A piece of Advice by a young African elder

I man always learn from nature and life experience becomes my best professor in life. I’m known in my village as a  a young elder. The title that I got from being with elders on my frequent visits to the village, I often ask them all sorts of question about life.  Henceforth I was declared ” Young Elder.”

Anyway I’ll start by introducing my reader to what happened in Kenya which is post-election violence — in 2007. The country was chaotic and violence ruled all corners of the streets. My friends and I searched for peace but we couldn’t find it. Peace was hiding and hiding somewhere not to be seen or smelled.

The violence was hot as there was bloodshed everywhere, men turned into hyenas, neighbors killing neighbors, one tribe of nation against another. Kibera was on smoke, smoke that you can’t see a head. My ear was used to hear gun shots and after each 20 minutes at least four people that I knew were announce death dead by that word of mouth that we relied on by that time. I mean dead from the spraying bullets. Death became part of my life, hunger became part of my day to day life. I could have a dollar but the money has no use because violence was on the throne. The only way to survive was to attack grocery stores and many youths did it. Even though Kibera was in violence, but one  incidence involving my neighbor brought laughter into our faces, the man came home with a big computer monitor without machine. He told everyone, ” I got TV  and now Kennedy should fixed it to work.” I laughed because he never came with a machine and he didn’t know that monitor is useless. The shop lifting was the routine of the day and there was no government as the violence was in charge of the government.

Many were killed, but one death was such sad that affected me for a long time. This was when a five years old girl playing on the ground near their tiny room and a bullet fell on her. It was the end of the little angel, the little angel was gone and her last breath ended in the name of the police brutality. Police knew there was no lawyers for the second class citizens and they didn’t care about them. To be poor is to be denied injustice, and being a soccer ball that can be kicked here and there anytime.

I will not dig much about the violence but instead talk   of– “why I am whom I am” after passing through violence that almost caused my life if it was not my American friends who flee me out of the country, then there could be no Black Kennedy. Big thanks for them for organizing and working on my safety.

We have to accept that life will never be easy. If life is smooth my grandma said, “think twice.” I live everyday of my life knowing that life is tough, nothing easy. I know, Wesleyan gives me food, shower, computer, library and housing but still in the back of my mind– I know life is not easy. My brethren and sister, I always appreciate life by accepting that its not easy. Honestly, that philosophy helps my life at all. When things are good in my life, thats when am alert. Alert because anything can happen. Anything good in my life is ” Life bonus.”  Ladies and gentlemen you don’t get bonus everyday even at your work place. It comes once in a blue-moon. When things are good in my life, most of the time I cry and appreciate. I appreciate because I know life should not be easy. I was born into this world to face challenges in life, so when I have less challenges, I always know they are coming ahead. The earth revolves around the sun and thats how my life revolves around good and bad. You know very well that one part of the earth will be dark while the other side is getting light from the sun rays. Yes, I know when am in trouble, stress, and life is a challenge — Then I know I should be ready to receive  another better side of my life. The dark will not last forever as we know another day for sun rise is nearer to our door-steps.  I can predict and weigh the how  my happiness will be, just from measuring the suffering and challenges am passing through. In that perspective, I’m always expecting something good to happen when am in trouble. But when am in happiness and joy, am curious for what is next as the earth circles around the sun.

So, violence in Kibera was another part of darkness. I spent my entire 23 years in absolute poverty, the real poverty, no enough access to food, no access to opportunities and no hope. There was no clean water, we had no hope of living. But I knew, I should hold on there, because another day will come. That day came and now I’m getting the opportunities that I was denied. I’m also trying to share the opportunities with my fellow comrades and my neighborhood by offering the access to education, health and clean water. I’m getting what the world denied me. Thats how the world works, we need hope to strive.

Nothing comes easily at all! You have to hold on, even when you think that  the  olden age is on your door step and you better rush  marriage. No, don’t do that, take your time don’t marry in the sake of marrying, just have hope. I promise persistence will bring Mr/Madam right/partner.

Also if you are married and marriage doesn’t work well still there is hope. We have to learn that our partners cannot change if we ourself cannot change. Marriage is a journey that need gas just like your vehicle. You don’t expect your vehicle to move and yet there is no gas. The same thing happens in relationships, bring flowers, dress sexy, write him/her/partner/ small notes of how much you love. Everyone needs love and to feel accepted and wanted. Thats why many relationships are breaking. I believe many of them could have been mended but there was no hope of trying.

Now the Singles: Be yourself and don’t try to please anyone by pretending to be someone else. My friend, that will be like planting evil seed in your relationship. I believe there is enough partners for everyone and everyone has someone special that must appear at the right time. You will meet many junkies before you fall into the real LOVE of your life. When you find that love, you’ll definitely feel it. So don’t rush, and take my words seriously. Love is patience, love is real, love comes at the right time and love never get old.

I’ll leave my followers with this word, “Life is a journey and never say die.”

I wish all of you happy life !

Yours in Wisdom,

Black Kennedy


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