The Man Under The Elephant

I’ve waited to write this.

The last time I went to Westgate was exactly a week before the famed attack the mall is now associated with. When I say exactly, I mean exact, down to the hour.

I was meeting up with some friends in between my trips in and out of Kenya. It was the first time I’d been to Urban Burger. It was also the first time I realised how massive Nakumatt was. For some odd reason that day, all our phones either dead or close to it. So we were moving about in a panic, trying to finish our chores so we could regroup outside and go about our plans for the day.

The next time that same group of friends regrouped was at Aga Khan Hospital, one week later, to volunteer and donate blood. We were watching the updates terrified, all thinking the same thing, none of us saying it.  Continue reading

#KenyaAtWar: “The Question of Unity”

I was watching my Twitter timeline intently on Monday evening.

Reports that a bomb had gone off in the CBD at the OCL bus stage and that there may have been deaths, definitely ‘tens of injuries’.

It wasn’t shock or fear that immediately overwhelmed me; moreso confusion and malaise. My first question was obviously “Does this have anything to do with the ongoing efforts in Somalia?” If so, this was a clear escalation and warranting of some concern. If not, it meant yet another problem – threat, perhaps – had befallen our country.

The second question was “Are we as Kenyans ready yet?” Continue reading

When Mandela Dies…

Two months ago, my biggest fear was that Mr. Nelson Mandela would meet his tragic demise before getting a chance to witness the first World Cup ever on African soil only a bus trip away from his palatial home in Bishopscourt, Cape Town. You may not agree with me on this but I truly believe it was Mandela that brought the World Cup to Africa, through his name, his symbolic status and the country he helped liberate from apartheid. And for that, we should all be grateful.

Yesterday, Mr. Nelson Mandela (as children of the soil we’re allowed to call him ‘Tata Madiba’) celebrated his 92nd birthday. It goes without question that South Africa and indeed the world at large adore and revere Madiba and have deified him to the point where the United Nations has declared July 18th “International Nelson Mandela Day”.
Understand this, the only International Days the UN has declared so far have to do with Children, Human Rights, Women, the Environment and such. So, yes, it’s a big deal for *a person*, *any person* let alone Mandela to have such an honour bestowed upon them. Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and a few others (may their souls rest in peace) must be literally turning multiple shades of green envious of Madiba.

All that being said, Mandela will one day die. Don’t shoot the messenger. Just hear me out.

Continue reading