As you are aware, the government has declared the next three days, national days of morning following the deaths of Hon. Saitoti and Hon. Ojode.
It’s unfortunate that past the age of 18, very many Kenyans don’t know what to do with themselves when the government sets aside days of National Mourning. Most of us think it’s a public holiday. We actually hope it is a public holiday. So we can sleep, watch movies, go to Naivasha, get high, spend all our money and do anything else, BUT mourn.
Perhaps we don’t know how to mourn. Or maybe we think that the deceased are
usually too far removed from us. So we give various excuses : “I didn’t personally know the guy “. “I feel nothing.” “I’m too ninja to cry for three days.” “I hated that guy.”
I’m no expert in National Mourning. But I can tell that it is not Christmas Day and neither is it a State of Emergency. I also know, that whether we are mourning or not, we must go to work. And because I’m no expert mourner, I hope that you, dear reader can contribute your ideas and suggestions at the tail end of this post. Please do.
On a state level, national mourning is denoted by flags flying at half mast. In some countries, when the government declares national mourning, public events are cancelled or postponed. On the other hand, the 4th estate give us more shoddily done news, filled with eulogies and dirges. They also give us a chance to call in, email or sms our heartfelt condolences.
Beyond that, what else can we do?
Now, not every Kenyans has a flag outside their doorstep (but that’s not so say that we are not patriotic. We are damn well patriotic, when our athletes win a marathon abroad.)
But the question remains: How can we make an individual contribution to national mourning in this country? Because whether we like it or not death is inevitable, mourning comes with death.
If you care, like I do, I think that this an area where the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture (does it still exist?) would shed some light on the issue. Them that gave us the National Dress at a cost of 50million. Brand Kenya can also offer some ideas. Besides, aren’t they the ones that advertise all the things that make us proud and that unite us as Kenyans? Perhaps the clergy can also offer some ideas. They’ve done really well with the National Day of Prayer. Surely, if they can get us to pray as a nation, they can show us how best to mourn as well.
I don’t know.., what are your thoughts? How are you taking part in the 3 days of National Mourning?