Showing An African Answer across Kenya

Joseph Karanja, lawyer and civil society activist, Nairobi.

Greetings from Suswa where I spent the night. Suswa is near Narok, in Maasai land. I had been invited by Maasai, Kikuyu and Kalenjin youth to show the film and have a discussion thereafter. We had the show last night with 122 youth attending. Earlier yesterday, I had a showing in Gatundu (former President Kenyatta’s home area) for all secondary school head teachers. 32 of them and 4 ministry of Education officials attended. This evening, we have a show in Nakuru, organized by the Muslim youth and inviting Christians as well.

The show last evening was very moving. A Maasai youth by the name Ole Ntinaiyo was in tears. This morning I took him to a Kikuyu family to confess and apologise for stealing a goat at the height of post-election violence. He offered to pay back the goat. The Kikuyu family was equally moved. I’m talking of a reconciliation just about 2 hours ago.

I never thought the launch of this was lighting a fire. I find it so hard to say no to tens of invitations by various groups to see the film. It is all happening at this time to neutralize hate speeches/propaganda arising out of the ongoing campaigns for and against a new constitution.

Tomorrow I will leave Nakuru for Eldama Ravine. In the evening I will be in Moserechi; a Catholic priest, Father Kamau was killed here by a mob during the violence. The youth here say they have never known peace after the killing and they have asked for help. This weekend I will be in Baringo and on to Eldoret.

In short, people are thirsty for reconciliation and there is an insatiable craving for this film. Invitations with dates fixed for showings are in Kisumu, Busia, Lamu, Mombasa, Malindi, Isiolo, Garissa, Muranga, Nyeri, Kisii, Kitale, Kapenguria and Lodwar. So far, I have been given meals and accommodation but raising my transport is a challenge. If I have the means, I will honour all the invitations…. I’m contributing my time and energy and meager resources to respond to the needs/requests of ordinary Kenyans.

June 2010