Shaking the Status-quo:By Strength of the Grass root Power

I have been receiving many emails from my readers requesting for more postings. This time the demand is much bigger than the time to write. I will always try to post short updates about on my thoughts.

Recently, I’ve been thinking deeply on philosophy of life and how things goes around. My mom reminds me always that what goes around comes around. She insisted that nothing new and all things in our time has been there before or it has only been adjusted. My mom and I used to have our own discussion and talk about life. We argue and laugh, she likes to be challenged as I am. I’ll share some of our philosophies that my mom and I used argue about while we were covered by the blanket of poverty and I could not see any hope in life.

“Kennedy, my son I know you are worried about life as the days are passing without food,” my mom said. I was worried as I thought in my entire life food will be scarce and limited. She taught me never to give up in life. My mom wants her children to see flowers in thorns. When we were hungry, my mom could tell us that one day hunger will be a history in our life. Now I take her words serious because since I came to America– food has been plenty and no more worries about it.

I wish many Americans will be able to understand how lucky they are in America. I know there is poverty in the States too but in some place they offer  soup kitchens. If you bring that soup kitchen in Kibera— the whole world will know and everyone will take the advantage. I wished we had soup kitchens in Kibera! I wish we had good volunteers coming to our informal school with the heart of helping us get into good colleges. This is why I say there is a big different between American poverty and Kibera poverty.

My blog is read mostly by the Americans and Kibera people, so I have a word for both of them. American’s you are lucky to be part of your land, you have more opportunities compared to the other half of the world. I beg you not to take them for granted as some people some where are dying day and night because they don’t ave what you have and taking for granted. So appreciate your life and be happy.

To my fellow comrades in Kibera slums or any other marginalized group around the world— please stand up on your two feet. Don’t let poverty ruin your life, I know there is scarcity of opportunities but grab the opportunities that comes on your way, it will be the ladder for your goal.  And never rely so much on the outside help, most of the outsiders will come to invade your life and expose your weakness for their betterment. The only way to fight this, is to be united as the roots of the grass. Let the outsiders find organized group and tell them your way and not their way. Always be respectful but stand firm. If the locals are not careful outsiders will enrich themselves— while the locals remains in poverty and end up playing soccer with different themes for the rest of their life while the outsiders are making money and writing books. Always have a passion that drives your goal and life, find a hero that you can relate too. For example, my hero was and still Marcus Garvey, he was a movement leader. The main stream organizations in his life time ignored him but he emerged the most powerful person in his time. He came from grass to grace! In my case, many organizations managed by the outsiders ignored me for a long time. I requested their help in different ways, but their leaders were too busy fundraising and had no time to listen to the locals. I started my movement in the 2004 and it took me  six years for the world to know about the little Garvey in middle of Kibera slums.

I strongly believe that the locals can make a big different in their communities. It took me five years to start getting donations to help my community. And now within a year and a half we have build the first girls school— I mean the first girls school and NOT a soccer academy for girls. Its a school with qualified teachers and no volunteers as teachers as I wanted the best education for the girls. Within a year, we have set up a community center, a Marcus Garvey Library and Knowledge Center. Garvey used to love education and he read a lot. Again within a year we have water for the community, we have a health center— NOT a research center? Its a health center with qualified doctors and nurses. Lets reason together — What I have done in a year has not been done with other organizations that existed for ten years in Kibera. Why? Not that they are bad or corrupted. Its only, that they don’t have the  knowledge of where they are working but they comes with piles of foreign money. I wish they knew that comes a time when communities agenda is much bigger than  money– and the will and passion of the community moves mountains.

Thanks to foundations and individuals who believes in the power being invested to the organizations founded and led by the locals. With their support we are becoming a model that the world will admire in the time to come. While many people admire my work, but few will fight me as I am challenging their status-quo. Those kind of people fought my hero Garvey. But I’ve learned a lesson from Garvey’s struggle and will never fall in that trap. I’m working with people from diverse background, we have the best lawyers in the world. My life has  been changed by the Americans, whom became my American parents. I have the best working team in my organization, the best advisors and accountants. Furthermore, all pennies in my organization are  accountable . I have a team of advisors who check on me all the team. And in that case am different from Garvey although he is my hero. He never heard the supports that I’m getting.

Thanks my readers for supporting my cause. I’ll never let my supporters down. We are nothing without their involvement and support. Follow me and I follow you on face book and twitter and be updated my on thoughts.!/KennedyOdede





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