If I could find justice, then I would scream at the top of my voice. Speak I can, converse I do, give speeches, I have…yet still I am unable to scream for help. I long for a helping hand, I crave justice, my heart pleads for mercy… but scream? I cannot. If I could, I would, but since I can’t, then I won’t. Pen in hand, paper underneath, let these words scream for me.
- The Kenyan
I am every man walking on the streets, each named after a great man; I am every woman rising up early and staying up late, fending for the needs of her children; I am every young man working my way to prosperity, a comfortable life; I am every young woman laying out my dreams, setting out after each one in turn; I am every boy, every girl in class, learning vocabulary, solving arithmetic, interpreting maps- getting to know my world. I am tall, short, dark and light, young and old: I am Kenyan.
I have read about the pains of slavery and the cost of freedom; I have heard tales of bravery, selflessness and patriotism to the point of death, I have seen pictures of dreaded men and women who stood up for everything I enjoy freely in the present; I have spent holidays enjoying myself in their honor and sometimes, I think about what it takes to be one such person of valor. Only, it isn’t so hard to imagine their turmoil anymore…
I live in a country whose peace hangs on the edge, where every dawning moment is a balancing act, a dangerous game where nothing is certain, only hope and strong will prevent me from toppling over. I know cannibals that love to feed on the fat of little lambs, lions that kill for prestige, vultures that are quick to clean up carcasses. All in the name of power.
I have watched trusted leaders lead a nation to war, only they stayed in their safe havens and watched through glass windows as blood fed the ground, Kenyan blood. I have known commission-oriented systems, sittings that serve to mask truth and delay justice, gatherings that eat up on tax-payers’ money as they ponder on ‘the next step’- steps that almost always never see the process of implementation. I have seen the law shake hands with crime; I have watched power embrace despondency. Why? Yes we can!
I am the Kenyan that has lived in shelters for three straight years, wondering whether elections have to happen again before anyone can have mercy and help me rebuild my life; I am every Kenyan that has had their land grabbed, their amenities stolen, their right to life and good tidings abused. I am every Kenyan that has been framed for something they did not do, that was tortured to confess truths I knew not of. I am every Kenyan that once bought twenty-two slices of bread for eighteen shillings, the same one that buys fourteen slices for thirty five shillings. I am every Kenyan that has seen the prices go up, the taxes sky-rocket and salaries take a nose dive. I am every Kenyan that knows it takes voluntary work to gain experience and that the only reward for doing things for free is to be given loads more to do and muttered appreciation- if any.
I am every Kenyan that is growing so tired of mysterious disappearances of people and money, every Kenyan that is growing weary of cobwebs in corridors of justice and hot coals in the path of growth and development. I am every Kenyan that dreams of the day things will change, whose heart grows frail at the weight of reality. I am every Kenyan working day in and out, around the clock with nothing to look forward to because it is a hard world, you have forced me to believe as you give me a coin and steal from me a note, the note that I need. I am every Kenyan that is tired, writing an open mail to you, who is responsible. Please grow up and out of your malice!