The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘Government’

#StrippingShame in Kenya

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Stop Violence against Women

Dear World Citizen,

I am not sure about you but I can’t escape the feeling of disgust and fear every time I leave my home nowadays.

I don’t drive but use public transportation quite a lot to go about my errands. This means that I’ve got to walk a lot in public.

However, never have I felt so paranoid in my life when in public! As I walk in the market, at the bus stop, inside the matatu (public transportation mini van), along the street at the city centre… almost everywhere.

Why? Because there are men everywhere. Recently, perverted men have been attacking little girls, women and even grannies in broad daylight!!!

Every day, I realise that yet another woman has been attacked by men, even a police man. As she tried to board a public bus, as she sold food in the streets, as she went about her day along a public path, as she sat in a matatu.

Worse is that our local authorities wait until a violated woman personally reports an incident as perverts are allowed to walk free just because they are men.

I don’t wish for my country to be like India where rape cases increased by about 500% in a decade simply because no one cared to discipline young men who viewed women as objects.

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Real Cause of Rape

The attacks on women in Nairobi are not about dress codes or the length of a woman’s skirt. Perverts who are young non-empowered men are releasing their frustrations by attacking women because they KNOW they can get away with it.

Neither the President of Kenya nor the First Lady have addressed this issue yet… they do have a daughter. Don’t other people’s daughters, wives, sisters, mothers and grandmothers matter just like their own?

Kenyans have recently marched in the streets of Nairobi to protest against the  attacks.
Social media campaigns like #MyDressMyChoice continue as the public reports and condemn the attacks.
TV exposés and debates have been done by journalists and still continue.
Yet still, the most effective way to correct this situation remains dormant – Kenyan legislature and executive!

Female members of parliament have issued press statements. Others have even offered their own money to reward those who expose the offenders. Still, their voices remain clouded by silent male MPs – some who think that it’s the women’s fault.

Surely, what can we do to end this?
You and I are the public in the public.
We are the ones in danger!

What are some of the things we could do as the public to ensure that perverts and attackers don’t get to run our city?

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A safer world for women and girls

No matter the risk of sounding like a delusional woman, I still pray and hope that my country will become a safer place for women and girls to live in.

For now, the battle against violence against women and girls continues. In our individual capacities, wherever we may be around the world, let our purple ribbons wrap and protect women in our societies.

Ayuma.

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The Lonely War in Kenya

Poaching for Ivory in Kenya

Poaching for Ivory in Kenya

My opinion is that poaching in Kenya is a great result of corruption in our government. I totally support the fact that Hands off our Elephants is a great campaign to address this matter but my worry is that this time it’s our elephants; next time, it might be our lions, then perhaps our flamingos which are already facing a population crisis. Or perhaps our forest covers which continue to be echoed by the late Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement.

I say “I will not cry over elephants”, not because I don’t care about our elephants but because crying and worrying are emotional reactions to a situation that I feel is caused by our very own leaders. Yes! There is no way that all that ivory keeps escaping our borders without even one of our leaders knowing about it, leave alone blowing a whistle.

Our rangers can’t be out there risking their lives to fight poachers yet our leaders are part of the problem! This is the main reason behind my loud rant and I am glad that I have stepped on a few toes to make people speak up even in the social networks. The problem isn’t just the fact that our elephants are being killed by “foreign” poachers often pinned to the Chinese, China Wu Yi… The numbers of suspects are endless. But the problem is that while we are having sleepless nights about the poaching menace and how our economy is failing us, our very own leaders are part of the problem. This is why I strongly support the fight against corruption. This is the root cause of the problem!

I just wish, truly wish that all the vigour used in the anti-poaching campaign – the determination, the research and filming efforts (which I strongly feel Kenyan filmmakers should take lead on and not foreign filmmakers), the heavy emotion towards the loss of our country’s treasure (elephants) through the poaching crackdown – was put into fighting corruption which is the mother of this poaching menace.

How can we as Kenyan citizens best fight this poaching menace? How can I help to fight in the anti-poaching war in my daily life? Honestly, there aren’t too many options for us that will produce quick results that we need given the current state of the situation. My guess is that it might somehow boil down to raising funds just as we did with protecting the Mau forest, bringing Zack back home, Kenyans for Kenya and many other public appeals to take care of our own people and natural resources. But this shouldn’t be the case in my view. Instead, the country should be appealed to participate in a massive cleaning up of our house in our quest to fight impunity in our country. Yes, it might seem farfetched but I truly believe that if we as a nation put more effort in collectively fighting the big fire and not the sparks, then we would start seeing the change that we need.

Corruption is the mother of all evil

Corruption is the mother of all evil

Guess what? We don’t have to raise funds to fight corruption in our country! In fact, we’ll save loads of money by ensuring that resources go where they ought to go. You and I can simply start the war on corruption in our very own homes; the change begins with us! We could speak up and support the very few leaders in our country with a passion for a corruption-free Kenya.

I believe that all’s not lost and that we do have the opportunity to be a better Kenya and stop hitting global headlines as one of the world’s top 10 corrupt countries. This shouldn’t be, not with all the beauty I still see in my country. If Nigeria was able to fight this monster and be in a better place after the war on corruption…We can do it, we can make it. Not by getting together to raise funds but by collectively deciding, “WE AS KENYANS DO NOT TOLERATE CORRUPTION!”

We need to support true leaders who are managers, not crusaders who we often see in the evening news. It shouldn’t always be about them so let’s give them the silence that they deserve. We need to support our leaders who are true managers and focus on making do with what we have, not demand for more. Those who make strict policies to protect the dignity of Kenyan citizens. Those who don’t complain to every camera that points at them, but those who work and give results.
Then our elephants will forget the scent of poachers and roting blood of their own. Then Kenya will no longer be one of the highest taxed counties in the world. Then our children will grow up to taste the sweet fruit of integrity within our country.

The fight against corruption is big, insanely big, but we do need to start it soon before it’s too late.

Storymoja Hay Festival September 19th -22nd 2013

Storymoja Hay Festival September 19th -22nd 2013

The Storymoja Hay Festival is on September 19 – 22, 2013. Mark the Date. You will definitely leave the festival thinking in a whole new way! Imagine the World.
Follow Storymoja Hay Festival on Facebook and on @SMHayFest on Twitter for updates on tickets, travel & accomodation, guest authors, pre-fest events and event programming. see also our official website.

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

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