15 one step at a time





I have sat through the whole ordeal at Westgate mall and as many Kenyans are, have had this feeling of unease and hence I have invested in a lot of prayers for our nation.  Today, I have to make a difference and offer a hand in this process.  It is the first time since this crisis began that I will be doing something to help out the victims of the incident. I’m scared, I’m lost and I’m also very, very sad. So is every Kenyan.

My favourite presenter, Ruhila Adatia also succumbed to this tragedy. It’s sad how she has left her voice lingering in our minds forever. There are people who have more pain in their hearts than I can imagine and for some, life will never be the same again. They have lost relatives and their loved ones. Everyone is at a loss even or own president whose nephew and his spouse’s lives were taken by these notorious terrorists. For some, their belief in the power of prayer has multiplied and for some, their cry is singular – why God why?

It’s been four days of this severely distressing event in Westlands and are glad is over. But there are scars, Scars of trauma and distress among Kenyans. The hostages who were in the mall are the most affected by this traumatic event. They need our help through sending them to a trauma centre set up by Red Cross Kenya. There are volunteers to deal with this trauma and fear so that our fellow Kenyans can move on and have courage to continue with their daily lives. There those whose relatives are still missing, and those whose relatives, workmates and friends have passed on. We need to be with them during these dark times of their lives and help them deal with the stress that they are experiencing.

We need also to recognize that our defence forces have also been affected by this incident. Some of their fellow soldiers have been injured and some even died in the process of dealing with this first time tragedy of terrorist attack on our soil. They are also traumatized and need our help to overcome it and to be able to secure our country. We have to be grateful to our defence force for their efforts to lead the extraction of hostages a step at a time from the mall and to secure it from these terrorists. They have done us proud and have shown us that they care and value innocent Kenyans lives.

We recognize journalists also who have kept us in the know about this tragedy, they have managed to reduce panic in our nation and have beaten the terrorism acts. They were the first hand informers about the incident. They risked their lives, they experienced the distressful events and therefore they need trauma treatment. Our nation is in need of taking a step at a time towards achieving the status before the terrorism act. We should condone the acts of terrorists and should vigilant and report all people who seem to be out of place and who can pose a danger to our nation.

However, regardless of all that have befallen our nation, all we need to do as Kenyans is to put one foot in-front of the other and with the confidence that only a Kenyan has, we will walk. Walk. Walk tall to school, to work, to hospital and yes to the mortuary. Today, we walk. We walk tall. We walk together.  We are one nation and we need to remain together as one. We have proved this through our recent show of togetherness in rescuing the victims of this tragedy. We Kenyans have offered first hand help through volunteering at the Westgate mall, through donating blood for the victims all over Kenya, through donating items for the affected in hospitals, through our prayers for the nation and above all through staying together and not giving in to the outside forces to divide our country on religious differences. We are Kenyans. We believe we can do it. We have all the courage to move on with our lives. We can show we are confident and can move towards healing. Towards a stable secure nation as one.

So this morning, I want to make a difference. I am going to walk tall towards the Red Cross help desk at Uhuru Park. I am going to offer help in terms of first aid, volunteering to organize fellow Kenyans as they donate blood, to help tracing those who are missing after the tragedy and yes I am going to counsel those who were in this tragedy, because am a Kenyan. I can do it. We can do it. Just one step at a time.

                                           -By Lucy Mwangi

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Born in the culinary-rich city of Kisumu, along the shores of Lake Victoria, Cynthia Kendeli's passion for Food & Beverage was almost predestined. Her earliest memories revolve around the bustling fish markets and aromatic eateries of her hometown, and it was this backdrop that kindled her love for food and its cultural significance.

However, Cynthia's interests were dual-pronged. The political landscape of Kenya, with its dynamic shifts and intricate tapestry, also captivated her. This blend of culinary love and political intrigue paved her path to one of Kenya's leading universities, where she pursued degrees in both Food Science and Political Science.

Throughout her academic journey, Cynthia stood out for her unique ability to interweave two seemingly disparate subjects. She penned articles that delved into the socio-political impacts on Kenya's food and beverage industry, exploring topics ranging from local farm policies to international trade agreements.

After graduation, Cynthia quickly established herself in the world of journalism. Her writings, which appeared in national newspapers and magazines, bridged the gap between culinary enthusiasts and political aficionados. With every article, she managed to underscore the intricate relationship between politics and what ends up on the plates of Kenyans.

Her investigative pieces, particularly those that highlighted the interplay between governmental policies and the food & beverage sector, have earned her accolades both nationally and internationally. Cynthia's work does not just inform; it prompts discussions, incites debates, and often leads to tangible change in policy-making circles.

In addition to her journalistic endeavors, Cynthia Kendeli actively participates in food festivals, political debates, and educational seminars, serving as a bridge between the culinary world and the political arena.

Today, as a celebrated voice in both Food & Beverage and political journalism, Cynthia Kendeli continues to satiate the appetites of readers keen on understanding the confluence of culture, cuisine, and politics in Kenya.

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