I featured Damaris Muga on my blog in February this year. She repeatedly talked of her love of Kenya and it made me admire her.
Yesterday on Facebook Damaris posted the following words on her page. This is in lieu of what has been happening in Kenya, the stripping of women, rapes and basically ongoing insecurity with no intervention from our leaders. This is so beautiful yet heartbreaking; you can really hear her anguish.
Many of us in Diaspora intend to return home one day but to what kind of country. Do we have to ask these questions two years after returning home?
Paging Uhuru Kenyatta. You can stop this.
There is nothing good about this morning, my spirit is low and my heart is heavy. I slept very little. My head is not a good place to be right now.
I love my country; I really love my country, but today I questioned my decision to come back to my own county over and over again.
In just under one week,
A woman was raped in public, at day time;
People have been massacred on our very own soil.
Then there was the woman slapping another woman with a panga and cutting off her hair with a knife, and some folks were laughing.
My spirit is low
My heart is heavy.
We have been discussing the dress thing since the first woman was stripped, the general tune is that we should dress decently to protect ourselves, we are consequently putting the power of choice into the hands of thugs.
Since no one has been able to put a bench mark on what exactly decency is, it means somebody is going to make this decision, anyone can decide the length of your skirt is not decent enough, your trouser is too tight, and hence you should be stripped.
I got robbed twice, at Uhuru gardens and in a matatu to South B, they attacked me at a bus stop and inside a matatu, it was not pick-pocketing, they jumped on me, going for the throat. Now, I have been asked several times why I did not take a cab, or why I was so late out, what you have done is making me a victim twice, it is my fault I was robbed because I should have been in my house, you do not condemn them who violated me! You chastise me for putting myself in harms way, for making it too easy for the thug because I cannot and should not leave or walk into my house when I want.
Somebody makes that decision. And that person has been given power, they get to roam my streets when they want,wear what they want and while deciding what I have to wear, what I can say and when I can walk home.
People are going around saying how the Koran should be crammed just in case, the thugs killing in the name of religion get to you.. I know it is something folks will start considering, because frankly as much as heaven is a nice place, for some reasons, no one wants to go there soon, we all want to stay here for the longest time possible; So we put power into the hands of unruly, uncouth people. We have become hostages in our own homes and cities.
Today for the first time I have been very afraid, afraid for me, for women and for my country men.
And I missed Europe, I missed my apartment with long windows and no burglar grills. I missed walking to the park in the evening, I missed walking home at 3 am, I missed wearing short shorts in summer, I missed order. I missed their public transport. I wished we were like them. I missed living there.
My heart is heavy
My spirit is low.
I feel violated
But I am convinced there is still hope. I really really want to believe that there is hope left, because I do not want to imagine living anywhere else again.
Spring will come
Flowers will bloom again,
But we must to do something. We have to constantly teach. We need to stand up.