Tuesday, October 20, 2015

21st Century Mashujaa

This Mashujaa day, (October 20th), as has been the case for as long as I can remember, Kenyans were treated to an impressive display of Kenya's DEFENSE might.  This show, no doubt, sends a clear message to potential enemies of our ammunitional readiness to quash any form of threat. As a child, the extravaganza filled me with pride of a secure Kenyan.   

Then I grew up.

Media reports on Governance and Leadership have got me asking questions.  Fifty-something years into Independence, who are Kenya's real enemies?  Who are fueling or enabling the endemic corruption that has sunk its poisonous claws and gripped our hearts so completely? Why are we so enamoured with self-aggrandisement? Will anything stop us from devouring ourselves?

At this point in our national life, the greatest need of the Kenyan public is protection from this enemy within.  The unapologetic cannibalization of Kenyans by Kenyans needs to end. This monster, unchecked, will be the death of us! 

Thing is:

... the only kind of parade I  care to see is not a Defense forces armed with heavy artillery walking across the stadiums in different counties on our National holidays. But, of Kenyans standing shoulder to shoulder, daily celebrating their ability to deliver goods and services to everyone who calls this beloved country home.

... the only kind of speech I want to hear is one that tells me how much revenue we have generated and how we have accounted for every last shilling of it for the betterment of Kenyan lives.

... the only dance I want to gyrate to is one choreographed by Public-school going children whose quality education is guaranteed by the Government;  

... the only song I want to bop my head to is one sang by senior citizens whose health-care and dignity is guaranteed in their old-age;  

... the only National gathering I want to be a part of is one where the ordinary mwananchi is honoured for his tireless sacrifice from sunrise to sun-set, in an honest effort to eke out a living for the family.

... the only Mashujaa display I care for is one that takes an OFFENSIVE stance against the corruption and lack of accountability for public resources.

On the daily, the 21st century Mashujaas, must speak up, speak out and ACT against corruption if we are to triumph over this engulfing war on corruption that is suffocating our nation.

God help us, I pray!

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Mother's Pain

As I enter the room, I can hear the muted sounds of pain.  In one corner of the room, Awuor heaves in pain. My wobbly feet make their way to what is clearly a pale shadow of her former self,  My eyes, clouding with tears, do not blur the agony that is mercilessness of disease on the human body.  I am unable to look her squarely in the eye.  Somehow, I make a limp attempt not to look away.

Dear God, is this painful and protracted death her only escape?  Is there an end to all of this torturous existence? As things stand right now, death might be a welcome relief.

Then, I hear the sound of stifled sobbing from another corner of the room, it,s Awuor's  mother. She's seated quietly, lost in her own sorrow and thoughts.  Her eyes are fixed on her daughter, unblinking. She acknowledges our presence with a nod, and we move towards her.   She extends a frail hand to greet us, her pain too deep to share.

I wonder to myself, which is the greater pain? Is it that of a daughter with the broken, disease-ravaged body or the mother with a broken heart, helplessly watching the lights of her daughter's life dimming before her eyes?

The mother has been camping in this room since her daughter was admitted.  Praying, waiting and pleading for Divine intervention.... her pain cloaked over her like a dark and heavy fabric.

We hold hands, pray and then leave the room.Behind us, is a mother left fanning the embers of hope that have survived the deluge of pain and disease.  Hope still flickers even (in fact, especially) on the darkest night.

Post Script: Awuor passed on the very next day. RIP.