In memory of the Westgate victims

In memory of the Westgate victims

When tragedy calls, every one of us can fall victim, even the strongest of us will be shaken.  Just like in one of the large cities in East Africa where women, men, and the little innocent souls whose only fate was going shopping on the fateful 21st of September, 2013 and probably making time for friends and family were swept off the face of the earth. The smiles and loud cheers of families that were up and about suddenly transformed into silent screams, panic, and sounds of gunshots as panic spread all around Nairobi’s famous shopping malls. It would only be inhuman, let alone unfair if one let it go without notice.

Little did they know that the last brief moment was the one meant for good-bye. Probably that wouldn’t have been the problem; after all, none of us ever gets to know when our time is up. The real problem here is that they honestly didn’t deserve to die the way they did, disrespectfully. Of course am not trying to say anyone deserves to die any way, my point here is that they were killed like criminals, and the real factual criminals only walked away proudly like they had just won a lottery.

Not even the lovely kids were spared of the trauma
Not even the lovely kids were spared of the trauma

When you try to analyze everything, the meaning of life has been reduced to nothing. And especially, many of us have failed to attach any value to the life our fellow countrymen treasure a lot. Otherwise, things like the Westgate tragedy, the Kampala bombing as well as the several grenade attacks that are recorded all year round in our different cities could never find a way.

I keep admiring the generation in which our parents lived, and the same keeps me wondering how much it would cost us to create the same kind of environment for our own. If anything, these are people whose times are still well-known for peace and harmony. Yet, they had no separate bank account to keep paying for that kind of life. Our own times are filled with chaos, tension, hatred, mistrust, and betrayal among others. Let alone individuals, not even our countries are at peace with each other, as each tries to justify their position on the matters  that arise amongst them. Others have chosen to take justice in their own hands and this, among others was the main spark of the West gate attack last month.

The people whose lives are taken in such incidences always die a very painful death because we all think if it wasn’t for the same incident, they could probably have lived longer. Of course not like any of us is guaranteed on how much longer they would live, but there is a sense of hope and faith that we all tend to hold on to.

When things take that turn we can’t do much, other than looking up to the Almighty and hoping that the same never happens. Reason I have always honored Rwanda’s ‘Never Again’ efforts. I would recommend that our sister city (Nairobi) adopts the same as it honors the souls  (without forgetting them) that innocently perish in fateful tragedies and also allows the families and relatives to heal over it, and brings them closer as they all suffered a similar cause.

To the innocent souls that perished in the Nairobi Westgate attack, may they forever rest in peace. And to their friends and families, preserve their memory and keep them in your prayers, the best give you could give them now.