Until this very hour, I didn’t really know what position I held on ‘The war against terrorism’. If someone were to ambush me for commentary on the subject I would most probably, and naively so say something to do with ‘killling innocent people, invading rich in oil nations and misinformed religious extremes.’ That in all honesty would inform my answer. Not anymore.
In 1998, I was at a restaurant in Nairobi City. I was in high school then. We had closed school for August holidays when Osama Bin Laden’s disciples descended on Nairobi, and Dar es alaam cities. Nairobi’s Cooperative Bank House as was known(confirm) went into pieces, lives were lost, maimed and for a while the world as I knew it came to a standstill. I was at a distance from the scene of the bomb blast, on Moi Avenue street at a restaurant then known as Generations. In weeks following the blast, I followed events as they unfolded on radio while upcountry at my parents’ farm. My holiday that was to be at an aunt’s place in the big city had been cut short, Nairobi is unsafe, Mum had said. There was a lady called Rose who was trapped in rabble for days but could communicate with the outer world. I have never forgotten that voice as she spoke from under the rabble assuring her loved ones that she will be out soon. She never made it.
Fast foward to 2004, I was a trainee in banking attached to Industrial Development Bank, IDB, Nairobi. IDB’s offices were on Bima House(the commercial unit) and on National Bank Building(the Development Finance and Head Quaters.) I met and worked with people who had witnessed the 1998 bombing of Cooperative Bank. IDB offices were and still remain just next to the scene of the 1998 bombing. I remember Janet* (names changed) from credit, she had marks all over her face. She had her face as known before lost courtesy of glass flying from the breakage of her office windows as a result of the bombing. I won’t go to details of many others, everyone at IDB then has a special experience from that blast. Prisca* from legal still finds taking stairs traumatizing. Much as she didn’t have physical injuries, the site of bodies lying all over in blood and one particular dead body with a large piece of window glass dangling at the neck is disturbing enough. There are others who still cannot sit in certain angles in office. Aggrey* cannot have his desk facing away from the window, he says he always fears something will come from the back, like it did in 1998.
That’s from the people I know. On December 2010, Kellie and I were to travel to Uganda for holiday. We were both looking foward to our first vacation in adult life away. She had booked hotels as early as October 2010, I delayed booking the bus desired, as such we ended up scheduled to travel on a fateful Kampala Coach Bus. Al Shabaab, an affiliate of Osama Bin Laden’s Al Queida struck. Anybody who reads this blog will find the story in my December 2010 archives, It is titled ‘What can we say, We Thank God’. Al Shabaab struck, right between Kellen and I and our lives changed, we have spent months in physical pain, in intellectual wonder and believe it or not, emotional drain. Even our once simple love story never remained the same. Fuck terrorists.
My life has changed. I do not know where to begin but I know that for the last four months I have mostly been at home, not working. I have lost life changing business opportunities, a part of me died too, and things I believed in seem not to matter anymore. I also grew something called emotion which has made me quite vulnerable, I don’t like it at all. I lost faith mostly and became complacent with things I would ideally work, die for passionately, I have more questions than answers. Mrembo, a blogger commented on one of my most recent blog posts when I was going to surgery, for the fifth time in four months! That comment changed me, I for the first time decided to move on…and yeah, I indeed said after that surgery my life will change, boy has it changed in less than one week already or what! Someday, perhaps, you know, I write… It does not help that the latest of surgeries went really bad.
Anyway, terroism. It is evil. I am not as spiritual so I will not even attempt to give biblical explanations on the genesis of the wars as such. The death of Osama Bin Laden does not change much perhaps on what the war on terror is but if you have walked through life in a way I have in recent times, I will have you know that news of such death brings plenty of joy in my heart. In my current place I cannot fight terror, but I pray that God someday puts me in such capacity. I will contribute towards reduction of this madness, by any means necessary, even with only one working eye. So, In a nutshell, I am Happy Osama Bin Laden is Dead. May he not rest in peace.
Till Then, Cheers!