The man eat man mentality that’s within us, Kenyans and Africans at large..


Photo courtesy of Standard media

When The Late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere referred to Kenya as a man eat man society, the then Kenyan Attorney General retorted, terming Tanzania as a man eat nothing society.

Literally, the man eat man society from afar refers to practises of cannibalism, whereby a man looks at another as a chunk of a delicious dish just walking around. The former is willing to do anything and everything to be served the latter for dinner.

The man eat man mentality is a term that has been coined from capitalist notions inherited from the likes of America and Britain. It basically advocates for self development and empowerment; private ownership of corporations, a free market, political freedom and the rule of law.

The vicious cycle of poverty has been a phrase that has in the recent past become too familiar to many of us. The possibility of a person born in poverty dying a pauper is very high in developing nations. This is a resultant effect of inadequate access to quality health care, education, political representation, economic opportunities excetra. For.example, how does a bank lend a loan to someone who lacks ownership of the simplest of assets like a bicycle? It’s simply impossible.

The poor,


will also provide below average academic exposure to their children, below average health care projecting to a poor and minimally provided future for the child. As the parent did, the child languishes in poverty passing on the vice to their kids and the kids of their kids. The cycle continues.

Mandela once said that poverty, like apartheid is man made and can be eradicated by human actions. I concur with him. Poverty is as a result of selfishness of leaders who want to amasse more to build on their existing wealth.

The gap between the poor and the rich continues to widen by the minute.


This is propelled by the cycle of poverty and the continued accumulation of wealth by the rich.

The rich elite in any society access the best facilities that a country has to offer. Funny enough, In third world societies, the rich are extremely rich and the poor, languish in extreme infectious poverty. Access to proper, high quality education for the rich means the same is inherited by their children who then pass on the wealth to their future kinsmen. This ensures the family is always on top of the social, political and economic class.

The man eat man notion happens to explain this quite extensively. The political lasses always feed on the poor’s desire for a hope for a better tomorrow. Regulated handouts, voter bribery, unrealistic promises of development, always ensures that these political thugs have the poor in their basket of voters.

Upon being elected, they vanish to the cities to caress their egos with the newly gained status at the expense of the undernourished electorate. They completely forget developmental promises made on the campaign trail. To the common man, the thought that maybe the politician forgot checks in once in a while, but to the foe, undelivered promises are perfect tools for future campaign maneuvers.

The popularity of the above practice continues to keep the poor at bay, who continue languishing in deplorable conditions.

Inequality in resource allocation provides a tremendous fueling power to this widening gap.

To solve social evils as it is today, the populace needs to have a completely new way of approaching problems. Everything should be done for the benefit of all.
Governments need to serve all and sundry laying key emphasis on social, economic and political integration and most importantly equitable resource distribution among all.
Inclusivity in decision making ensures representation of every social need that exists in any society.

In the 21st century, the human race boasts of a boost in democratic practices all over the globe except in few countries. To alleviate poverty however, a key concept in the practise of democracy i.e consensus building should be incorporated in our societies and governments if any key improvements in the way of life are to become tangible.


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