“Murife Don’t Run!” A dose of laughter binding us through the thick

The virality nature of social media has done its magic again and rewarded Kenyans with yet another comic relief, or perhaps a fluke that momentarily unifies us before we scatter and resume the usual hate-mongering.

Murife don’t run. Attempting to find the original video from which the audio was extracted is a needle and haystack situation. Following a lead by @Mukurima on Twitter who alleges it was posted by a Namibian on Facebook, while on an adventurous trip in Cape Town, South Africa; he explains that a curious monkey made Murife run while a woman called on him to stand his ground, hoping it would cease the attack. A quick fact check proved the number plate on the car in the video is actually a Namibian code and a scroll on the country’s trending topics of 27 September showed Murife at number 5.

This is not a gospel truth proclamation but a curious observation as many websites and blogs have not referred to this as the original video instead, they have presented the video of a man being chased by dogs.

However, something that I can present as factual is the behavior of the Kenyan online community.

Aptly comparable to the domino effect, a single video was posted, and now it has evolved to describe different situations and feelings. Murife has been made president, a child, and a cheating lover but cumulatively it is all just for laughs; something that many Kenyans always leverage to help forget their problems. 

Multiple times we use and discard trends once they have served their purpose. A week ago, Kenyans praised Ivy Chelimo for coming up with Riggy G, a nickname for DP Rigathi Gachagua, but not long after the same people bashed her appearance on NTV’s #theTrend, questioning the value of her story on TV. Omosh, President Uhuru’s look-a-like, and Githeri man are part of other examples of instant fame that dimmed just as quickly as it shone. Before I forget, Herooo, Asimio…

Beneath all this bile, which I don’t intend to put too much focus on, there’s a united front – there’s no politics or tribal alignments. We are just rational Kenyans arguing based on facts and perceptions. 

Murife don’t run. Running in Kenya has proven to be the ultimate hack to problems, the casing point being the Home of Champions (Eldoret) where careers and livelihoods have been sustained by racing. Ironically, running away from perennial problems like corruption and tribalism has left us stagnated, delaying the country’s progression to perceived global standards. The G.O.A.T, Eliud Kipchoge on Sunday gave us another moment of unity when he added a page to the history books by breaking his own marathon record. The internet oozed patriotism, and Kenyans felt proud as congratulatory messages streamed in from all corners of the globe. 

Murife don’t run. The runaway cost of living has united us. Rich, middle class, or poor no one is loving the high cost of basic commodities. Forget fuel, unga or cooking oil, the reality hit home when I bought a tropical sweet and got only one piece for five shillings, same with Royco cubes, but the most painful experience was getting raw eggs at the price of 20 shillings each. Simple luxuries like beef or chicken stew are now featuring less and less times on the dinner tables of many families. I’m no economist but I think economies should grow with the size of mwananchi’s pocket.

Murife don’t run. President Ruto has proposed his new cabinet, most being aides who have stood with him from the onset and contributed to his victory. Online, Kenyans have united to criticize his choices; presenting cobwebs from the drawers of some of the nominees. Another group has united to defend the proposed heads of ministries, urging Kenyans to perhaps give them a chance before judging them based on their past. Rounding off these two groups equals to, we all want the best for Kenya. We want to enjoy living in this country where we painfully pay heavy taxes to.

So, to run or not to run? The new government has drought, insecurity, economy among other perennial problems to deal with. Will they rant and fault the previous regime or they will quit politicking and work for Kenyans? To quote William Horman – manners maketh man; a person may be judged according to his behavior towards other people.

While the originality of the trending audio “Murife Don’t run” is elusive, the speaker’s tone paints a picture of a man showing a clean pair of heels despite a passionate, advisory plea to stay put. Desperation in the tone and the high pitch dilutes the confidence it attempted to instill, if I was Murife, I too would run.

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