Drama as Odero and Midenyo are Attacked by a Kikuyu Woman at Keegan’s Funeral Meeting

Funeral Committee to be formed

Keegan: Drama at Funeral Meeting

As a Kenyan who was present at the Keegan Funeral Committee meeting on Wednesday, 27th November 2013, I have assessed the KSB Report about the meeting and it is an accurate depiction of what transpired at the meeting. KSB must have constructed the Report out of details availed by the “Information Department” of the Committee. In as much as the Report left out nothing significant, I wish to point out that towards the end of the meeting, an ugly incident involving myself, Gerry Midenyo and a Kenyan woman ensued. Obviously, this incident may not have entered into the official information chain but because of its critical significance in relation to the task at hand, it is the view of both myself and Gerry that the matter be brought to the attention of the Kenya-Stockholm public.

As the meeting was winding up, a Kenyan woman we have never met before surprised us when she confronted us with a lot of tribal bigotry. To be accurate, I can report that it was the worst case of open ethnic tirade I have ever experienced in Kenya-Stockholm.

“You can go to hell” were the parting words from the woman who made Gerry Midenyo and I walk out in bitter protest from the late Keegan’s apartment on the night of the so-called brainstorming meeting.

We arrived at the meeting promptly at 6pm and after registering our condolences, we waited for the rest who began arriving towards 7pm. Among them was a lady who was not known to most of us. After introductions, we began brainstorming on various aspects, especially on the composition of the proposed Keegan Funeral Committee. The lady in question did not understand the concept of “Club 1000” which was being explored as an option, in case Keegan’s body will be transported to Kenya. After numerous explanations, including the need for one to have a network of friends, she complained that having been around for only seven years, she did not know many Kenyans. She was eventually informed that Kenyans have always transported bodies home, despite delays occasioned by financial bottlenecks. Over and above this, Osewe has analyzed “selective fundraisings” that have led to the failure of the Club 1000 concept, with reference to two fundraisings this year to transport the bodies of two Kenyans home for burial.

Kidero-Shebesh Luo Attitude at a Kikuyu meeting
Having chaired three funeral committees since last year, I attempted to share my experience on controversies concerning burials, either in Sweden or back home in Kenya. These were summarily dismissed with shouts of: “cultures are different” and “those examples are not applicable here”. As I continued to pursue a comparative presentation of funeral situations to bring members up to speed using my experiences, the language of communication at the meeting also began to oscillate between Kikuyu and Swahili. As time elapsed, myself and Gerry watched helplessly as Kikuyu language became even more established as the official language of the meeting thereby effectively reducing us to spectators. To be exact, the ensuing mood was that of “you versus us” and from then onwards, whenever Gerry and I attempted to open our mouths, we were summarily dismissed into absolute silence. Our ideas that were supposed to be part of brainstorming as advertised at KSB were systematically cast into the dust-bin.

As the meeting continued in Kikuyu, the woman stranger continued to fire tactical missiles in my direction, apparently to ensure that my contribution at the meeting was reduced to zero. I told the woman (who said she has been here for seven years) to go easy because all had a chance to talk. Instead, she shocked me when she blurted that I should “go to hell” and desist from bringing a “Kidero-Shebesh Luo attitude” at a Kikuyu meeting.

Overdose of Kikuyu ethnic chauvinism
That was it! I had put up with enough crap. Interestingly, the Chairman continued with the meeting in Kikuyu and pretended to be totally oblivious to the behind-the-scenes-altercations between myself and the strange woman as Gerry scratched his head in utter disbelief. We were amazed because a Kikuyu woman we have never met before appeared to have been charged to full capacity and ready to do battle using foul language.

I stood up in protest and told the chairman that he had exhibited total bias and utter weakness by allowing the woman stranger to launch a virulent tribal attack on me without any provocation. Eventually, we left the meeting in protest and apart from persistent interventions by Sofia Njoroge who disagreed with the woman and opposed her atavistic ethnic approaches, the rest of the attendees (who were all Kikuyus) appeared not to have been interested in our presence at the meeting. In fact, we got the impression that they were happy that the woman stranger was giving us a real overdose of traditional and home-grown Kikuyu ethnic chauvinism as Sofia desperately tried to bring some sanity back in the room. The situation became so chaotic that myself and Gerry decided that it was better for us to head for the doorway asap before tempers flared out of control with the consequence of an even uglier scene developing. Why do I want this incident to be publicized?

Keegan must have turned in the morgue
Anybody who knows Keegan will testify that he was not a tribalist. My guess is that he may have been turning in the morgue as the woman stranger embarked on a chauvinistic ethnic onslaught at his inaugural funeral meeting. From my point of view, funeral fundraising sessions are occasions when unity among Kenyans ought to dominate. It is a moment when Kenyans ought to be showing solidarity especially with the bereaved family and planning to help with funeral arrangements. This is not the moment for narrow ethnic displays where phrases like “go to hell” are uttered.

If a brainstorming session for a funeral of a well-known Kenyan like Keegan can be used to promote tribalism and ethnic chauvinism without intervention by the Chair, then the message being sent (in this case) is that the tribal divide occasioned by ethnic political divisions in Kenya have been imported to Kenya-Stockholm. This is a position that must be rejected by all progressive Kenyans because as a Nation, and regardless of what the Kikuyu ruling class is doing in Kenya, we are one people. The ordinary Kikuyus continue to suffer at the hands of their brethren in control of government, just like millions of other Kenyans.

Challenging the Chairman
Ironically, the Kikuyu lady who poured vitriol on me was earlier in the evening asking why Kenyans in Stockholm were not united. How one relates to the so-called Kenya-Stockholm community is very much about a person’s character. There are Kenyans who are not interested in solidarity and that is their democratic right.

As we await the formation of the late Keegan’s funeral committee, let us put aside unnecessary tribal divisions and respect each other. I know that last night’s incident will make us re-think how we should behave socially, regardless of the real/imagined political and tribal differences in Kenya, which cloud the judgment of others here.

Despite the bad and callous treatment at the hands of what I believe, is a semi-illiterate ethnic chauvinist left to her own primitive devices, I will continue to play my role to further the agenda of the Keegan family in relation to his funeral. This will be the perfect way to honour Keegan who knew no tribal boundaries and who was a close friend of mine.

Needless to say, I regard the incident as an insult to what Keegan stood for in life while I also challenge the Interim Chairman to take a public position in relation to the ugly incident that happened in his presence. While speaking in Kikuyu at a Kikuyu-dominated meeting can be acceptable under normal circumstances, doing so with the sole purpose of isolating non Kikuyu members or to keep their contributions out of the decision making process is retrogressive, degenerate, ethnic and, most importantly, depraved.

On the whole, the Chairman’s reluctance to intervene (even mildly) in the face of an open and ethnically oriented attack can only be construed to mean that the woman stranger may have been acting in cahoots with forces within the inner core of the meeting’s organizers.  As for the woman stranger, I sympathize with her because she has a long way to go in Kenya-Stockholm. As a parting shot, I congratulate Sofia Njoroge for her principled and unwavering stand during the whole drama. Kenya-Stockholm needs many Sofia Njoroges if the community wants to make progress in inter-ethnic relations.

Jared Odero

24 comments

  • Look how Primitive these brainless animals behave worse than Gnus crossing Mara-River!

  • Atleast u stayed positive. Don’t let cheap mind control u. U were there for keegan n not tribal things. U r focusing too much on kikuyu who was negative while its another kikuyu woman who was positive. The sprit of kenyanism in Stockholm prevails above all this.

  • Rafiki Yako Kabisa

    Poleni Ndugu, the last paragraph smacks racism,hate and probably the highest level of tribalism perpetrated by tribalists in Stockholm infested with hate btw Kikuyus and Luos in recent times . Kenyans residing in EU/USA countries should be the ones showing the way .How people can live peacefully and happily in a democracy ,and perhaps export democratic principles back home. Lets not try to distract keegan’s friend from attending his final destination he never chose. May God grant everyone his love and be blessed,peace and harmony. Rip Keegan .You were a friend of mine, and to many who value true friendship.May the Lord be with you.

  • Why dont you guys blame the Chairman who according to the story failed to steer clear the meeting and the bad behaviour perpetrated by the ill-advised primitive kikuyu women.The Chairman should have asked the aggresive woman to leave so that the meeting should have proceeded without any disturbance.

  • I think its high time the ethinic differences were sorted out here in Stockholm. I do believe its the only city in the whole world where we were left pointing”thats a kikuyu, thats a luo” .Back at home luo land is full of kikuyus and kikuyu land is full of luos . Here in sweden it’s only that there is law and order which governs the state otherwise it would have been worse that 2008 PEV.All we need is respect for each other .

  • There is nothing ugly like a drunk woman!

  • what did you expect from a f_kng malaya!

  • Tell non kyuks if you dont want them to come there.

  • As a veteran Kenya-Stockholmer, I felt inclined to comment on what is being termed and seen as a struggle between the Luo and Kikuyu communities in Stockholm. I personally do not have a problem with other people that switch to their vernacular languages in a gathering, even if I am present and do not understand what they are saying. It may be terrible manners or even anti-social, but I would hardly see it as or label it an attempt to sideline me tribally. If I felt uncomfortable with the change in language, I would request these individuals to speak in either English or Swahili if they were to continue to enjoy my company. I would certainly leave if they then failed to comply with my request. It would be ridiculous to begin throwing accusations at them, labeling them tribalists or claim that they are aiding and abetting with unseen forces to sideline me because I was not from their tribe. Only a singularly paranoid individual that sees tribalists in every shadow that moves, or a bona-fide hardcore tribalist in the guise of being cosmopolitan would resort to such antics. To speak and enjoy speaking ones language is a basic human right. There is no shame or crime in doing so, and therefore one cannot be reproached for it. Luo’s and Kikuyu’s, and other Kenyan communities for that matter, have no apologies to make to anyone when they speak their languages in public or private forums, it is their cultural heritage in all its beauty and uniqueness.

    The Kenyan community in Stockholm is morning the passing of Keegan Kagwe, a cosmopolitan Kenyan known by Kenyans across the ethnic divide. You could never have called this man a tribalist. We all choose our friends by seeking out those that share our values and ideals, and Keegan was no exception. It is therefore safe to assume that his friends were also cosmopolitan in their nature. It is these friends, with the exception of a few self-invited guests, that congregated at his apartment to commiserate with each other and be there for Keegan’s family at this time. When Jared Odero alludes in his KSB posting that these friends would encourage or harbor a tribal agenda is in extremely bad taste, utter rubbish and is illuminative of a skewered perception. I personally think the Chairman of the committee acted wisely and appropriately given the circumstances. Jared’s exchange with the person he refers to as “the woman stranger” disintegrated into behind the scene altercations, all the while expecting the intervention of the Chairman. Jared needs to understand the old adage, “If you argue with a fool, nobody will notice the difference”, the Chairman certainly seems to have done so by ignoring the both of them and leaving them to their own devices. I wonder what would have transpired if he had chosen to ask the Chairman to conduct the meeting in English or Swahili, and ignored “the woman stranger” whose behavior he found provocative. We will never know. Jared’s actions at the meeting however are indicative of his complete lack of judgment and an enormous ego that was dented by the apparent lack of recognition as per his so called “prominent personality” status. If Jared was not man enough to bring up the issue at the meeting with the Chairman and take the bull by the horns, his subsequent post on the incident on KSB only serves to increase perceptions of a widening tribal divide in Stockholm.

  • M. O.

    You were not at the meeting and thus the biased response to suit your usual selfish ego. The usage of the Kikuyu language was pointed on by Midenyo but that was ignored. In fact a member said: “Odero understands Kikuyu”.

    The rest of your post is slanted and has taken a “personal angle” which is your usual way whenever you notice my take on local issues. Keep it up.

  • In fact M.O. is a well known mkolofi& mtu Fitina baba W. poa.poa Twakuelewa.tena Saidi.

  • Bagamossen kille

    M.O stop hitting below the belt.

  • M.O mature bwana why the bitterness and kuongeza chumvi?u just wrote about yourself.

  • M.O amewezwa na mwanamke anafukuzwa kila mara.

  • nani hajui MO amewezwa na mama kwa hivyo lazima achokoze wengine?

  • Odero, I last posted on KSB more than 3 years ago and the idea of me being on a vendetta, being biased or writing with a “personal angle” is plainly ludicrous. Furthermore “your take on local issues” appears to be confined to the vilification of one particular ethnic group in your numerous posts. Those trying to heckle me into silence using fictitious stories and pretended bravado should strive to redouble these efforts because they really need to sharpen their wits. Then perhaps I just may be inclined to give a response.

  • M.O, Really? Three years ago is when you posted at KSB? Tell it to the birds!

    As I mentioned in my earlier response, you have a knack for diverting from the topic at hand. You were not at Keegan’s place and much of your initial misinterpretation is based on your online hatred for me, which you have never hidden. Your language remains the same even if you acquire other handles. Right from your first response, you shifted the thread to a personal level because that is how low your twisted mind works.

    If you have a problem with my articles at KSB, then challenge them on the basis of their content instead of writing rubbish about me. All parties who were at Keegan’s place apart from the stranger woman, gave there unbiased account of the incident which Osewe posted. I have also moved on and have asked all Kenyans to support Keegan’s funeral arrangements.

    I don’t socialize or mix with you in any way, apart from sharing the common trait of being a Kenyan; so stop your skewed thoughts about me. You won’t gag me with your drivel because I have my global citizen’s rights of expression at KSB.

    Seek Divine help to “exorcise” those demons of ethnic hatred from your head. Amen!

  • Turkana Must stop attacking kikuyus un-armed women with children ?(selecting kikuyus) while armed Policemen are watching without interfeering>

  • Is Raila Senile and Dement Why bow to Uhuru>

  • Oppen Society Democracy

    The FBI should arrest former Kenya AP Kwekwe Squad Killing chiefMr Mbugua Kinuthis The Governor of Nakuru.He is on a Visit to USA>
    http://kenya.rcbowen.com/talk/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=37150

  • marry from other tribes

    Kamanda tells Kikuyus to marry from other tribes

    ..

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013 – 00:00 — BY NJENGA GICHEHA

    Starehe MP Maina Kamanda has called on Kikuyu youth to intermarry with other tribes to promote national cohesion.

    Kamanda said intermarriages can help heal the country’s ethnic rifts.

    He was speaking in Murang’a on Sunday during a pre-ceremony for Muriithi Mwenje, the son of the late Embakasi MP David Mwenje who is also the parliamentary Committee on Roads and Infrastructure,

    Muriithi, a lawyer is due to marry Laura, his high school sweetheart from Kisii. The wedding will be held on December 14 in Nairobi.

    “I would like to tell our young men and women that it’s good to marry from other tribes. They should work hard to get others from even Kisii land and bring here and other should go there,” said Kamanda.

    The MP said it is the pride of leaders in the country to see their children marry from different communities to create a generational co-existence.

    “This is very important especially to us as leaders. Every leader wants his or her daughter to get married so that we can have more people in the family like my son also should get married,” he said.

    Kamanda added, “we don’t want our girls to continue saying that poor young men are drunkards and they are not responsible. There is no one time a man would be responsible when you look at others.”

    He cautioned the young people against blaming each other as being weak and urged them to embrace community responsibility.

    “Our men on the other hand say that the girls even from other tribes are very expensive but I would like to tell the men to be serious. Life without a husband, a wife and children is useless. So let’s start making families,” said Kamanda.

  • kikuyu idps at state house
  • Carter Center Kenya elections

    Carter Center quietly publishes strikingly critical Final Report from Kenya 2013 Election Observation

    Posted on November 24, 2013

    Without additional fanfare that I have picked up on, the Carter Center published on the web on October 16th their Final Report on the Election Observation Mission for Kenya’s March 4 election.

    I admit to being pleasantly surprised upon wading through the details to find much more direct acknowledgment of the shortcomings of the process, especially the tallying and reporting of results, than I would have expected from the previous media reporting on the various communications about this observation mission over the months since the vote, as well as a major change in conclusions.

    Read it for yourself if you are interested in Kenyan elections and the extent to which the announced presidential result in this most recent election was or wasn’t reliable, but the bottom line here is that the Carter Center has commendably stepped back from their previous assurance from April 4, a month after the election, that “in spite of serious shortcomings” the IEBC’s improvised paper-based tally process “presented enough guarantees to preserve the expression of the will of the Kenyan voters”. In the Final Report the tally/tabulation process is discussed in Pages 51-58, concluding in summary, “Overall, Kenya partially fulfilled its obligations to ensure that the will of the people, as expressed through the ballot box, is accurately recorded and communicated.” (p. 57).

    The report itemizes and discusses five categories of “Challenges in Tabulation”:

    I. Failure of Electronic Transmission of Provisional Results

    II. Inadequate Publication of Tabulation Procedures

    . . . .

    Therefore, the available instructions appeared to be insufficient to guarantee the integrity and accuracy of numerical tabulation. . . . (p. 54)

    III. Inadequate Observer and Election Agent Access to National Tally Center

    . . . .

    However, the national tally center did not provide enough transparency for observers or party agents to assess the overall integrity of tally of presidential results. Unfortunately, the Center regrets the IEBC decision to confine party agents and observers to the gallery of the national tally center, making effective and meaningful observation impossible.

    The Center observed many of the same kind of discrepancies in the tally procedures that had generated so much criticism and speculation in 2007; results announced at the national tally center differed from those announced at constituency level, missing tally forms, inconsistencies between presidential and parliamentary tallies, instances of more votes than registered voters, discrepancies between turnouts of the presidential and parliamentary elections, and expulsion of party agents from the tally space at the national tally center.

    . . . . (p. 54, footnotes omitted)

    IV. Discrepancies Between the Published Voter Register and Announced Results

    The Center’s examination of reported final results for the presidential election, recorded on form 36, showed noteworthy discrepancies. . . . (p. 55)

    V. Nonpublication of Detailed Election Results

    One of Kenya’s core obligations concerns promoting transparency in elections and other public processes. . . . The Center remains concerned that the IEBC has not published detailed official results disaggregated at the polling station level. (p.55)

    For more information, although not cited by the Carter Center, please see the audit performed by the Mars Group Kenya, noting the “missing” status of the Form 34s recording the tallies from each of 2,627 polling streams.

    See Africa Confidential: “Carter’s quiet doubts“.

    Previously:

    *Are “free and fair” elections passé in Kenya?

    *Carter Center calls it as they see it in the DRC

    *Why would we trust the Kenyan IEBC vote tally when they engaged in fraudulent procurement practices for key technology?
    http://africommons.com/2013/11/24/carter-center-quietly-publishes-strikingly-critical-final-report-from-kenya-2013-election-observation/

    http://www.cartercenter.org/resources/pdfs/news/peace_publications/election_reports/kenya-final-101613.pdf

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