Two eye glasses broken at a Kenya student’s Party; police called in to intervene…
This is a rather tricky situation so I am seeking help from KSB readers. On Saturday, the 9th June, I was at a student’s graduation Party in Stockholm. The Kenyan mother of a Kenyan youth had invited me to attend the graduation ceremony at a school in Stockholm on Friday, 8th June 2012. A further invitation was subsequently extended to me to attend a Party the following day to celebrate the graduation of this young boy who had worked so hard to pass his exams. The invitation did not just come out of the blue.
Apart from having known the boy since he was two years old, the boy’s father is a very good friend of mine. More so, the father is a Comrade whom I met during the early 90’s. It is through the boy’s father that my friendship with the family actually started. During the first week of May, the boy’s mother called me and requested me to attend the Party. I take very good photos so she wanted me to be the chief photographer, both during the graduation ceremony and the Party. Since she had given me enough notice, I fixed the dates on my calendar.
At a personal level, I felt that regardless of the circumstances, I had to attend both the graduation ceremony at school and the Party. This was because when my daughter was graduating last year, both the mother and the son were among the guests, both at school and at the after-Party. In Kenya-Stockholm parlance, it was “pay-back time”. I attended both the graduation on Friday and the Party.
The graduation went on smoothly and I did take a lot of photos. There was no incident. The following day, the Party was on and, true to character, I was there. The guests were seated on time, prayers were held for the boy, very nice speeches were delivered, pleasantries were exchanged, good food was served, the cake was cut and everybody was very happy especially for the boy.
In fact, some of my best friends in Stockholm were actually running the show in support of the boy’s mother who is kind, humble and who is known to show solidarity with fellow Kenyans in times of happiness and sadness. At around 22.00 hrs, the crowd started leaving the Party because it appeared as though it was coming to an end. I called a Taxi and sat comfortably for the Taxi-man to call when he was finally around the vicinity. That is when the unexpected happened.
A well-dressed girl quietly walks by and sits next to me
I did not have my security detail because I did not think that there could be an incident at a Kenyan’s graduation ceremony where I was officially invited to take pictures.
A 24 year-old girl walked all the way to where I was sitting with friends. You had to walk past a line-up of tables then manoeuvre your way along the stream of chairs to reach me. I knew that the girl was the elder sister of the boy who was graduating so I was very comfortable with her. I was seated with some good pals who were also waiting to leave the Party. After the girl sat beside me, she immediately picked up a conversation that went as follows:
Girl: Yes Mr. Osewe, I know you have been taking pictures here, will you publish them at KSB?
Answer: I will check with your brother and your mom and if it’s OK, I can publish some pictures.
Girl: Will you also write about this event?
Answer: If it is OK with the family, then I can mention that it took place.
Girl: What will you write?
Answer: I will write that it was fine and that guests enjoyed themselves. I could also mention that the graduation was very good while I could also take the opportunity to congratulate your brother and wish him good luck in the future. He has worked very hard under difficult circumstances.
Girl: Are you looking for an interview for KSB?
Answer: No. I was specifically invited by your mother to take pictures while I also thought that it would be good for me to come because both your mom and your bro were at my daughter’s graduation last year.
Girl: Can you give me an interview?
Answer: Not here and definitely, not now. This is a private function and I don’t use private functions to produce stories.
Girl: But if I give you permission, you can give me an interview…
Answer: No. I am not prepared for an interview right now. I can’t take notes while I cannot record what you are saying. Besides, you have been drinking and I don’t think it would be a good idea to interview you here. We can take it another day.
Girl: Why must you write or record what I am saying?
Answer: Because when I publish what you have said during the interview, I must have proof that you said what you said. Some people can, at times, deny what they have said and that could bring me problems.
Girl: What problems?
Answer: I can be sued.
Girl: But must you prove everything you write at KSB?
Answer: Yes, especially when you are named. That is part of the law of publishing in Sweden and everywhere.
Girl: So you mean you cannot give me an interview?
Answer: I can but not here and now. It also depends on what you want to say. Not every interview I collect is published.
Answer: Because some people say things that cannot be published.
Girl: So if I give you an interview you won’t publish it?
Answer: It can be published depending on what you are saying…
At that point, the girl simply grabbed my spectacles and started running away with them. She looked very drunk and those who saw her running away quickly moved closer to try and investigate what was happening. She ran straight to the kitchen and by then, she had broken the spectacles into pieces. The mother soon came in as someone shouted that I call police. The mother looked at me and started crying, tears rolling down her cheeks. She thought that I would call police but I assured her that I wouldn’t.
Police called in
In the meantime, I requested friends who had come to console me to help me trace the pieces of the spectacles the girl had broken. Another group had ran to the girl to take care of her as a small crowd formed in the room. Then, another well-known delinquent girl popped into the room and started shouting obscenities in the presence of shocked children who did not understand what was happening.
She likes creating scenes especially at social functions and she started shouting at the top of her voice, questioning why KSB wrote about her last year when she participated in BB.
Despite having been brought up in Sweden, she seems not to understand anything about freedom of Press while she also doesn’t understand that in Sweden, if you have a complaint about a published material in any Media, you sue in court and demand compensation to teach the Media House a good lesson. Her school of thought has it that shouting obscenities to a Media representative under the circumstances is not just the perfect revenge but the best response. We hope that someone will soon educate her.
The girl had played sex on TV and although the news was beamed everywhere in the Swedish media, she chose to take issue with the KSB entry which was simply an analysis. As she opened her legs on TV, KSB just went on holiday because of moral obligations. Out of respect for the family, and out of natural decency, KSB refrained from featuring her “sex clips” on TV which are readily available online. At some point, she just went lesbian on BB, leaving a shocked Kenyan crowd behind the TV screen. Kids who were excited that a Kenyan was on BB had to be carted away to sleep. Nothing could be done because it was “her life”.
Punde si punde, the broken pieces of my spectacles started coming in from sympathizers. Before the law, the pieces were the only evidence that could prove that someone had broken my glasses. Shocked friends then came to console me as I joined in calming the situation down, much to the relief of the crowd. My taxi soon pulled by and I left the scene. Some friends followed me to the Taxi to thank me for having handled the situation maturely. I later made a Statement to police who said that a case will soon be coming up once investigations are complete. When I arrived home, I received a phone call that the offending girl, who had broken my spectacles, had struck again after I left. This time, the poor victim was another good-hearted Kenyan lady who had actually helped organize the Party.
The rampaging girl attacked her allegedly because she announced that she would be closing down the venue since the Party was over. According to the Kenyan woman who was attacked, the young girl started arguing with her insisting that she could not close down the venue because the Party was still on. By then, everybody had reportedly left the hall which was being cleaned by vijana.
As the confrontation between the young girl and the woman escalated, the girl grabbed the woman’s three-weeks old spectacles and broke them into pieces. She then allegedly started hitting the woman’s face with a pair of shoes as she held her tight, injuring the woman on the face. In the end, the woman had to bite the girl’s hand to free herself. Once she was free, the woman called police who arrived immediately and took statements. Now, the young girl is facing three charges: breaking my spectacles, assaulting the woman and breaking her spectacles. The young girl also counter sued the woman for biting her so the case will be sorted out in court.
My question to Wakenya is this: If you were me, what could you have done in my situation or how should I handle the situation now? I know this family, I know the boy who was graduating and I was at the Party with good intentions. Neither the boy nor the mother is to blame and I must commend them for having handled the situation very well. If you were in such a situation, and you are a Kenyan what would you do? Forgive and forget or stick to court process and get justice?