Kenya: Hope and optimism in the New Year

December 31, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 31- It is the last day of the year, a day that many people just can\\\’t resist. It is a day of celebration. The music tears you from your chair, moves your feet and flushes your head. You have got New Year\\\’s fever.

Indeed, each year as the New Year\\\’s festivities raises the heartbeat of millions around the world, a kaleidoscope of fire works display light up the night sky accompanied by heart thumping music which ensures that the transition to the following year takes place with pomp and flare.

In Chinese communities, firecrackers explode all night long. In Japan, gongs of Buddhist temples reverberate in the air 108 times. In the United States, bells, automobile horns, and whistles break rent the air at the stroke of midnight.

For most people, the din and racket on the New Year\\\’s Eve are considered to be just merriment accompanied by elaborate Year\\\’s celebrations.

However, originally, this entire hullabaloo, though taking various forms, was done for one basic reason, to ward off demons and purify people for the coming year.

In Kenya, as many still continue to grapple with the aftermath of political upheaval that characterized this and the previous year, many are holding on to hope that the following year will bring the much needed changes.

For Aisha Juma, a businesswoman, the issue of the conservation of the Mau water tower should be dealt with conclusively in 2010.

"The conservation of this vital forest should be dealt with once and for all. It should not be allowed to go on like this keeping in mind its significance to the wellbeing of our nation," she said.

Ms Juma further said that the government should look towards improving the lot of internally displaced people so as to enable them revert back to their normal lives.

"The child who had the highest marks in KCPE in the whole country was a displaced person. That gives evidence that there is a lot of potential in the country," she said.

For Sam Bugendi, the year 2010 is like a milestone in the continent as many countries prepare for the World Cup set to take place in South Africa.

"I am very optimistic that 2010 is gong to be a much better year with this major tournament coming to Africa," he said.

He described the time period from the beginning of the year as a very trying time which was further exacerbated by the global economic crisis.
"2009 was a very difficult year made worse by the global economic crunch," he stated.

Aida Ogolla echoes his sentiments but says that a lot of political games during the year was to blame for the numerous hurdles encountered.

"The year 2009 was full of so many challenges. There were a lot of politics which did not improve our economy and consequently the lives of Kenyans," she says.
Indeed, it is not just in Kenya that many are ushering in the New Year with high hopes.

Partygoers from Tuvalu to Tijuana are set to raise a glass to bid farewell to 2009 and usher in a new decade, closing the door on 10 years scarred by wars, terror attacks, natural disasters and financial turmoil.

In Sydney, the world\\\’s first major city to see in the New Year, around 1.5 million people were expected to crowd the harbour foreshore for a high-tech fireworks display on the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Paris\\\’s Eiffel Tower was to be transformed into a multicolored light show while in Berlin, more than one million revelers were expected on the boulevard leading to the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of German unity.


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