Statement on the Jared Attack by “Woman Stranger” at Keegan’s Funeral Meeting
The ugly incident featuring the altercation between Jared Odero, Gerry Midenyo and the Kikuyu woman stranger at the Keegan Funeral meeting must have shocked many readers who have been following events in Kenya-Stockholm. In light of the seriousness of the incident, and from the point of view of Kenya-Stockholm’s ethnic relations, it is important that the version of persons who were at the meeting is also given equal coverage.
As the official information channel of the Keegan Funeral arrangements, KSB has talked to a handful of key personalities who were present at the meeting. The following rendition is both an alternative view of those who were at the meeting and the general position of the attendees on the unwelcome incident.
It is true that the woman stranger did confront Jared with a lot of “ethnic hatred”. Not only did she shout the “go to hell” phrase but also used the Kidero-Shebbesh analogy to try and prevent Jared from presenting his views at the meeting. It is also true that both Jared and Gerry walked out of the meeting in protest while the statement that Sofia Njoroge tried to intervene as matters got out of hand is also true. In fact, those at the meeting have confirmed that the woman even went further and said that there were more Kikuyus in the room than non Kikuyus, pointing out that the views of the two non Kikuyus could be ignored because they were inconsequential. That was after she apparently bragged about her white boyfriend.
According to those who were at the meeting and who have spoken to KSB, the attack on Jared by the woman stranger was an isolated incident that was not given a lot of attention because of the “low social status” of the woman. At one point, and as the woman stranger continued to payuka, a Kenyan is reported to have pulled Jared aside to calm him down and to update him about the woman low status.
Who is the woman stranger?
In Kenya-Stockholm circles, the woman is said to live an isolated life on the fringes of society and this explains why after seven years in Stockholm, she still did not know Jared. She does not know KSB while she is not on FB or Twitter. She is said to be a confused alcoholic suffering from illiteracy because her parents were too poor to take her to school. Her case has been equated to that of a person who landed in Stockholm “accidentally” from a backwater village deep down in Central province where she was herding goats and tending to a small shamba of si-kuma-wiki she used to sell at the village market to earn money to buy salt. Since she arrived in Sweden, those who know her well have told KSB that she maintains a strong “village outlook of life” after being unable to adjust to the dotcom lifestyle in Sweden.
KSB has learnt that during her upbringing, she underwent a systematic indoctrination with a weird version of the “House of Mumbi” philosophy which, according to her teachings, holds that all Luos are led by the Oginga Odinga family and that a Luo is the biggest enemy of Kenya. It is understood that since she arrived in Stockholm, she was getting into contact with a Luo for the second time in seven years and that her “Kidero-Shebbesh” outburst represents a deeper hatred for Luos whom, she believes, should be confined to Nyanza province.
Use of Kikuyu language explained
From the fore-going background, Kenyans who witnessed the unwelcome incident would like to assure the general public that the woman’s behaviour did not reflect the general position of those who were present at the meeting.
The attendees have admitted that at some point in time, some discussions did take place in Kikuyu language. However, what was not highlighted is that these discussions were taking place after the meeting almost came to an end and, as Odero mentioned, from the side-lines. The discussions were mainly based on implementation of decisions which were taken at the meeting including purchase of materials for the Friday meeting, transport arrangements, mobilization and how information would be transmitted to Kenyans in Stockholm.
The big problem is that because of constant interruptions by the woman, the meeting could not be closed officially by the Chairman thereby creating the impression that the meeting was still in progress. It was getting late on a week-day and those who had taken responsibilities also wanted to leave. Under the circumstances, some members retreated to consult on final preparations for the Friday meeting. At this point, the use of Kikuyu language was a spontaneous phenomenon which had nothing to do with isolating non Kikuyu members or preventing Jared from airing his views. Basically, the meeting had almost ended.
Why the Chairman did not intervene
The Chairman did not intervene directly to the woman stranger’s outbursts because he probably knew her psychological and mental status. In any case, enough intervention was already being done by Sofia Njoroge who did a very good job. Besides, Steve, a key member, had earlier tried to calm Jared down after the woman got very drunk on John Walker.
The perception that the Chairman may have failed to intervene because of ethnic considerations or because he was sympathetic with the woman could be misleading. The Chairman’s profile as a Kenyan and community leader who has transcended tribalism needs no elaboration. The Chairman’s record dates back to the early and mid 90s when he was instrumental in uniting the Kenyan community through various community projects. It is notable that the Chairman is a founding member of the defunct Kenya United Welfare Association (KUWA) while he has also chaired the “Making a Difference” children’s organization which organized multiple activities of Kenyan kids from all ethnic groups. He has friends from every corner of Kenya while any Kenyan with feelers on the social scene will testify that the Chairman attends all sorts of functions organized by any Kenyan without thinking about ethnicity.
The position of the attendees
Under the circumstances, Kenyans who were present at the meeting would like to take this early opportunity to distance themselves from the strange antiques of the woman stranger. The meeting’s attendees are extremely disturbed with the incident which does not reflect the general and cordial inter-ethnic relations in Kenya-Stockholm. The incident ought to be viewed as the product of a lone ranger whose views, behaviour, perception and world view has no place in today’s Kenya-Stockholm.
Further, the attendees would like to encourage Kenyans not to be influenced by this incident. There is no single example that can be given from any social function or meeting that could be likened to the woman’s behaviour. Kenyans of all walks of life continue to live in harmony in Kenya-Stockholm. A single incident engineered by a crooked woman high on whisky should not be construed to mean that there is hatred between any ethnic communities in Kenya-Stockholm, more so, between Luos, Luhyas and Kikuyus.
That having been said, the meeting’s attendees would like to encourage Kenyans to gather together and give Keegan the send-off he deserves. Despite the unfortunate nature of the incident in question, Kenyans in Stockholm are encouraged to learn from it instead of using it to spread unfounded rumours as work begins on Keegan’s funeral. This is what Keegan could have wanted.
Lastly, the attendees of the meeting would like to apologize to Jared for acts of omissions that may have led to a better handling of the matter. It was a rather chaotic moment during the final moments of the meeting and some critical developments may have gone unnoticed. This was not intentional. Let us all think of the Keegan family and try to give them the support they need during this difficult moment in life. We are all human, we make mistakes but life must go on.
Keegan Funeral Committee