I want to begin with a confession. I am quite a big critic of western media, and more than once, on this blog and on other platforms, I have said, and been quoted as saying, that Africa is often portrayed in the wrong light by western media; that Africa is not a continent represented by a thin black child reaching out his hand for food, his ribs pushing through his thin skin, eyes bulging out of sockets , and hunger pangs that could only have been in Sudan when Kevin Carter took this famous photograph during the famine, the vulture at the back of the photograph was waiting for the child to die.
I have never thought that this is an image I would ever use to describe a situation in my country, one which is supposed to be a bread basket of the East African economy.
But events of this past weekend was more than a jab of reality.
Citizen TV broke the news of a family in Central Turkana that had resorted to killing their dog and having it as a meal. If you are not a Kenyan, and you are from a country that eats dogs as a meal, you may not feel the emotion that brought me to tears when I saw that story. In most of Kenya ( if not all) eating a dog can be considered a taboo, you’d rather die hungry, with your dog, and we never even look at it and see food.
For a mother to slaughter the only dog the family had, roast it, and feed her family, and store the remains for another day, can only be described as the highest disregard for humanity.
Central Turkana has a poverty rate of 95% according to the area MP, Ekwe Ethuro that, does not come as a surprise, it is one of the driest areas in the country, where nothing grows. There is no ready food for families that have learned to live on one portion of food for several days.
It isn’t that there is no food to feed them. The government’s food reserves are piled to the roof with maize meant to feed the hungry, but it did come out clearly that some people have been sleeping on the job. It does not matter which parties could not agree at the expense of human beings. There is a chain of who does what, where and when, but I totally place the blame on the area member of Parliament. How can he sleep well when his constituents still die of starvation? How can w stand proud as Kenyans, In today’s Kenya, after we proudly raised our flag at the highest point of Uhuru park to celebrate what we described as a new Kenya?
Where was Ekwe Ethuro when the government recently donated food to the Pakistani flood victims? Or is PR for the Kenyan brand so important that it forgot it’s very own dying voters?
Ekwe Ethuro, and those that are to blame for letting Kenyans live as if they are slaves in their own country and leaders like these are the reason pictures like this will keep being the identity that Africa has. While the rest of us are celebrating a new Kenya under the new constitution, these people are putting new wine in old wine skins..and the cracks are beginning to show.
Where are the young professionals from Turkana?
Where were you when this was happening?
Has Turkana no voice?
Apart from the media that’s dotted in parts of the vast desert? What if the media did not capture that story?
What is the work of the leaders from Turkana? I say feed your people, else, resign and let someone who can do the job do it. It is an embarrassment, not only to the people of Kenya but for the rest of humanity.
I am sickened, disgusted and totally vexed by the lack of priorities our so called leaders have, but , my dear reader, we have another chance in 2012, remember we will vote in the leaders we deserve, let’s separate the boys from the men, and lets truly, be part of creating a better Kenya, I never want to use this picture, ever again.