will be noticeable
The Kenyan Explorer: Hush! Are you trying to cast blame on your fellow contenders?
The Kenyan Explorer: Moving on! I am done with you white shirt! Brown socks, it states here that you have a thread count of 1000. Could you explain to all those present, how you came to amass such a high thread count?
Brown socks: Well, I got it from my previous position
The Kenyan Explorer: Really? It states here that you started out at your previous position with a thread count of 100.
Brown socks: (nervous giggle), well, I also had some side hustles
The Kenyan Explorer: Can you elaborate
Brown socks: I did some odd jobs at my previous station and I was able to earn additional thread count
The Kenyan Explorer: So, the rumors are true. Did you or did you not earn your wealth by sabotaging cream and black socks?
Brown socks: (Clearing his throat): That is not true. I earned it fair and square
The Kenyan Explorer: From what we have heard, you made a job out of destroying your peers and taking on their thread count! You are a traitor!
Brown socks: Please, please let me explain
The Kenyan Explorer: No, your time is done. Let me move on to the next candidate - "super pretty bra with the metal wire that occasionally pokes the wearer." "Super pretty bra with the metal wire that occasionally pokes the wearer", what are you doing here today? I believe we kicked you out at the previous round
"Super pretty bra with the metal wire that occasionally pokes the wearer": Well,, I am here to defend my case. I feel that my name has been muddied by evil elements in the closet
The Kenyan Explorer: Please elaborate
"Super pretty bra with the metal wire that occasionally pokes the wearer": I have served for decades in this position and there has never been any issues raised against me. In the past years, though seeds of discontent have been sown by my enemies. In particular I will point out "Super ugly bra that offers maximum support", "Super pretty bra that offers no support" and "push up bra of unknown comfort levels". These newcomers have come in to usurp my position. They know I have served well.
(Screams in the background from the named bras): Haki yetu! Haki yetu! Down with the old, in with the new. Kazi kwa vijana, pesa kwa wazee! (We demand our rights, Down with the old, in with the new. Work for the young, while money goes to the old?)
The Kenyan Explorer: We do not need this drama. Moving on to the next. "Holey sock", what are you doing here?
Holey sock: A lot of negative things have been said about me, but I want to let you know that this wardrobe was built on my sweat. I was here when the closet was full of threadbare shirts. I have earned these holes.
The Kenyan Explorer: This job requires a sock that can stand both high and low temperatures and effectively protect the wearer. Are we to believe that you are up to this job?
Holey sock: I believe I have. My years of experience make me perfect for this job. My holes also do not prevent me from doing a great job. At the last review, there were only two major holes, and they are at the unimportant toes. I also represent an under-represented group. Red mid-calf socks with my type of experience are in short supply.
The Kenyan Explorer: Oh, look who we have here. "Pretty silk top" what is your value proposition for this job
Pretty silk top: (sashaying to the table): I am extremely unique in that I combine functionality and class. In this new territory, you will need an item that helps you in certain types of classy situations
(Angry voices from the crowd): Did you hear her? She thinks we are not classy? She thinks us we are for being worn at the bar, and she is the one for dinners?
The Kenyan Explorer: Quiet! Quiet! Let "pretty silk top" finish talking
Pretty silk top: Yes, as I was saying before this riff raff jumped in, I am the perfect item to carry with you for those lovely dinners, exquisite parties and so on.
The Kenyan Explorer: Would you have us believe that the stories are not true? Is it not true that you do not really work well with the other commissioners? That you are always demanding more? Did you not once say, "I cannot go to work without being ironed?"
Pretty silk top: That was taken out of context. I was just saying that I need different terms to work well.
(Angry voices from the crowd): Drama queen! Drama queen!
Pretty silk top: (shouting): Can you bunch of torn, tattered, wrinkled clothes shut up!
The Kenyan Explorer: We cannot have this. Whoever comes on this trip has to be a team player. We cannot have items that need preferential treatment. On this trip, "all clothes are created equal and none is more equal than the others."
The Kenyan Explorer: Yes, lipstick and nail polish, I see you have come in a bit late. Tell us why you should make it into the backpack
Lipstick and nail polish: I think we speak for our fellow comrades - the other lipsticks and nail polishes - when we say that we are the single most important item for this trip.
The Kenyan Explorer: I agree with you. Let me put you in the backpack right now.