By Dorcas Sarkozy
There is a video doing the rounds on social media that shows school children in Nairobi caught in the cross-fire between protestors and assault-rifle-brandishing/billy-club-swinging Kenyan Police donning the combat fatigue currently in fashion among Jubilant women.
In one sequence of action, a soldier/policeman carries a young girl who appears overwhelmed or overcome by the emotions and intensity of the drama while in another sequence, two soldiers lead, presumably to safety, yet another schoolgirl.
At the beginning of the video, which some have already dismissed as “edited”, it is the foreign-looking journalists who (initially) seek to protect the children by crowding them against the wall even as they continue to do their job i.e. take pictures of the incident.
I was not surprised to see this i.e. the two foreign/white-looking journalists actively shielding, protecting and leading the besieged children way from the danger towards safety. The sequence was a vivid metaphor for how much we, Kenyans, value one another’s life.
Memo to All: We do not value one another’s life; certainly NOT the lives of our children.
The forces shown in the video are commanded by the same Jubilee government that sent riot police to forcibly remove children from land that belonged to their school BUT had been grabbed (?) by one of the party’s mandarin – DP William Ruto according to rumors.
Let me be categorical:
Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Jubilee have lost any moral ground upon which to govern and/or admonish anyone on propriety and fidelity to what is and isn’t acceptable comportment – definitely neither of them can tell me tish!
The same goes for their supporters.
And I will gleefully respond to any such attempts much like African-American women are now responding to white women. This (latter) group gave 53% of their vote to the p$$y-grabbing incompetent misogynistic bully currently in White House in the 2016 election vs. Hillary Clinton.
And as Karma eventually does to selfish and compassionless people, the same white women are now bemoaning the fact that those unsavory qualities are being reflected in his policy proposals including breaking up families (DACA), healthcare for those with pre-existing conditions, a less belligerent/confrontational foreign policy and a generation of racist xenophobes who think it is okay to support white supremacists!
Sistas (Black women) in response are telling them “We tried to warn You” that mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka but you voted your tribe instead of what’s good for the larger country!
As I was watching the video, I wondered whether these children, obviously traumatized, are among the many thousands primed to sit for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).
I also wondered how events of the last four years; certainly of the last three months would impact their performance in the test.
Let me offer a prediction that is (a) already playing out, (b) has repeatedly been reflected in surveys and (c) will continue to play out thanks to the prevailing culture:
Kenya will continue to raise generations of children who embrace corruption, tax evasion and a uniquely Kenyan desire to “make money by any means possible” – this according to a January 2016 survey by The Aga Khan University titled “The Kenya Youth Survey Report”.
The silver lining in the survey is that the youth – 40% of them – “identify as Kenyans first” with “less than 5%…..” identifying by their ethnicity first.
On the other hand, the current corps of youth who came of age shortly after the post-election violence of 2007/8 have spent the last decade seeing in their parents get rewarded for the very qualities they teach them to abhor and utterly reject!
– Are you a crimes-against-humanity suspect? Well run for the highest office in the land AND win thanks to the support of the mothers, fathers and “grown-ups” among us!
– Did you perpetrate violence against those who disagree with your views? Justify said violence as “protecting your businesses”.
– Maybe you siphoned off billions from your place of employment? No worries, play victim, get “excused” by a doctor and when the publicity subsides, run for public office AND win!
– Did you grab land that doesn’t belong to you? Claim “you are being finished” and watch the case get lost in the corrupt Department of Land and/or equally for-sale court system.
Like Americans who this past election cycle elected into office, someone with qualities they teach and preach to their children NOT to do develop, Kenya’s children have, as the face of their president, his deputy, and the CS of Education, a trio of men who, in any civilized society, would be facing criminal charges if not already locked up.
Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Fred Matiang’i would most certainly be the subjects of a Robert Mueller-like investigation for abuse of power/office, violating the human/civil rights of those expressing their democratic rights or co-defendants in negligent homicide cases!
So as Kenya’s children sit for their examinations over the next couple of days, let me wish them all the best even as I encourage them to ignore the behavior they’ve seen displayed by those supposed to be role models.
Let me also leave their parents and adult population with the words of the Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran:
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself……Their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams…..Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness.” – The Prophet.