There are many red faces among Kenya’s leading politicians as they struggle to figure out how to combat a new enemy. The political opponent is not human, the opponent can not be arrested and tortured into a confession because their new enemy is simply a group of puppets who mock them for their corruption and inefficiency. A rapping president describes himself as a “bad dude;” a prime minister and vice-president argue over who gets which bathroom and a group of members of parliament suffer from an incurable disease–“corruptophaelia.” The daring puppet satire, known as “Splitting Image,” dawned last spring and its barbs of wit have embarrassed many leading Kenya political leaders who are uncertain how to combat the words of a puppet who too frequently speaks the truth in words that express the feeling of thousands.
One episode posed the question of “What if Kenya was perfect?” and then depicted President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga in j ail in the Hague for crimes against humanity. The creator of the puppet show, Godfrey “Gado” Mwampembwa had expected to be arrested, but so far the good news is laughter not jail.
I wonder if Gado would travel to America and offer his puppets to depict corrupt Republican political leaders who believe shouts of hatred are more necessary than shouts of love.