This week Kenya was enveloped in mourning following the horrendous Westgate terrorist attack that left more than 60 people dead, hundreds injured and several others missing.
But as the cloud of sorrow ominously hang on the country, the reactions of Kenyans and friends of Kenya to the tragedy were nothing short of amazing. Shortly after information circulated that the shopping mall, frequented by expatriates, diplomats and middle class Kenyans was under siege, security officers swung into action to confront the attackers and save hostages. Not even the threat to their own lives could deter them from taking on the terrorists.
Meanwhile, as the call went out for blood donations, thousands of Kenyans across the country flocked to designated centres to donate blood for the victims of the terror attack. With the help of the Kenya Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations the exercise was undoubtedly successful. This display of magnanimity and care for one another must of necessity be applauded.
The women and men who went out of their way to continuously supply the security officers and journalists, camping at the site, with food and refreshments merit commendation. Also to be lauded are the professional counsellors who have been at hand to receive and counsel the traumatised survivors of the attack. The health facilities and medical professionals attending to those who sustained injuries have done the country proud.
Equally refreshing was the sight of President Uhuru Kenyatta, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and other leaders standing together to condemn this terrible crime. For leaders whose political differences are well known to display such unity was a consoling sight indeed.
It is such unity that we need, as a country, to move forward. Retreating to our tribal cocoons, each time we feel our interests are threatened, has done this country more harm than good. As fellow countrymen and women we must reconcile ourselves to the fact that, we are one.
As we mourn the departed, let us purpose to move forward as one. Those out to divide us along tribal lines are enemies against whom we must wage a relentless fight.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." Herman Melville, an American writer, was born on 08/01/1819 and died on 09/28/1891)