The Mighty Kenyan Lion Awakes-Power Of Unity Demonstrated
As they stood on the platform at the Westgate Centre press conference, I watched as Kenyatta, Odinga, Mudavadi and others addressed the nation, and I could not help but notice how all of their faces reflected exactly the same grave concern, the same shared sense of grief. Gone was any hint of political posturing, showmanship and rivalry. As I looked I did not see Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, Kalenjin, Kamba or any other tribe. I did not see Christians, Muslims, or Hindus. I did not see men or women, black or white. I saw something amazing, something beautiful, something powerful; I saw Kenyans.
The hospitals put out an urgent call for people to donate their blood, and queues of people quickly formed to answer. And no matter what language these people spoke, what heritage their ancestry, what form of worship they practiced, there was something quite obvious the cameras depicted so visibly; all the blood they gave was the same rich red.
This horrific attack, so incomprehensible, so full of hatred and destruction, has had an effect that the perpetrators certainly did not intend. It has united us. The mighty Kenyan Lion has awakened. The conflicting divisions that had weakened him and put him to sleep have transformed into the strength of a diversity united, and now his fearsome roar reverberates through the land.
The heated and rancorous arguments that so often characterise our politicians’ interactions, that flow so poisonously in our social media, now seem like the squabbles of children, and Mother Kenya must now say to them “I am not interested in who started it!” as she requires us to stop fighting amongst ourselves and to forgive each other our trespasses.
It is so hard to find meaning in the senseless deaths that have befallen us, really it is up to us to ensure that they have not died in vain. Our political leaders have for the time united in solidarity, but this change will last only if this unity becomes permanent in us as a people. Not just now, in the face of this tragedy, but going forward as we heal. This is the time that each one of us can feel the true Kenyan spirit, and in order to honour those who have died, those who have been maimed and traumatised, we can, we must burn that spirit so deeply into our hearts that it will forever override our differences.
Kenya is such a unique country with it’s multiplicity of cultures, tribes and religions. But as our president so rightly pointed out, this very diversity is our strength. It will only remain so if each of us takes these words to heart.
You who are reading these words, it really is up to you. If you are using social networking, blogs or articles to attack other tribes, other religions, just stop it! Let us move forward, let us find a different way of being together. Use these social media to advocate for co-operation, unity and forgiveness.
Change will not come from our leaders, it will not come from political groups, it can only come if you change yourself. Our leaders will only ever reflect the will of the people they represent. Not everyone who reads these words will take this up, but if enough of us feel this, if enough of us make the decision, as Ghandi said to “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, then there is hope, then there is meaning, then the Kenyan Lion will continue to stand guard over his homeland.
Please, if you share this vision, please join with me in the work. I have dedicated a website to this very goal, of creating a better Kenya through personal growth. Others have already come forward, I invite you to join us, come and see what we are doing on www.mamahappyness.com and learn how you, no matter who you are, and without spending a shilling, can cease to perpetuate the problem and instead become part of the solution that transforms the nation.
By Scolar Nginya