If there’s an incident, most if not all Kenyans will never forget, it has to be the 2007 General Elections. I am certain no one would like a re-occurrence of the incident leave alone to recall it. It was a difficult time for everyone and for the first time in my life, I did not feel safe to be in a country I call home.
From the incident:
I lost track of our then neighbours who were ‘unfortunately’ from a different tribe. Little innocent kids whom we used to play together indiscriminately. By saying indiscriminately, I mean that i did not look at the shape of their nose & utter that they looked different form that of my tribe persons. 9 years down the line, I still can’t tell of their whereabouts; I don’t even know whether they survived the ordeal or not.
A close of friend of mine whom we schooled together, witnessed the demise of her both parents. She is now an orphan depending on bursaries for school fees and the event still rings in her mind traumatizing her every single day.
Within the same period, call it a blessing in disguise, I made a best friend whom apparently escaped death by a whisker where her family relocated to our town for safety.
Over 500 women and girls (very young girls) faced rape. Just the other day, Elizabeth, a post-election violence victim shared her painful story in Jeff Koinange’s live show. She was16 then, she was gang raped and gave birth to baby Brooklyn nine months later.
It all began with a minor argument, one which would be solved by simple dialogue; which then spread like bush fire to all cities which resulted to a massacre. Machetes were being sharpened skillfully only to be used on an innocent human being. You couldn’t trust that neighbor next door because he’s the same person who will sell out to his mates and match to your house together with his gang only to murder you in cold blood and loot your property. The same neighbor whom you’ve lived with for years without confronting, one you confidently disclosed your social and financial status since the bonds between the two of you were too strong. So unfortunate they were now being broken by mere tribal differences.
Kenyans, only God has the power to take lives because He I the one who gave it in the first place. You do not just wake up in the morning and think that a fellow human being does not deserve to be in this World. It’s barbaric, outrageous and just totally wrong!
No one chose to be in the tribe he/she belongs to. Tribes are there to provide a sense of identity and promote our rich cultures. No tribe is superior or inferior, not even those which are being regarded as extinct. We therefore need not to conflict due to tribal differences but instead, appreciate and respect each other’s.
There’s a certain beauty in tribal difference that we all ought to embrace: seeing a Kikuyu speak fluent Maasai, witnessing intermarriages between different tribes and watching good relations foster amongst people from different tribes.
And so let’s live PEACEFULLY regardless of our tribal differences. In our next General elections, maintain the peace and don’t you let hat politician to shamelessly incite you the opposite. Be wise! Choose peace! And if you cannot do it for your next door neighbor, kindly do it for this 19 year old who’s sincerely pleading for peace.