The past few weeks have revealed a macabre side to Kenyan romance. Grisly homicides have shocked the country with opinionated Kenyans igniting a war of the sexes on social media and other forums by choosing to focus on the side of the cases fitting their perspective, agenda and conviction. The modern feminazi has chosen to paint the rising femicide in the country as a blanket indicator of the character of all men in the country. The modern chauvinist has spent a week attempting to rationalize the murders by blaming them on the female victims while at the same time pointing out the high numbers of men whose lives have also been terminated before their due date. Rational voices are few and far between and are often muted out by the more radical proponents. Murder cannot be excused, for if you excuse murder, then you are capable of committing it under the same circumstances. Therefore, the many apologists and excusers that surfaced after the murders of Ivy Wangeci and another 35 women earlier in the year should be a cause of concern for the country as a whole.
But, what if the extreme discord we are witnessing is an indicator of a deeper, wider problem in our society? What if the apparent disregard for human life is only a symptom of a longer affliction? We have lost touch with the sanctity of human life. How did it all begin?
Our media has without fail attempted to connect most of these homicides to ‘love’. What kind of tragic love is this? This love that leads us to harm those whom we claim to care about?
When did love become so strong that it compels us to kill? Was the death of Jesus not supposed to be the last death inspired by love? How did we get it this twisted?
But maybe, just maybe, the story of deadly love did not start now. Maybe, if look around, we can see what it truly means to be loved and treasured in Kenya. If we look around at how Kenya treats what it claims to love, then maybe, just maybe, we could understand the Kenyan tale of love and destruction.
As a nation, we profess love for our wildlife using almost every opportunity we get. Our currency is proudly marked by the animals for which this country has become so iconic. Businesses and governments proudly display statues of the wildlife in their entrances and prominently within their premises. Some of the biggest brands in the country have these beasts as their symbols. And yet, every few days, the photo of another hunter proudly posing by their kill in the northern frontier is published. Every few days, news breaks of yet another poaching incident that seeks to destroy our wildlife for their priceless trophies.
We have successfully driven some of the most iconic among these species like the rhinos and giraffes to the brink of extinction.
When did we turn love into murder?
Our anthem proudly proclaims Kenya to be the heritage of splendor. Our flag is bedecked in green, a tribute to the lush vegetation and forests that cover the country. And yet, we encroach on forest reserves and log away this beautiful heritage just because we can. We play dumb, and say that rain comes from God, not from the trees just to score political points. We destroy our water towers in secret, away from watchful regulators, and forget we cannot hide from the consequences. When did we turn love into destruction?
Nairobi River is supposed to be the pride of a nation, the artery of our capital. The river should be at par with the Seine, or the Thames, the symbol of its namesake city. But now, it is a river full of sewage and garbage. Life should be thriving in that river, but instead, it serves to remind us of our rot as a nation. All types of waste including body bags and other medical waste are routinely dumped in the river by unscrupulous practitioners as if in mockery to the death of our national conscience.
We have always believed water is life. When did we allow life to turn into filth?
Our insensitivity towards nature and the environment around us was the beginning of the betrayal of our moral foundation. When we allowed hunters to kill ‘game’ just for fun, we started to lose our regard for life. When we allowed forests to be depleted without regard for the future, we started sacrificing the future generations on the altar of greed. And if we had lost all concern for the lives to come, we had without a doubt started to lose regard for those alive now.
Homicides happen everywhere, every time.
There is bound to be one or two unhinged psychos in every society every now and then. However, it is a cause of national concern when a multitude of people come out in defense of a murderer by trying to rationalize the murder and blaming the victim. Save for that one murder at Calvary that first Easter, no other death should be a cause for celebration as was evidenced by the sentiments of many Kenyan men in the past weeks.
Life is too important to be interfered with. It is a mystery which humans with all their technology have not been able to replicate.
Humans should thus be cautious when dealing with life in all its forms. We should neither endanger nor take away that which we cannot create. Our descent to the current levels of depravity started when we started disrespecting the other forms of life around us. Our restoration as a society can only start from the roots. If we start by showing a deeper regard and concern for nature, for our environment, we will start showing a deeper regard for each other. If we show a deeper commitment towards improving our environment and conserving the earth for generations to come, we will also be more committed to making the lives of those who are already here better.