• Caleb Atemi

Kenya’s Healing Moment

Updated: Apr 22, 2019

Compassion is the basis of morality–Arthur Schopenhauer

Our beloved country Kenya is indeed critically ill. After decades of misrule, bad governance, theft of public resources, extrajudicial killings and runaway corruption, we have sank to the murky sea bed of moral decadence.

The recent murder of Moi University School of Medicine student Ivy Wangechi by a deranged man is a clear indication that we need more than divine intervention to recover our lost sense of normalcy.

The news of her death at the hands of an assailant wielding an axe and a knife, became part of the eerie narrative that has turned the most extraordinary happenings in Kenya into the ordinary.

When a man stabs and hacks a girl to death in broad daylight and some men cheer and delight at the news, then we know that ours is a nation of sadistic and depraved evil beings bereft of any iota of humanity. We have men on social media cheering at the news as if their best team had won an international match. These are sick men in dire need of emotional and mental health assistance.

Ivy’s death is just part of the terrifying news that dominate our media channels. We have young men, women and children committing suicide daily. We have murders and rape cases being reported in almost every corner of our country. Millions of Kenyans are choking at the grip of severe hunger and famine while a heat wave of crime sweeps across our borders.

Meanwhile as Kenyans kill and rape each other while millions of youth are dazed into zombie stature through gambling, our leaders continue with shameless their theft of public resources. They are stealing and robbing us with abandon as if racing against time. The theft has become so normalized that a day without a scandal worth millions being reported in the media is considered a strange day.

Kenyans in their millions are seeking happiness and inner peace. Those that throng houses of worship are in most cases trapped into demonic caves of self-seeking, false prophets and profiteers of the Word. They end up languishing and reeling in the miasma of abject poverty.

A nation without a value system is like a den of thieves where; honour, manners, respect and morals become strangers and character dissipates.

When I was a small boy, Christmas was the most valuable day of my life. Christmas brought with it joy and laughter for it is on this day that I got to taste at least a quarter chapatti with chicken. It is on this day that I wore special clothes sewed and knitted by my mother with deep love and affection. It is on this day that we got to eat together as a family without rebuke or disaffection because we were marking the birth of Jesus Christ.

One beautiful Christmas day, we sat around the table in our mud hut in Musikangu village in Vihiga County. My elder sister Joyce and my mother had just set the feasting stage by placing ugali, steaming chicken and chapatis on the table. Just as Mama concluded her prayer for the meal with a soft Amen!, a neighbor named Eli, for some strange reason dashed in with a tray of soil and poured it all over the food.

Eli was not a man known to drink or smoke anything illicit that could blur his thinking or judgement. Why would he want to destroy our family Christmas meal which he would have been part of had he simply joined us? I have never known.

My father, then a tall muscular man did not waste time. Within minutes he had dispensed with the rude intruder and defended his family honour and dignity. He quickly clobbered Eli, carried him shoulder high, dumped him in the courtyard and proceeded to thrust grass, soil and mud into his mouth. Eli’s screams and kicks landed on ears sealed by anger and rage.

After Eli had painfully limped out of the compound, a shocked and bewildered Mama went ahead to painstakingly pick what she could possibly tease out of the stew and food to try and salvage our Holy Day. Dad stood firm for his family.

Our national father, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has continually watched as armed robbers and thieves soiled and vomited on our national resources. Many are known to him. Some are his friends. Hungry Kenyans turn to him for solace but each time he raises his hands, cries out and whines helplessly. Who else can lead the war of salvaging this country if not our President? Who else will pick up the Elis of this great nation and hurl them away to ensure they never again join us at the meal table to ruin our Christmas?

Mr. President, we need you to help restore sanity in Kenya. We expect you to bring back integrity, trust and common sense. We desire you to re-inculcate in us the sense of shame that seems to have disappeared from our society.

You have a short time to re-write the history of your people. In case you are held captive by cartels, shout and your people will hear you and run to your rescue. Otherwise, Mr. President, Ivy’s death and the demise of thousands of other Kenyans’ from murder, famine and hunger, diseases from a collapsed health system, road carnage driven by a culture of corruption, extrajudicial killings from reckless police guns, will haunt you into your sunset days.

Give us back some pride and compassion, which should, as Arthur Schopenhauer says, form the basis of morality. Otherwise, Mr. President, the Russian Classical writer Leo Tolstoy will shout from his grave and ask you; “How can one be well…when one suffers morally?” Kenya needs your firm healing touch.

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