March 30th 2011 was a defining moment for me, I was a mad and angry Kenyan, I felt ashamed of being called Kenyan, not because I hated my country but because we had chosen to sit back and watch others suffer. We had chosen to be passive listeners and active debaters. We had chosen to watch through our grilled doors and gates as activists are driven down by teargas. Actively passive in our country.
That morning I was held hostage by some (Askaris ) guards at NSSF( Nation Social Security Funds House , they couldn’t allow me to pass through the upper gate linking to Bishop’s road. (Community Area) They kept on chasing us from the gate , I decided to take pictures of them and twit them to my live audience on fb and twitter.I still did not know why the women and men on the other side were screaming on the top of their voices ‘Haki yetu! Haki Yetu!’ (It’s Our Right!, Its Our Right!) So I decided to get out of the NSSF building and use the longer route to work.Armed with my cheap smart phone , I was now a citizen journalist enroute to work, ready to take pictures of what was around me. ( By the way, the road where the demonstrators were is the only way I can get to work, so I decided to brace myself with whatever awaited me , the police were already there with their teargas and canisters, onlookers were presently conspicuous gazing from the very gate I was some minutes ago.
I have never been overcome by emotion, I saw many children, others strapped on their mothers’ backs, others being fed, and all this children were mentally handicapped, very innocent children. Honestly speaking, I had never seen many mentally handicapped children like this before. I was curious , so I stopped one of the women and asked her why they were there? She told me in the year 2009 the Minister of Finance had allocated an allowance to be given to parents with mentally handicapped children and since then, they had not received the fund. So they had decided to come together with other parents with mentally handicapped children to have audience with the minister of Gender to tell them why they had not received the money yet the Budget read by the Minister had made a provision for them. I left the women feeling helpless, I wish I could do something for them, but all I did was a note on Facebook and twitted about their pleas.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to My Story: Standing Up .