Archive for the ‘Kenyan’ Category

Kenyans died by a mentality

Posted: January 14, 2010 in Kenyan

“If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other causes for prejudice by noon”. ~George Aiken

I admit that sometimes I can be a hopeless debater especially when I know I am just right.  On occasion I pass as over-dramatic, arrogant or even offensive. Recently, I got into one of those arguments, that think deserve a unanimous opinion amongst people I deem sane and humane. My contentious topic was tribalism.  So it cropped up with one my colleagues who has a rather downbeat outlook on a certain Kenyan ethnic group. A self-proclaimed activist, I am, I fortified this tribe I do not even belong to with fervor and feeling. So I asked him whether he was alive in Kenya in 2007 when children died because they belonged to certain ethnicities.

Not sure he was paying any attention; I spoke of my admiration of the Tanzanians, of their low tolerance to tribal differences. I even talked of the Molo, Mt. Elgon and the Saba Saba clashes in Likoni Mombasa in 1997.I spoke of the bloodshed, and how I was affected as a school pupil in Mombasa. How Mombasa was clouded with fear, school sessions missed, and businesses abandoned.

I couldn’t stop talking, I was in a crusade right there; It was as if I was preaching to adherent masses ready to grasp my next magical remark.

Then in his tranquility, my colleague said that the kids who died and women raped during the violence were not innocent, with the validation that certain communities just are worthy of death.

I lost it.

I make a clean breast that I became a hopeless debater. I called him ignorant and useless with all justifications upheld. He told me I’m being unreasonable not to respect his opinion. Well I held that it is my onion that he’s being a fool and as a Kenyan father he should know better.

And right then I knew I had broken the rules of diplomacy, so maybe I should have done it better.  I had failed as a communicator and a peace advocate finding myself tucked in guilt and offered my sincere apology for my choice of tone.

What I don’t apologize for is the fact that Kenyans did not die by machetes and bullets but our brothers, sisters and children were killed, tortured and raped by hatred.

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Hakuna matata

Posted: August 26, 2009 in Kenyan

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Today morning in a matatu, on my way to work, I saw a man slithering, rugged and tattered. He looked beaten and agonized. His pants almost falling off, I thought he was rushing for a piss but that didn’t appeal much to sense.  I puzzled asking my friend questions hoping that he would stub my concern out with his usual genius speculations. At that realization, I paused as if to cry for the man, I wanted to cry thinking it would relief me off of blame. People didn’t seem to bother; all focused on errands, cars rushing by, passengers stuck in matatus, heading to workplaces all too busy to make an extra shilling but not rescue a wounded spirit.

I, too, stand accused. I am guilty of being part of an idiosyncratic people. Our compassion is draining out and not too long ago, we were well thought-out as gentle and warm. Remember the song Hakuna matata? (The title of the song is in Swahili referring to Kenya as hassle free nation.  The song is now an ironical background song in our country at present). Where did we go wrong? The city of sun is a big ghetto, hardening us not to over play fear and other thwarting sentiments.  A few weeks ago, I was… or rather we saw a a dead man, covering the eyes of the children not witness the horror, as we whisked them away from the late night scene. Singing songs and lying in their ears so that they could stop howling. They, too, had heard the blaring gunshots and witnessed grownups petrified, fleeing and abandoning them from the scene. (I

That was in the serene country side, Karatina, in Central Kenya, where we had gone for a family get-together. In the villages, such episodes are relatively odd. And as the incident quickly spread to make itself agenda, it was palpable to point out the visiting Nairobi onlookers, who didn’t seem dumbfounded, some sipping off their beers watching from the balcony without much care, still mesmerized by the fair price of beer in the countryside.

Nonetheless, residents knew the deceased as a police officer, who was said to have had a brief confrontation moments before he walked out of the bar only to meet his death angel.  About a month before the happen, the deaths of law enforcers were making shocking headlines in some media outlets.  Later on as I told my story to my fellowsback in Nairobi, they gawked impassively as if it was never news.

Several weeks before, an early morning crowd was drawn to an off road trench, where a body lay cold dead. And as our matatu driver strolled by to present himself a chance to inspect the corpse, I saw it.  His eyes deep and intent, his face without a trace of the last word he said. It looked like he had been mugged or maybe dumped after killed by gangsters. As we drove off, the vehicle that had burst out in loud murmurs at the sight of the dead man quickly faded to silence, nothing to fuss about. Obviously the chapter had been long forgotten.  There is too much insanity going on, and to over emphasize for us is to over empathize. But what a shame, that we cannot trace how we got to such a point?

Hopeful…

Posted: July 16, 2009 in Kenyan

The Kenya we hate:

SlumSadness and horrors rule by night. I lay to dream that death and tears won’t conquer my fights and one day, it’s going to be good; It’s going to be lovely. It bites my people  –Shot

Now they live life for Fridays, draining away sad days, smoking off a fucked day. Loving life by the needle, others living by and for the buckshot, dying for riddles. Now who’s the pawn in this gamble? Today is your cheerless, mines’ a fortune– Will it ever be good for both of us? The whole lot of us?Bomb

I’m cheated by this balmy slumber to wake into another blunder yet sunrise rays wait to re-awaken my faith.Praying that it’s going to be good, I know it will be lovely.                                                                                                    Pictures: Courtesy. Graphic re-touch: WaxspellKenyan mother holding her child