We often hear of “acts of terror” taking place in faraway lands. For me, WestGate was literally just down the road. A normal Saturday like any else with slight differences; calls from friends to go for a drink were replaced by calls checking to see if I was alive; birds flying in the clouds were replaced by military and surveillance helicopters; African movies that usually flood the TV on Saturday’s were replaced by images of people fleeing terror and press conferences by politicians. It took a long time for me to understand and really accept that they were people being killed in cold blood, just down the road.
Probably the saddest thing and still remains is the fact that we are people betrayed by our government. To this day 30 people still remain missing, without any real comprehensive answer from the authorities on their whereabouts. To this day, the number of terrorists who killed so many is unknown. To this day, those that lost anything at WestGate still have no answer. Personally the road access to my house was cut off I wasn’t able to go to school for two days which obviously affect my grades yet there is deafening silence coming from intelligence agencies.
However in the darkest of times, light shines the brightest and I have seen the light. Before the incident Kenyans have never been so divided in terms of tribe, religion and political affiliations. The Westgate attack united us like never before. People lined up in the thousands to donate blood and food and all matter of things to people regardless of their tribe, religion or political affiliations. The slogan “We are one” heard from all corners of the country. How long this unity will last? Only God knows. And as sad as it is we have to credit our enemies for bringing us together.
Photo Credits: Citizen TV and Charles Onyango-Obbo