By Silas N
The story of the good Samaritan is one of the most guilt-inducing stories in the bible.
Many are the times when I feel guilty snubbing a street child after eating a whole fish and ugali at Kosewe and all they want is some loose change. Because, sometimes we feel like they are not genuine or they are merely exploiting us. They should be in school or in the village.
As a journalist, many a times, I get requests in my email or messenger, where people want my intervention. Whether it is a power outage that has gone for a month, or a critically ill person in need of funds to go to India.
Often, I am never useful, one way or another. Sometimes I try, but my intervention is usually too little too late. And frankly, I have never been that deep into the newsroom to be effective. And presently, I am semi retired, I write from the my columns from the village.
I have failed people who needed my help. Mostly because they always find me when I have my personal demons that I am fighting. But the guilt gnaws me eternally.
Like this Mzee who once came to our Mombasa Road offices and told me about money stolen from his bank, dividends mostly from shares he had bought in one of the international banks in Kenya. Bank employees always know idle accounts and often pilfer them, and they always get away, especially if the owner of the account died without disclosing to the family. I referred him to a certain editor. But he was never helped. Because sometimes, you can’t touch big corporations. If you know, you know. Pensioners of the same bank ever reached out to me(I always wonder why me, claiming that their money had been chewed and some buildings they owned had been sold, but luckily I asked for proof and conveniently they went away, of they found help elsewhere.)
Now, this woman who came to the newsroom looking for me. She reads my columns and she loves some of the more serious ones. So, a colleague calls me that, there a woman looking for me and she has some story, and sure I am nearby, I request they come to a cafe I am working from. I hope it is a story good enough, for me to write about.
But her problem is personal. In her early 50s, she comes from a broken family. And her children have rejected her. Not to dwell on her problems, she wanted me to help, maybe mediate between her and an estranged son, because she is in dire need of help, and the son can.
I thought about it, and asked a few friends and I doscovered I am awfully, underqualified.
She had another request. She is living in a shelter and the conditions aren’t good. She was requesting if I could get her any job, even a menial one, to enable her get some slightly better shelter with her teenage son.
Now. Guys, I am not in a position to help her in anyway for now. If you know a good mediator, who can talk to the son(tough), maybe we can refer to her.
Secondly, if you have any kind of job, that can befit a 50 year old, sickly woman, may be some casual job, to enable afford basics, also, you can reach out to me and we try to help her.