I LOOOOOVE KENYA DEEPLY & DEARRLY yeah , Im one of those kenyans in the diaspora who CANT stay away from kenyan newsites & kenyan blogs ; One of those Kenyans who still listens online to Kenyan radio in the morning & who spends waaaaay too much money on phone bills calling kenyans anywhere in the world just to speak some swahili & kikuyu with someone – anyone out there who will indulge & feels on top of the world afterwards !! YES ill admit it …Im one of those overenthusiastic kenyans who secretly thinks we are a race all by ourselves, that during creation there was an 8th day & thats when ‘kenyans’ were created !
And I miss the place !!! I crave for that energy in the city, for the spirit of the land _ its everywhere . Its in the preachers in the buses & the street corners, the loud mathrees & the kanges, the loud carefree friday nights in westy ….the sounds of the market ha ha ha … ni ya leo ni ya leo … mbao mbao ..ashu ashu; its in the throngs in the churches, the busy bodies & not so busy bodies at kencom, ambassador & raillways bus staion, the grapevine news in the mtaa & you have seen it in the eyes of Kenyans , the resilience in those eyes that say to the world BRING IT !!! & oooooh its in the little mtura gatherings - i missss mtura badly, ha ha ha its the very best of Kenya & its pure bliss & I loooove, miiiiss – craaave aaaaaaaalllllll of it !!!
Here’s the Irony , when I left kenya , there was no party & mbuzi being slaughtered for me & there was no bus carrying my relatives from upcountry /pals to escort me!! Nope _ I got the visa & on the same day booked the 6am flight out of Nairobi, threw some stuff In a suit case, gave my brother the keys to my flat, spent the night with my immediate family, texted those I could goodbye & without decent farewells to my friends & loved ones, at 6am I was out of there !! Running for my dear life ! you see after the 2007 election , I saw the worst of kenya, the subtle ugly side of the society as a whole & it did everything it could to destroy my spirit, my mind & yes even my body . It did not succeed but in doing so, it brought out the best & worst in me !!! It gutted my insides & caused me sooooooo much pain I became numb.It introduced me to demons that I am fighting todate & shook me to the core of my being ! To this day , Im shaken. I truly believe if I stayed there one more year I would not have made it , I was drained, Spiritually, mentally , emotionally name it !!
At the time, I did all I could to draw attention to my situation, I spoke of my situation everywhere I could , ‘shouted from the mountain tops’ desperate not to become a statistic & I sometimes felt like a wet chick trying to get her voice through a crowd of Manchester united fans !!! no one noticed me!! And those who did , wanted me to shut up & branded me a big mouth. Thats when I had my aha moment (got to looooooove Oprah:) !! It hit me that if they ever silenced me , If I ever shut up & sat at a corner, then they could do anything they ever wanted to do to me . I could mysteriously dissapear like all the other youths in kenya who disappear into thin air & are never heard of again . I had to make sure my voice was out there , shouting , screaming , praying, crying, texting , emailing & yes eventually it worked, it saved my life & Im safe .
Yet though I cried hard, through it all I smiled & laughed hard, I had some incredible times with some of you reading this , times I will never forget . I dont think you will ever know what it meant to me . Thanks to you all who gave me life at a time when death surrounded me . Thanks to you who made me laugh till I cried, took me dancing & even gave me a shoulder to lean on & cry on !! Thank you for the warm hugs & cuddles .Thanks to those who joined hands and prayed with me .Thanks to those who introduced this church girl to tequila, sambuka & red ice Thanks for remembering my birthday & for the birthday party. Thanks for loving me at a time when I felt totally unlovable.You see I had to; I had to cry then laugh, despair then hope, lock myself up inside & then go out and have a great time .. because I wasnt done with life !! Oh no .. Im just starting out.
I write today because I find myself in a huge dilemma. See a few weeks ago, a pal I miss terribly in kenya told me of a little reunion that will be going down next month & they beggged me to book a flight & go home & be there for it ! I actually started thinking of the very cheap tickets that are available now to Kenya & how easy it would be for me to get a few weeks off next month _ then it hit me I CAN NOT GO TO KENYA !! I actually CAN NOT go home because ill be in danger again & I might not get out this time !! Damn that hurt !!! The realisation felt like someone was gutting my insides all over again !! And then it got worse. Last week I watched a harrowing, painful documentary that I hope you all have watched (if not please do) on CNN _ WORLDS UNTOLD STORIES – LOCKED UP & FORGOTEN (http://edition.cnn.com/CNNI/Programs/untoldstories/) BY David Mckenzie & his team (: that fiiiiine brother that decided to call Kenya home – clever one Its basically on the state of the mental health system in kenya . A story we all know & that badly needed to be told . GOD ITS DIFFICULT TO WATCH …I could only watch it in bits & pieces.. it took me a whole week to get through the whole documentary . And Just when I was starting to get over the pain, the BBC aired part 1 of a documentary on life in Kibera. I know we think we’ve heard & seen it all before but this is HARD CORE. For charity this British celebs strip themselves of everything they know including cash and they live & work as proper immigrants in Kibera for a week .They get down & dirty and they manage to capture the essence of the place , the pain, the hopelessness & yes the resilience . ITS HARD CORE & again painfull to watch . If you havent seen it please do (http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/z6dnn/) The indignity these 1 million plus people live in is mind blowing .
These two painful, shamefull truths of a broken society & broken spirits, reflect voices that have been silenced by the powers that be for decades & the western media have gone and done it again, given them their voices back _ maybe they too will make it .But as a Patriotic Kenyan watching this was so hard !! Knowing how billions of dollars are pocketed through corruption each year & how this money could easily sort out these two problems & any other facing our society. Knowing how much apathy there is in the kenyan society , having experienced it personally. Having lived through it & seeing how this indifference almost destroyed me… I know how fast it can destroy EVERYTHING and After 2007/2008 & After watching this two dark but true documentaries, Im sorry to say I think the society is hanging on a thread. It begs the question is it too late for Kenya? Is this thread about to give in ?? If the British public have to raise millions for issues as these (and oh they will !! these people give like theres no tomorrow) for this people to have hope , while across the road from Kibera afluence is in display _ cormfortable, indifferent & impassive. It has brought me to the place where I feel as though we have crossed the line & its time for me to turn away & forget. It hurts for me to say this but Forget Kenya. Forget the future I dreamt for my children in a bright & prosperous nation . We are never getting back from here & yes the west are going to remain our ‘caretakers’ coz clearly we cant handle our own Sh***##!! (litelary -watch the docs)
Have we crossed the point of no return as a society !!!?? am I wrong ?? Most of the people I grew up with in my hood are out here in the diaspora, half my friends from high school & college are out here . And dont doubt it, we had BIG dreams growing up of what we would do to make Kenya GREAT !!! Maybe they realised this ages ago & I being the ‘slow one’ Im just catching up with the times.I dont see a way out & I Painfully admit, Im done !! Done dreaming, done hoping , Im turning my energies elsewhere. But before I do Please tell me, as sons, daughters & friends of Kenya, as part of this generation, do you see a future for our kids in that beloved, gorgeous land or was 2007/2008 the tip of the iceberg ?? And if there is a future , how are we to build one because its all tumbling down right now … have u turned away as well ?? Am I wrong ?? God I hope , Im wrong …. please tell me im wrong??