They say that the most dangerous man is one who has nothing to lose. Sounds to me like a Mad Man!
There was a certain kind of madness that infected most of us when we were growing up. We would take pride in suffering to cover up for each other. Remember the whole class being punished for something one person did? What about your mother having to beat you and your siblings because no one will say who broke “the visitors’ plate” (sahani ya wageni)?
Back then, as deceived as we were, we protected each other. Friendships were about going out of your way for another person. My mother would kill you (then resuscitate you) for eating sweets. But every Sunday she would buy me pussy cat chewing gum. Remember that tiny chewing gum? No? Ok. Carry on. No matter how much I valued the tiny chewing gum, I would only eat half of it and the other half I would carefully wrap and keep it for my best friend. Of course on the way I would nimble on it further but it had to get to its destination. He did the same for me even if it meant bringing me melted ice cools; it had to get to me.
My friends’ battles were automatically mine. All he needed to say was that he doesn’t like so and so and I suddenly felt the hatred for that person too. If my friend got into a fight I threw punches to whoever was on the other side. Those days’ boys were close and would hold hands the whole day without people worrying about their sexual orientation.
Today things are different. First, your parents don’t want you to go outside and when you do, they want to dictate who you befriend. In most cases, they want you to befriend someone of your class, not from your class – of your class. And so our children now grow up looking down on certain people and envious of others; both unhealthy perceptions.
Today’s society doesn’t know what it means to pay the price for standing up for someone else or for a certain cause. We are very good at fighting our battles but that’s as far as it goes. “Sort yourself out” we often say or in more familiar terms “Jisort.”
I will tell you the danger of such perceptions. When the country almost went to the dogs because of the post election violence we had gotten to the point that we sympathized with certain people and got annoyed with others by simply looking at the name of the person being interviewed on the evening news. These days is there is an attack in the affluent estates, we almost want to say “let them also feel what we feel ” and when it’s an attack on the not so affluent communities, we almost catch ourselves saying “they brought it on themselves”.
I am sure you have heard about the “current situation” in South Sudan and the over 200 girls who were kidnapped in Nigeria. What do you think is going through the girls minds 30 days in the hands of the rogue captors? What about the parents? It seems far from us but the militia did not just wake up one day and kidnap girls. No!
I know I am a Mad Man and thinking straight is not one of my strongest character attributes, but allow yourself to think like me, a mad man for a while. What if the recent cases of security lapses that we have been experiencing as a country are just the tip of the ice berg? The beginning, the introduction; what if this is just level one? What will be level two and three?
Not yet home? What if in level two your child is kidnapped from school? (God forbid)What if in level three they bring down your entire office building? What if they blow the matatu your family is in? Who will be left to take care of your dependants when you are gone?
If you know what happens anytime a country is in turmoil, then you know that women and children are the most affected. Whether it’s through displacement from their homes, separation from family, or rape and physical abuse no man would wish any of that on their mother, sister or daughter. Am I now getting your attention?
I think it’s time we took a stand. To some of us this means it’s time to stand up and stop the discrimination of other tribes. At least not in our sight! To others it’s time we stopped turning the other way while people are planning to harm fellow Kenyans. Yet to others it’s time we stopped selling our country by using our influence and leadership positions to bring in immigrants into the country without following the right channels.
But for you and I, it’s definitely time we stood up for a fellow Kenyan (whoever they are). Make your fellow countryman (not the drink) feel they have a right to be here. When that conductor is mishandling a passenger call him out! When those street kids are harassing a lady go and help! When someone is discriminated because of their tribe or religion, call it out. Let others go home and wonder why they too did not raise their voice. Don’t you keep quiet! Not today.
Standing up is never easy. There will be a price to pay. For some it will be costly to stand up for someone else. You might become unpopular; you might get the same treatment as the person you are trying to help. You might make enemies and they might come after you. You might lose your life or the life of a loved one. It is never easy. It takes courage to stand out.
What you may never know is that when you stand for someone else’s daughter someone will stand up for yours. When you lay down your life for someone else they will lay down their life for another and soon we will be a country of citizens that are ready to lay down their lives for each other.
It is possible. Even from a Mad Mans perspective, it can be done. It should be done. So today don’t turn the other side; go out and stand up for someone else. Fight for them. Start with “the small things” and soon you will muster enough courage to stand up for “bigger causes”.
Today, if not for any other reason, let us stand up for their sisters, their mothers, their wives and their daughters. Tomorrow our sons will go out and bring back your girls.
We may not STOP terrorism but we can FIGHT it. We might even die before we see the fruit of our labour, but in the end, we will be glad we chose to stand and fight.
To fight Terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized by the fear of doing nothing. #BringBackMyGirls #BringBackYourGirls #BringBackOurGirls
Maybe its time we got a new set of eyes: