BLOODY 2014, HOPEFUL 2015 AND OF MISSING AIRPLANES

2015I hope you are done with the Christmas hangover.  I don’t know how the year treated you. Did your expectations come to pass? Or do you blame that pastor who proclaimed 2014 was your year of prosperity. Please don’t make the same mistake this time round. Did you honour your former New Year resolutions?  Perhaps not.  Don’t worry, a clean blank cheque awaits you in some few hours.  2014 had mixed fortunes for me. I made terrible mistakes but also broke the glass ceiling in many fronts. And that’s all about life, frustrating for the impatient but rewarding to the hopeful. One thing I embraced in 2014; literally every bad situation that happens to you, has a silver lining. They say nothing is permanent in this life, and so do ordeals.

2014 was bloody and tough. So many Kenyans died in the hands of terrorists, bandits,criminals, through road accidents and alcohol related courses. More shameful acts were witnessed in Nairobi. Perverts undressed ‘indecently dressed’ women. MPs tarnished further, their worse reputation, when they went physical. Radical cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff Ahmed, alias “Makaburi”, was shot dead.  In May, several countries issued travel warnings following several attacks over the past few months blamed on Somali al-Shabab militants. In June, 48 people died after Islamist militants attacked hotels and a police station in Mpeketoni, near the island resort of Lamu. Close to two months ago, Al Shabab carried out mass murders in Mandera County, including on a bus and a camp of quarry workers.

Globally, we first heard of ISIS in 2014. In as much as it has an Islam word among the abbreviations, it slaughters Muslims than any other terror group, reigning havoc in Iraq and Syria. In Pakistan, Taliban gunmen attacked a military school and killed 132 out 141 people, most of them students. According to the Geneva-based Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives, this year has witnessed 111 aircrafts that went missing. Air Asia whose debris was found today in Java Sea, in Indonesia, was the last count.

Let’s forget the horrific events. Are you prepared for 2015? Well, you have every reason to be. In as much as a section of us don’t believe in New Year resolutions, humans naturally relate to fresh beginnings. The former, are far from the truth, actually they are afraid of it.  Nobody should lie to you that, a time will come when people will stop making New Year resolutions. In any case, they are living in denial. I was once in that situation, of intuitively saying, I make resolutions every day and hence no need of new ones. It makes some sense though, but experience has taught me something different. That it comes a time when you break from the past. That time when you take a deep sigh, hold your head high and vow not to turn back. Many of us will relate to this, when we trash our bad habits and ‘bad friends’, promise our creator many things through prayers. What better time to do this than New Year.

Did you know that 4000 years ago people still made New Year resolutions? The origin of making New Year’s resolutions rests with the Babylonians, who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favour in the coming year. But making resolutions is the easier part. Most of us fail miserably in seeing to it that we fulfill our resolutions. What separates us from achieving them? Pundits suggest that it is paramount to write down your goals, share them with people close to you and most importantly monitor the progress.

Enough of 2014. Welcome  2015. I hope you will be fair to me and everybody reading this post. Happy New Year dear readers. May the good Lord establish you in all sectors of your life! Amen.

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SUBTLE RACISM CLINGS ON

daniQuoting the words of legendary Bob Marley, “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everything is war.” In retrospect, racism has evolved as civilisation came along from a simple human problem, ballooning to something subtle that has refused to be shaken away . Adolf Hitler blamed the Jews in the First World War after defeat of Germans. He called them sub Humans. Many decades ago Christian regions blamed Jews for the death of Christ, this was until 1960s when Catholic Church stated Jews were not to blame for the death of Jesus. Pundits in this area are in agreement racism emanated from Western countries.Some of the worst hit are United States and United Kingdom, but in 1994 Rwanda almost crumbled after extreme xenophobia was witnessed when at least 800, 000 Rwandans were killed in a span of 100 days. The Tutsi tribe were brutally murdered by the Hutu community.

First forward now, you would shudder to imagine that some people still find it okay to be racists. A recent case in time was when Brazilian International full back player, Dani Alves while taking a corner at Villarreal for Barcelona was thrown a banana by a ‘fan’ just to signify he is more of a monkey, presumably. Sensationally, he took it and had a bite which would later trend all over the social media as fellow footballers across the world took cue. The same week, an elderly American owner of little known Clippers team of NBA was recorded by his twenty something girlfriend scolding her for bringing along black Americans to watch Clippers games.anti-racismLupita Nyong’o only recently broke the bomb shell of how she struggled with her dark skin. She prayed and hoped one day she would wake up light skinned. This was to change when she stumbled on a celebrated American based Sudanese model Alek Wek on magazines as she stole the limelight in all runaways. The fact that people were dazzled and talked of how beautiful she was, inadvertently helped Lupita overcome and surpass her own insecurities and perceived inadequancies.

South Africa struggled with xenophobia even before they got their independence in 1994. It initially started with institutionalisation of apartheid where black and whites schooled and shopped in different places. After independence the hunter became the hunted,cases of xenophobia became rampant and dire. In a recent research, 21% South Africans favour complete ban of foreigners and another 64% support strict limitation on the numbers allowed.

Back home, as we  struggle with national security, the Somali community have been the worst hit with all manner of security xenophobia. This week on Monday, worried Kenyans coming to terms with the twin blasts along Thika road, alighted from a matatu in Nairobi after a guy with the so called ‘somali features’ boarded the vehicle. You would be forgiven not to appreciate that the said young man was a winner of a popular leadership reality show dubbed ‘Uongozi’ which aired last year in one of the local TV stations. Am also told of a woman on buibui, who was forced to alight from a matatu by fellow commuters.On social media, there has been a popular narrative commonly referred to as ‘Light Skin Syndrome’. Any lady with a brown complexion will be made to look more of a blonde for all the bizarre reasons.This retrogressive actions depict and badly cast this nation badly in terms of tolerance.

With all the remarkable civilisation globally, you wouldn’t expect condescending and primitive behaviours or statements belittling fellow humans at this day and age from the very developed nations. Its just sad and disheartening for anyone to discern or subscribe to a notion that one can be sub human based on skin colour.I can only peg my hope on a quote by Martin Luther King Junior, “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”