Where is the love?

As walk down the street I can’t help but notice the increase in number of chokoras.   I will have to commend some of them for the hard work they are putting in to earn themselves some coins. Along a busy market you’ll find them in tattered clothes, shaggy hair, bare feet, pale skin and a bottle on their lips. They will carry your goods for you for as little as 30 bob. There are others though, who have to steal. They will snatch up your phone, your handbags. Some will even get you undressed in public. I’m forced to commend them too because it’s survival for the fittest right?  You can’t really blame them. 

But there is a coterie of street bullies. They are commonly known as  obbs  or in local slang maoddi.   They think they are the Mafia, ruling Kenyan streets. They have even marked their territory and you will find them attacking members of different territories who step in theirs. Go to Kayole and you’ll probably walk home bare feet, with no phone and head half covered in human shit. Yeah that’s how real it gets. Githurai is no different. You will find them in every other town in Kenya. Most of these come from families that aren’t particularly poor. They have a choice unlike the street boys who don’t even have a place to call home. They want to take from the already poor. Where is our country headed to? Where is the love? When I tell someone I’m going to Ngara they tell me to be careful with my phone. It’s not a stereotype, it’s the bare truth. And where are the authorities when all of this is happening? Probably enjoying sweet slumber on a police desk listening to a cheap knockoff Casio radio set to some fast playing vernacular music. I wonder, Where is the love? 

I remember a time when it was so easy for me to dig in my pocket and give a ten shilling coin to a beggar on the street. Now it’s so hard for me to even look them in the eye. Why? Because there is no love. Because you don’t know who is genuine and who is fake. Because you don’t know what they really want the money for. It’s not a fault of my own. Blame it on human nature. We’re selfish and we know it. For the few of us who can overcome greed, kudos. 

I remember when a car would get stuck in the mud and we’d all Join hands, get ourselves dirty to help out. Now we just stand and watch to the delight of our hearts as the car skids left to right. 

I remember a time when my mum would cook chapati and even the neighbours would be welcome. Now we’re even using our greed and stinginess in advertisements on the TV. 

Black Eyed Peas sang; 

“Where Is The Love?”

What’s wrong with the world, mama

People livin’ like they ain’t got no mamas

I think the whole world addicted to the drama

Only attracted to things that’ll bring you trauma

Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism

But we still got terrorists here livin’

In the USA, the big CIA

The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK

But if you only have love for your own race

Then you only leave space to discriminate

And to discriminate only generates hate

And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah

Madness is what you demonstrate

And that’s exactly how anger works and operates

Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight

Take control of your mind and meditate

Let your soul gravitate to the love, y’all, y’all

People killin’, people dyin’

Children hurt and you hear them cryin’

Can you practice what you preach?

Or would you turn the other cheek?

Father, Father, Father help us

Send some guidance from above

‘Cause people got me, got me questionin’

Where is the love? 

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