Shedding Light in Darkness
My name is Robert Kimani, from Kenya. In late 2007 after a disputed general election in my country, there was a bloody aftermath. It was a nasty event and one of the darkest period in our country as more than 1000 Kenyans were killed, over 700,000 displaced while several other escaped death with traumatizing injuries and gangrenes which was a reminder of the gruesome bloodshed. Property worth millions was destroyed in the rampage. It was very sad.
Kenyans from one tribe were teaming up with the other tribe which they considered their fried to fight other Kenyans from tribes which they considered enemies. All sort of crude weapons were used. Mothers and children we the worst hit with the worst case being an arson event whereby mothers and children who had taken refuge in a church were torched to death. This might be the most painful event which happened then.
The orgy carnages were purely ethnic and there was a big rift of tribalism which had entrenched to the Kenyans. The evening prime news was filled with horror stories about the fatalities and atrocities which were happening in major cities. It was very painful. I pitied my fellow Kenyans.
A song for my country
At that time, I was an upcoming musician and my popularity was far from reach. Feeling the urge to cry for my country, I composed a song which borrowed much from the countries national anthem. It was a cry to the Kenyans to unite and shun tribal politics and forgive each other and be ready to accommodate each other. I must agree that the timing of the song was belated because producing it took more time than necessary because of the fracas that was happening in the city where I my recording label was situated.
Although the song was released a bit late even after the international community had intervened to bring some sanity to the warring leaders and help bring calm to the hot atmosphere, it was well appreciated because it came at a time when there was great need for preaching peace and reconciliation to the warring tribes. It also served as a benchmark to call upon Kenyans to help each other, especially those afflicted and in hospitals as well as those who had been displaced.
The track received massive airplay in our local radio stations. This made other artistes approach me with the idea of remixing the song and producing a collabo song which would feature artistes from various tribal backgrounds teaming up and forming one tribe – the Kenyan tribe. This would mean that in Kenya, we should live as if we all belonged to one tribe-the Kenyan tribe.
Since the artistes whom I worked with at remixing the song were from different ethnic backgrounds and most of them were already established musician whom their tribal members identified with, the song was an instant heat and it went ahead to forge better and more conducive relationships among Kenyans.
It made them realize that they what our country had undergone was totally non-beneficial and that for a better Kenya we should all work together.