<The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows. Those are not my words but those of Richelle Mead which best describes a fearless young man, Boniface Mwangi. This is not your ordinary youth, he is passionate in issues to do with good governance, accountability and zero tolerance on corruption. Ironically he joined Bible School and secured a diploma in bible studies. To show how patriotic and serious he was to make his vision come true, he left his lucrative jobs to create awareness to the public on the importance to hold our leaders accountable. For four years he worked for Standard Group in a staff photography position taking on various assignments in different countries. He also worked as a freelancer for Bloomberg, AFP, Reuters, Boston Globe and several other media outlets beside working for Safaricom in various projects. He has won twice CNN Multichoice Africa Photojournalist of the year together with an avalanche of other local and international awards. One of the biggest highlights of his career was coverage of post election violence whereby he took thousands of photos. Boniface Mwangi also founded the first ever street exhibition in Kenya which showcased post election violence photographs to audience outside Kenya.
To quench his vision for a country with a slimmer rich-poor margin, without double standards, where you can get a job without knowing certain influential people in power. He started quietly, we all recall the murals and graffiti on some of Nairobi buildings last year with paintings depicting the caliber of our politicians. This raised a lot of discomfort from people in power but this was only the beginning of the self made social activist in the murky world of fighting for wanjiku. He would later heckle COTU Secretary General Mr. Francis Atwoli for supporting MPs agitation for higher salaries. This led to a scuffle with police which has led him being in and out of court every now and then. This served as an impetus to mobilise Kenyans in social media to pour in the streets in what was dubbed #OccupyParliament. Members of parliament were trying to use uncouth ways to increase their salaries when the poor Kenyan lived from hand to mouth. In as much as it was controversial when animal enthusiasts raised a storm when demonstrators used piglets, it will go down in history as one of the boldest moves to make politicians appreciate that Kenyans are no longer complacent.
I did watch one of his many T.V interviews which inspired me. He rebuked the modern society for having parents who breaded a cowardice generation that would rather hide in the sand than raise an eyebrow. We have over the time embraced complacency and mediocrity by ‘accepting’ our bosses to oppress us, let touts harass us and more sadly voted in ‘our people’ who would later betray us. He wondered why we still let selfish, incompetent, greedy people who steal to bribe electorates and later steal again through dubious scandals manage our national issues. He believes in creating awareness to the people to hold our leaders accountable and to make them understand that we are the masters, them the servants and not the other way round.
I have a reason to celebrate Boniface Mwangi before extra judicial forces eliminate him. Thomas Jefferson said, “occasionally the tree of liberty must be watered with blood of patriots and tyrants.”