Welcome, to the Power of Black Internet: The Kenyan Edition
George Floyd, an African-American man whose death sparked civil unrest after a video of he being asphyxiated by Minneapolis police officers that went viral, led to an overwhelming widespread protest against racism and police brutality in the United States of America.
This kind of brutality edged so close to home; Kenyans made their voices heard. Paying tribute to victims of police brutality from one beautiful baby, Pendo, to most recently a homeless man, only referred to as “Vaite”. To mention but a few;
Yassin Hussein Moyo, a 13-year-old got hit by a stray bullet on April 29, overlooking police on patrol through his apartment balcony. Well, sad as it is, Yassin died shortly after being admitted at the Nairobi Hospital. Did he deserve it? Of course not. “My child was shot on the balcony at home, he wasn’t even on the street,” Yassin’s father, Hussein Moyo Molte recounted.
On May 27, Samuel Maina, a barber residing in Kahawa West, had his nose brutally broken and items stolen by police officers who were purportedly enforcing the 7am- 5pm curfew, for allegedly being 13 minutes late. Mr. Maina was on his way home, “They beat me up and as I was crying for help, I could hear people shouting at them and asking them to let me proceed to my house”.
No sooner had we began digesting Samuel Maina’s story than Boniface Mwangi, a human rights activist, on Monday evening tweeted, “Kenya Police have shot dead a homeless man in Mathare, Bondeni area. He works as a loader in Marikiti but sleeps in the streets, residents call him Vaite”. Heart wrenching. Word spread, people took to the streets in the area past the government-directed curfew hours in protest of the horrific incident. On Twitter, #JusticeForVaite gained traction to a tune of 20,000 tweets, peaking atop the trending topics for the better part of Tuesday (June 2).
“The Kenyan Police is full of thugs. Thugs I tell you”- Kris Ebaba, Performing Artist
“We were expecting laptops and stadiums, not assaults and murder”-Nyashinski, Performing Artist
“When it comes to police brutality in Kenya, we know it’s a class issue”- Victoria Rubadiri, Media Personality
“Children are being shot in their homes with stray bullets “curfew regulators”, men and women are being murdered like animals on the streets rushing home at 7pm” -Joy Kendi, Content Creator
Today, a group of people made their stand known in Nairobi, Kenya after holding peaceful protests at the US embassy. That, my friends, is commendable.
#BlackoutTuesday and #BlackLivesMatter may be trending. But this is your chance to do some actual good and help right in your backyard, with the power you have by signing this petition. Let’s end police brutality in Kenya.