BY CHRIS KIRUBI
I wish to take this opportunity to express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and those injured at the Westgate mall attack.
Even though I cannot fully comprehend what you are going through, I want to assure you that you are not alone. I, and many Kenyans, share in your pain, grief, sorrow and anger. We have many questions whose answers may never truly satisfy us; nor take back the atrocities that were committed on our beloved nation and its people.
I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Daily, I ask that the Almighty shall comfort you and give you insurmountable courage to pick up the pieces and carry on with your lives.
For me, the Westgate shopping mall will remain a place of great memories. I will not allow that particular incident to define me going forward nor cloud those memories.
You see, had I not travelled the week before, I might have been right there at Artcaffé having a mid-morning cup of coffee on that Saturday. I might have taken a walk to the Nakumatt and done a bit of grocery shopping; or strolled to one of the other shops and chatted the owners. I am not sure how I would have reacted had I been tested.
For this reason, I will hang onto the great memories of the hard working Kenyans I encountered there every time I visited; Kenyans who had aspirations for their families, businesses and this country. I will remember with tenderness every single person I interacted with; people who have served me and other Kenyans with warmth and kindness.
Let me assure you that your pain and the loss of your loved ones will not be in vain. They will become the martyrs upon whose blood we will rebuild and restore our nation – this is my prayer.
I also ask that we stand together in solidarity with our government. Let us continue to be vigilant and to become our brother’s keeper.
Mostly, my deepest wish is that we will all step up in our individual circles and lend a helping hand to someone who might be struggling to stay alive.
Let us keep this candle of our ‘Kenyan spirit’ shining brighter than ever before. May God bless you and may He bless our country.