I salute My friend Kibe

We have lost a young man of 25 years old. Kibe is gone, a young man and a leader in Kibera slums. I got the bad news yesterday and my heart froze. I felt cold because I knew Kibe very well.

Kibe died from an unknown death. He was having fun with friends at night in a local pub on the outskirts of Kibera. Kibe usually drinks once in a while when he get casual jobs which are difficult to get. In his last day, he wanted to have a drink: one beer to pass time with, if he was a rich man as he used to say. He could have only one beer and make it last in a table for fours hours, he was a fun guy to be around. Shockingly, the man was found dead on his door step. It’s a misery death and Kibera has lost a very young and energetic leader.

I write this on my blog because no one will write about my friend Kibe. No one will know about Kibe, and there will be no memorial services for Kibe. He has left a young wife of 18 year old with a little baby of one month. They have been married for only one year. What a sad and difficult life waiting for his wife and baby. I can’t imagine what she is passing through when you lose your loved one and the bread winner. But I’ll make sure Kibe’s daughter secures a chance at Kibera School For Girls. In fact Kibe was among the community leaders who helped build the school.

Kibe is one of the leaders in Kibera who does their best to ensure my safety. Last summer when I was in Kenya, Kibe told me that ”Kennedy, I’m proud of you.”  I was helping Kibe with a business plan, and we agreed to meet again this winter to discuss. Thats how sad I feel about Kibe. All young people in Kibera that I know die before they even reach their 30s. I wonder who will remain to share our stories and struggles with the new generation in Kibera after we are all gone? Our history is diminishing, our history of struggle, and the history of our movement. Kibe was part of our movement of young people in Kibera.

Kibe was one of the SHOFCO founders in 2004, he volunteered his time to see the organization growing. He was always working to make sure the work of SHOFCO is known in all corners of Kibera.  It’s sad to say that Kibe met with  leaders from Shining Hope For Communities last Wednesday. He was suppose to spear-head the clean-up event that was scheduled to happen in Kibera tomorrow. The community clean-up event will take off as it was planned, and Kibe will be saluted and given respect during the event. They will talk about leadership in honor of Kibe.

Kibe, you left a hole in my heart, but I know you are meeting the ancestors. Kibe you struggled with life and you never said die until the last minute of your life. Kibe when you and I were hungry, we could fill our stomachs with laughter and jokes.

Kibe will live in the hearts of people who knew him.

Life is so short, why can’t we  have some time with friends, loved ones  and celebrate life when we are still breathing. Why can’t we live in harmony and love. We are all on a journey and you never know when your destiny will come. I remember Kibe for his work in the community. What do you want people to remember  about you when you are gone?My dear reader, life is too short!


Black Kennedy


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Janet Anthony on September 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Kennedy, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend Kibe. Holding his wife and child In the Light.


  2. Posted by leodar on September 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Yes Kennedy Life is too short to live, but if Kibe was for Kibera death may be the greatest of all human blessings .The love of nature & mother earth to her offspring’s human is just a good old memory enough to once mind will & everything else is delusional reality. The race against life is always the beginning ..God Bless You with love & Kibe.


  3. Posted by AriT on September 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    You’re very missed in times like these, Ken.

    Thinking of you.

    Love from all of D7.


  4. Posted by vijay on September 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    God Bless Him!


  5. Posted by Mary Costa on September 26, 2010 at 12:03 am

    My Dear Kennedy,
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Kibe…do not mourn because you lost him….celebrate because you knew him ! May he REST IN PEACE!


  6. Kennedy,
    What a beautifully written celebration of our friend…..I was touched to read about sending his daughter to school.
    Take care,


  7. Kennedy,

    I knew Kibe very well too. He was one of the people the youth from our film school, Kibera Film School, went o when they needed help with talking to rowdy youth when filming their projects in the community. He was also a huge part of our film, Togetherness Supreme, both as an actor and as crew. He was a huge part of the Hot Sun Foundation in Kibera. His ability to bring people together was amazing. Wise beyond his years.

    He is not forgotten, and his death did not go unnoticed. He was a visionary youth man, very different!

    He named his son Nathan Collett, after my partner Nathan, and we know that his son will not lack. his father planted seeds that baby Nathan will reap in coming years.


    • Mercy,

      How are you doing? I’m proud of your work and Nathan makes Kibera to be known internationally.
      I was in Kibera a month a go and your crew team from Kibera interviewed me.
      Lets keep in touch.


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