Discrimination is the unjust treatment of a particular group of persons. This unfair treatment can be because they are not from your religion, linguistics, or ethnic group. Other factors that can make a person discriminator are age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy, sex, or religious beliefs. When a person treated, unfairly he or she always fell hurt and angry. A lot of people cannot persevere discrimination; this has made them quit their jobs or even not achieve their goals. Perception is normal in Kenya. One should understand that the constitution of Kenya 2010 Article 19(3) protects them against discrimination either directly or indirectly. Although discrimination is a general term Kenya, needs to amend its laws and be specific, especially on the long form of discrimination. Thus it can help reduce the few cases found in Kenya. Hence it will encourage people to be who they are without fearing any discrimination.

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Main Religions in Kenya, Christianity and Islam:

Kenya constitutes of different religions. The central beliefs are Christianity and Islam. Christianity has been more famous than Islam. Hence, most schools bases on Christianity foundation, thus affecting the students who believe in the Islamic religion. Back in 2019, some cases of high school principals did not allow female students to wear hijabs. It was a kind of indirect religious discrimination because it is against the Islamic traditions for a female not to cover their head. This matter went to the Court of Appeal; the court ruled in favor of the Muslims. They were later allowed to dress the hijabs on top of the school uniform. Regardless of the court ruling, in most schools, Christians still discriminate against Islam by not admitting them to their schools.

Religious Discrimination against ‘Wakorino Christian by Catholic Church:

Despite Christianity’s popularity, some of them are still discrimination among them. It due to the diversification that some Christians tend to believe that they worship the true God than others or even judging others on how they do their worships; for example, the Catholic Church accused of worshiping idols. It is because they use rosaries during prayers. The ‘Wakorino’ is another leading group that is being discriminated against by Christians. “(Wakorino is a name used to describe Christians who put on turbans)” They are the most affected group of Christians. Back in 2016, they were not allowed to put on turbans in schools regardless of the school religion. It ended up to the authorities as they request schools to enable them to practice their religious practices not only in school but also in real life. It’s common in Kenya when you meet five people, and there is one person in a turban; you say, “I have attended four people and one Mukorino. Hence, discriminating the person on the turban as if he/she is not a person.

Lingual and Articulation Discrimination in Kenya:

The other type of discrimination is lingual. It is where you can be discriminated against because of the tone articulated with the tongue. Somebody’s voice can either be affected by the first language accent or size of the vocabulary. Lingual discrimination is somehow related to linguistics. This because people from the different linguistic group have different tones when it comes to talking, for example, the Kisii community in Kenya are known of their speed in talking which make them sound as if they are arguing even if they are not. It has made so many comedians make fun of them, some even sound offensive to the community. Also, people tend to laugh at a person because of how they talk. Hence, you might feel discriminated against, and this can lower your self-esteem.

Employers, especially in Kenya, tend to be specific on qualifications during hiring workers. Regardless if you have all the skills or not, having a perfect English accent is always one of your requirements for you to get a job in most of the Kenyan companies. It might not sound like discrimination, but it lowers many people’s self-esteem, making them give up in life. Besides, some coworkers cannot quickly get used to some accents. Hence, they tend always to ask their coworkers to repeat this interfere with some people’s job performance, especially if they are not confident of themselves. Also, it is not right for some workers not to be comfortable been around others simply because they backbite them due to their accent. Tone discrimination is illegal, especially in most of the developed counties.

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Ethnic Discrimination in Nairobi, Mombasa and Urban Areas of Kenya:

The other base of discrimination is ethnicity. It is a common thing not only in Kenya but in Africa at large. Research shows that ethnic discrimination is mostly found in urban centers such as Nairobi and Mombasa due to the competition in the job market and also social differences. Kenya mainly dominated by two main tribes. In Nairobi, these two communities leave in a different area; for example, Githurai is a Kikuyu overlooked area, while in regions like lucky summer is a Luo dominated area. In this, areas you tend to be discriminated against if you are from a different community. During the election, this discrimination was clear. In 2007 the two tribes killed each other so much such that it created a disaster during this period. The Kikuyu businesses were burnt down by the Luo while the Kikuyus murdered the Luos. It was such a disaster such that traveling became very difficult. This form of discrimination tends to affect the economy of a country.

The other affected area is the employment world. Some employers are so discriminative such that they cannot employ works unless they are their tribe. That’s why most offices tend to be dominated by one community. It can affect the business because the hiring can be on ethnicity and not skills. Supervisors can also discriminate against people of other tribes by giving them jobs that need more workforce. Other employees can also discriminate their fellow employees and even backbite them, for they are not from their tribe. Ethnic discrimination can also affect the promotion of workers, whereby you give development only a specific tribe. Also, you can see favoritism when it comes to providing incentives and salary increments where only one community tends to enjoy such benefits while others do not. We cannot forget about the giving of tenders. It is also another shady area that is affected by ethnic discrimination. Bids, especially in the government, are given according to tribal lines.

Marriages have also been affected by ethnic discrimination. Where some parents do not allow their girls to intermarry, simply because they fear the other tribe’s tradition or they hate the tribe. It has affected many couples making others even commit suicide. In case the couple gets married against the parents’ will, some parents also extend of unfairly treating their grandkids. It can affect the marriage as the discriminated partner tend to react due to the discrimination.

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Religious, Ethnic and Lingual Discrimination at Nairobi and Mombasa:

In Kenya, you will also find unfair treatment in some places, such as supermarkets or hotels. Some hotels and big stores in Kenya only allow a particular ethnic group or race to trade with them, as they try to maximize their profits. While in other only the English language is enabled for communication. It might not seem as discrimination but lowers a defined group of people that cannot communicate the literature and are willing to trade with them. When it comes to service delivery, some stores always serve people from abroad first and at a higher cost than average. The local people can feel discriminated for they arrived early at the store.

Not only do the local people treat each other unfairly but also foreign investors. They employ local people but maltreat them than their people. Early this year, there was a case of China Company that was beating their employers as a way of punishing them for arriving late at work. It is an ethical and even against the human rights. The case went to a court of law. The Chinese employers were arrested and later deported to their country. As a Kenyan, you stand a chance of been discriminated in your own country by getting a job with an Indian owned. Their Kenyan workers are underpaid and mistreated by the Indian supervisors.

In conclusion, there are many types of discrimination in Kenya that need to stop. Unfair treatment can only hurt people or lower their self-esteem. We should know that when workers or students have high self-esteem, it will always boost their performance at work. The employers should also step up and try to set rules against discrimination in his/her company. Not forgetting they should also employ somebody because of his qualification and not his religion, lingual or ethnicity. Amendment of the constitution is a must, and severe punishment issued to anybody who discriminates either directly or indirectly. This way, Kenya will be excellent and leave with confidence.

Author: CECILIA WAMBUI wambuiceciliathuo@gmail.com