In Africa as in other parts of the world, communities living near a country’s borders tend to stretch between two countries. They are however not dual citizens because their loyalty lies on only one side of the border. It is as a result of such circumstances that there Kenya Somalis and Somalia Somalis and both are authentic to their respective nations.
A good example of these across- border communities presents itself clearly in the case of the former Vice President, Moody Awori whose blood brother is an opposition MP in Uganda. Does this make us speculate of their ‘origin’? Nooooo!
Why then are we victimising Kenyan Somalis just because they share an ethnicity with others across the border?
Today as I was watching the news, I realised that in fact we should be concerned and advocate for security of our Somali brothers and sisters. Instead we refer to them in derogatory terms and stereotypically accuse them of being Al-Shabaab.
Did it ever occur to you that the Somalis are on the receiving end of terror groups more that we are? The chairperson of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, Mr. Kibunjia, put it in a very smart way that challenged me. He gave the example of Mungiki who are mainly young Kikuyus, yet they perpetrate violence and ills against their own. This made me realise that if there is any single community that would want Al-Shabaab wiped out, it is the Somalis, on the Kenyan side and Somalia side because they suffer the most.
Look at what SLDF did to its own community in Mount Elgon!
We have no right, absolutely no right nor authority or obligation to victimise Somalis for what a few bad elements have done or are doing. Unless of course, we are also ready to be judged by the same measure. And then almost every Kenyan will be an outlaw.
Are you prepared to be referred to as Mungiki, SLDF, Chinkororo, jeshi la mzee and whatever else a minute fraction of your community calls themselves? I believe nobody is.
It is the different ethnicity, different cultures that blend into the beautiful rainbow that is Kenya. Let’s keep it that way!
Oh, and there’s nothing as ‘Kenyan of Somali origin’, there are just Kenyan Somalis !