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Rise up Kisumu


In case you haven’t realized this, Kisumu you have been on the radar for a bit now. People have you on an intent and microscopic watch. Kenya is watching to see your reaction to recent reports. About  your streets. The streets are talking, and you aren’t moving. See, when something that deserves county attention or national for that matter, Kenyans have a way of reacting. If it’s a medical appeal, we contribute en masse and beat targets in record time. If its abuse we witness, we trend the darn person till their arrest. If it’s a child batterer we share that video with the DPP and we tweet to get action. Facebook becomes a meeting joint to see if progress was made regarding such cases. Granted, tweets and facebook posts don’t cut it when shit hits the fan but didn’t that boy who stole lotion have his case recalled? KOT did that. We make noise and cause nuisance using a few Internet bundles, the alphabet and good intentions to influence action.

I sat in a matatus the other day and came across an article I cannot find an adjective to describe. It was written by a gentleman who witnessed the inhumanity endured along the streets of Kisumu. He wrote sincerely and passionately. His message was empathetic and compassionate. His emotions were laid out in his choice of words; his sentences constructed the painful strokes of a picture I suppose he struggled to paint.

Of sodomy as a menacing reality for Kisumu’s street boys.

He called Kisumu dwellers out. with venom and intent. Not to spite you or paint ye black. His motive was to capture your attention, distract you from your normal comforts, stir an interest in you regarding this subject and ultimately, influence action. I think that’s what he intended this writer. I bet he fiddled with the keyboard every time he had to type the word sodomy. Especially with reference to a young boy. That it killed his spirit but he had an obligation to verbalize a voiceless cry.

Sodomy is real in Kisumu he said.

Urban Radio l discussed this yesterday during their drive show I think. Its tricky to get a hold of the severity of such a delicate issue with Kev Matara’s laugh in the mix. He has that laugh that shakes the ground. And destabilizes the shelves and sufurias come down causing jua kali chaos. So thunderous and infectious. I bet sometimes he laughs and the tea glasses crack or the paper shredder jams. And then there’s Chito with his charm and equally funny laugh. I mean these are the guys who wished Moses Wetangula a happy womens day. Hehehe but they did their part and had this conversation.

It was on the Amazing Kisumu blog wall and Urban Radio Facebook page.

The media caught on. In Kisumu I mean. Now word is out and I think it’s a step in the right direction. I am of the opinion that  change can and will almost always occur when conversations occur constantly and consistently. One tactic just doesn’t cut it anymore. We need to use technology to bring forth the issues that affect us the deepest in such visible depths.

You are the change a sodomised street boy is hoping for. In his limping walk and meek gait, the dearth of confidence and a dwindling hope. Somebody wrote about it. Read. Radio discussed it, call in and chime in. A facebook post went up about it, share and join the conversation. And then after all this is done, get off your computer and effectuate change and authenticate your concern and sympathy.

It is far better to empathise with a person  than to sympathise with them. Its not enough that we make noise and trend the message, its deeper than that. These kids are human beings. With feelings and emotions. And dreams, be they pipe or otherwise. They are just fellas with likes and dislikes. Spare a thought for these troubled souls. Step into their shoes. Don’t sympathise with them from a safe distance throwing a weak “poor kids, woishe”. It’s more interesting to feel the heat under their soles. Empathise.

Stand up Kisumu.

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