Cosmopolitan means living in a region that has people with different culture, family background and beliefs. Being a Cosmopolitan, there is always learning from each other in terms of culture, behaviors hence bringing different ideologies in harmony. Beside that what also attract me most with the Cosmopolitan is unity, brotherhood and sisterhood that is seen among the people living in that particular region. All these aspect break the idea of tribalism as people see each other as one.
Literature as an effective tool for regional cohesion that represents and explores the way in which society is viewed and experienced by people in that society or social groups. Cosmopolitan gives us insight on how times, cultures and classes are different, and how they are the same. Without this understanding of the range of human experiences in its continuities and possibilities, we live in a world where we can not make meaningful dissection of our existence. Cosmopolitan, make us to learn out of the beautiful of our regions, diversity and how communities co-existed peaceful. The history of our People should mould readers into better, knowledgeable region. Our tribal diversity should never mould bests of thoughtless and egocentric tribe warriors. The region need strong literatures that can teach our people that with many tribes – each with own unique culture – it is impossible for us to belong to one supreme tribe.
Basing on what happen in Kenya recently, it was discovered that the region what had been dominated by a particular tribe was much affected. I come from Trans Nzioa district which is one of the cosmopolitan region with all the fourth two (42) tribes and looking at what happen after the last years election I observed that while other region were affected with the post-election violence, people in Trans Nzoia were firm and busy with there work. This is because of many tribe living in the region hence it was no tribe which dominated the region and for this reasons difficult for a particular tribe to claim that the region belong to them.
With what happen in Kenya , Cosmopolitan needs powerful oral narratives and literature that will make the youth to understand that although we belong to different communities, our intertwining cultural practices brought about by close social, political and economical resemblance gels us into one happy people. But as Chinua Achebe would ask, “where did the rain start beating us” I would say, historical and current politics of division practiced first by colonizers and then transmitted to subsequent community leaders has led to a situation where Kenyans themselves barely know their own culture let alone that of their neighbors. The colonial administration in partnership with missionary activities and formal education wiped out most of our uniting cultural practices living a gap that was filled by western cultural attitudes and identification, especially, by our youth, and this, has let to mistrust among our local communities.
Unlike the attempt to come up with a unifying regional dress which blatantly failed, literature is the test vehicle which can create deep understanding of difficult nature of Kenyans cultural identity. Just a simple test: how many of us know these communities as a part of the 42 Kenyan tribes: Bajuni, Dahalo, Isukha, Kore, Tachoni, bukusu and Sengwer? I bet, very few!
Our education system and our authors should embark to pen educative materials that will tell us more about the above ‘forgotten’ Kenyan brothers and sisters. Unless we know them better we can’t appreciate! We need literature that vividly offers insight into the lives of all our people.
Kenya ’s founding father, the late Jomo Kenyatta, authored powerful literature book, facing Mount Kenya . This timeless anthropological literature work of considerable literally merit which beautifully sold the very best of Africa and in particular, Kikuyu culture. The country now needs more of inter-tribal texts! Popular contemporary novelist like Ngugi wa Thiong’o should move out of the colonial time warp and author literature that goes behind worship of single tribes.
Cosmopolitan needs literature because is powerful cement that has brought communities, nations and continents together. The nation needs literature on how some other tribes can co-exists peacefully with others. The region needs literature which challenges negative societal values and sensitize on positive value.