Photography by Mutua Matheka (@truthslinger)

Restless, I can’t even begin to try and sleep comfortably. Since the Westgate mall attack, I had a myriad of emotions, feelings and reactions. I don’t know what to think of the assailants, of their religion, of their

I grew up in Nairobi, and studied in one of the city’s schools. This introduced me to living life on a non-biased platform. I honestly didn’t know what tribalism and racism were as I grew up. When we had the Aug ’98 bombing, I was scared; I lost a classmate and knew another two people who died in that attack. This is when aggressive religion acts were introduced to my mind.

I had always known my country to be a jewel this was during the time the song “Jambo Bwana” and “Safari” were the international recognition of Kenya. When PEV came up, I was in a position to vomit as I saw what was happening around. I lived in a neighbourhood that allowed me to hear running battles at night and see property destroyed.

Our most recent attack on the Westgate mall really put my spirits down. I read peoples Facebook and Twitter updates, with few being encouraged, some just blurting out their raw feelings, our local news networks crossing the line several times as they struggle to find their footing for the reporting and the so claimed Al Shabab twitter account HSM Press being retweeted, cross analaysed and finally being suspended (again).

WordTrace by @johnnjumbi

I fear to think about other attacks. I fear to think what would happen had we been complacent. It took me some time to come to terms with these events and even begin making comments. Much like many I was into the escapism, denial and hiding. It is at this point I questioned myself, if I keep quiet about it expecting someone “else” to do something about it, I will not be doing anything to make things better for my family’s future.

I am still new to this being a father business, but for sure I feel the pain for the parents who had taken their kids out to Westgate and to be under the trauma. So it is with a mix of anger and fear that I started to voice my opinions on social media. We are all scared, but if we don’t encourage, who will? I like what @coldtusker said

“I am Kenyan. I will survive. I will rise. I will help my fellow man. I will remain unbowed and strong for I am a Kenyan.”

There are many more who lent their voice to the #WeAreOne campaign that has reminded us again of our heritage and our need to defend it. My spirits are lifted, my courage is up another notch. I remember our National Anthem the rendition below by @anniegotSoul … a prayer to God, it shall always remain our core and I am convinced that there is something we are doing right to attract so much attention even from the terrorists. Let’s keep doing it and show that we can and will always remain the resilient nation.

http://soundcloud.com/anniesoul/ee-mungu-nguvu-yetu

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One thought on “#WeAreOne, our power of togetherness

  1. Let us remember our national anthem at this trying moment…Kenya will forever remain a peaceful country not even few evil minded characters can stop us from remaining united and patriotic to our nation.I weep in pain for as condole with those who lost their loved ones but better yet I still hope for a better tomorrow.God bless Kenya

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