It is election day today and voters up and down the country have joined in large numbers to queue patiently and await their opportunity to exercise their democratic right under the New Constitution of 2010.

One Nation

We are told that the presidential poll is too close as the age old Kenyatta – Odinga rivalry enters the final straight. Whatever happens tonight the Fourth of March becomes an important date in our national calendar. As Kenyans take part in this historic event they should take great pride in the fact that this democratic exercise is only possible because of their own desire to vote peacefully whilst exercising patience and tolerance.

To see the long queues in the hot sun is to understand the challenges of our young democracy. It is also to understand that it will not be Kofi Annan or Hillary Clinton or even our own Barack Obama that will come here to sort our country out if the violent genie of 2007/8 comes out of the bottle this year.

Only Kenyans working together and taking on these challenges can find lasting solutions. Many Kenya patriots living abroad and following developments on the social media will quite rightly feel a sense of loss at not having been able to take part in this most noble cause today.

God Bless Kenya

I always wanted to leave home. I never knew they were going to stop me from coming back. Maybe, if I knew, I never would have left. It is kind of painful to be away from everything that you’ve ever known. Nobody will know the pain of exile until you are in exile. No matter where you go, there are times when people show you kindness and love, and there are times when they make you know that you are with them but not of them. That’s when it hurts.
—Miriam Makeba

March 4th is also the birthday of the great Miriam Makeba – “Mama Afrika” who would have been 81 today.