Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kenya has more than one story ?

When I run out of ideas I find inspiration from watching TED. A talk or two soon brings me back to some sort of sanity. To see those amazing people all of whom have made a significant contribution in a wide range of activities is very stimulating. Just to feel the passion with which they tell their story is enlightening. They all share something in common and that is confidence, some speak off the cuff others use notes but the method of delivery is inconsequential, what matters is the confidence with which they speak.
           One particular speaker spoke on the plight of girls and women in the world, particularly the world of poverty. She told two different  stories each about mothers struggling to feed their children. Another talked about how the world is becoming increasingly multicultural with more people having a mixed origin, where birthplace, nationality and home are different. 
          An inspired young African writer spoke about the danger of telling one story.  It is very easy to do that about Kenya, To describe the corruption, the violence, the rubbish and the dishonesty but there are so many others, the humour , the colour, the optimism, the resilience and energy of the people.; the man with one arm trying to make a living,  another with a deformed foot selling mangoes, always smiling and greeting me even though I don’t buy anything. The boys selling small packets of peanuts, or simply wanting money to buy food standing on the street all day when they should be at school but their parents either can't of don’t want to afford the fees.

            It’s so easy to tell the one story and ignore all the others. Well from now on I am going to try not to emphasise the bad but find the good and there is a lot of it. The young woman wanting to be a surgeon whose parents were teenagers and unmarried when she was conceived. The Likoni project supporting bright kids who would otherwise end up on the streets or as criminals. How easy it must be to give up but another day dawns and you are hungry so you start again?