It pains me to remember whatever happened in 2008 after the disputed Presidential elections. Being a sane Kenyan Youth, I wouldn’t want a repeat. I wouldn’t want to see what I saw. Kenyans turning against each other. Animosity taking over humanity. No! As youths, let’s refuse to be used again. No! I don’t want to loose a relative again due to our inability to take them to hospital as a result of insecurity. No! I don’t want to see my long time neighbors and friends running away from the place they have always called home.
Mine was not a Happy New Year in 2008. It was a Sad New Mourning Year. Mourning the death of my nephew who had died in the house. I don’t want my brother to blame himself ever again for having done nothing to save his son’s life. He tried, but the insecurity couldn’t let him reach the Hospital. He risked both his life and that of his son, eventually the son succumbed to Malaria. No! It’s not going to happen again.
My nephew died because the country was up against each other. He died because our Presidential candidates were full of themselves, so egocentric, so inhuman. He died because Kenyans had become puppets for the leaders. Killing and maiming each other whil the people they were fighting for popped Champaign and enjoyed unmatched 24/7 security. Yeah! We learnt our lesson albeit the hard way. No sane Kenyan will carry a machete again and raise it against their neighbor. No sane Kenyan will go out to fight for a politician. Because after fighting for them in 2008, they forgot about us. They forgot about the internally displaced.
No, thank you! I don’t want to visit an IDP camp in Eldoret or Nakuru again. I don’t want to contribute clothing and foodstuffs to fellow Kenyans who are economically better off than me but have been turned into beggers again. I refuse to do that. Why? Because 2013 is not and will never be 2008. Never. Because Kenyans have learnt. Because Kenyans are progressive people. Because Kenyans are peaceful people. Because I am a Kenyan and a youth. Because youths are not going to be used again.
I refuse to liken 2013 to any other year because I am not the same again. I was in high school then, but I am in campus now. Kenya is not the same again. It had no experience of war then, but now it has all the effects of war. If political rivals can call each other “brother” on National Television, who are we to fight our neighbors? We have a duty to vote. We have an able and independent elections body …let it do its work of determining the winner. In case of a dispute, let our able judiciary do its work. Let’s not risk being grouped together with Zimbabwe, DRC and Somalia. No!
I am not going to fight for anybody. It’s idiotic. Fighting and killing each other while the children and grandchildren of those we are fighting for are enjoying life abroad. It’s foolishness to fight for somebody who will not remember you after you are killed, or kill somebody and get arrested. No! I won’t fight. Because if I do, it’s my brother I will be fighting. It’s a classmate, a colleague, a villagemate, a schoolmate …name them …that I will be fighting.
Never again should we relive the events of 2008. Never again should we turn politicians into gods. If they want to fight, let’s spectate. If they want to dialogue, let’s listen in. Let’s remain peaceful, let’s uphold the spirit of love, togetherness, peace, brotherliness, tolerance and forgiveness.
I don’t want to disrupt my education again. I don’t want to watch ‘Kenya’s Darkest Hour: Season 2′. No. Never!
This is the time to be ‘Kenyans for Kenya’. This is the time to donate our priceless gifts to promote peace amongst ourselves. Let’s not wait till some of us are in camps. In fact, let’s aim at eliminating IDP Camps. This is the time to see Kenya instead of tribal outfits. 10 days to election day. This is the time to let the Kenyan blood flow in our veins. This is the time to come together. This is the time to unite as Kenyans.
Remember when the Kenyan Rugby Team emerges tops, we celebrate as KENYANS. When Harambee Stars reach the CECAFA Semifinals, we celebrate as KENYANS. When the Rugby Team fails to perform, we are engulfed with sadness as KENYANS … May the spirit continue. The spirit of ONE KENYA, ONE NATION …UNDER GOD.
This is not the time to see leaders as tribal lords but as Kenyans in a competition in which there must be a clear winner – whoever it will be. It’s not time to see age differences of our leaders, but their track records and ability to steer Kenya to the next level of development. It’s the time to embrace the spirit of HARAMBEE. Pulling towards a common course. Facing the same direction. Aiming for the same goal PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE.
Let us focus. Let’s see beyond March 4th. There will be Kenyans, there will be Kenya. There will be winners, there will be losers. That is the reality. There are not enough stones, pangas, swords, machetes, guns or bombs to change that reality. Let’s not waste the little we had. Let’s remain sane.
Let’s not waste time trying to force what can’t happen. Whoever you vote for on March 4th, let’s unite on March 5th and celebrate with the winner. Celebrate Kenya. Celebrate peace.
Kenya’s enemies are watching. They will strike when we weaken ourselves by fighting. Let’s remain united. Let them look at Kenya and see the definition of PEACE, LOVE and HARMONY ..
If a leader incites you, say “No, thank you.” If he tries to bribe you, say “No, thank you”. Don’t allow yourself to be bought. Do not sell your youthful energy to hate.
Let’s remain ONE KENYA, ONE NATION. UNDER GOD.
Let’s say No, Thank You to violence.
By Shisia Denshi
The writer is a guest blogger from denshispeaks.wordpress.com