The Other Church

By Peter Chepkonga On December 27th 2007, Pastor Robert Birgen, of African Inland Church, Chepsiria, stood patiently in line at the Kapkuis Primary school polling station in Kuinet, a few kilometres north of Eldoret town. When he reached the polling booth he saw Mzee Kamenya, an old Kikuyu neighbour of his since the early 90s, […]

AIC Kijabe Mission Hospital – Replenishing Life & Hope to All

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Driving down the escarpment on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway past Limuru, the road opened up to the great escarpment view point. Curio shops eager for tourist stopovers are set up by the cliff displaying bright coloured kikoys all set against the substantial drop of the valley with Mt Longonot at the horizon. Specks of iron sheet […]

Planting Seeds of Peace

In the last ten days of January, as the violence in the Rift Valley spread from Eldoret to Nakuru and then Naivasha, the nature of the aggression changed. From political, the rationale became personal – and as a result wildly out of control. By the beginning of February, as helicopters circled Naivasha, the outskirts of […]

Two Brothers Kidogo

Daniel Nduati’s phone was ringing when he and his brother, Peter, met me in Dagoretti on a recent afternoon. I’d come to visit the rescue shelter the two young men had opened for children displaced by the new year’s violence, but an unrelated matter came up first. “There’s a lady who says she wants to […]

Mercy’s Mission

For three days after the hurried December announcement that Kibaki was to be president, Mercy Gichangi sat in her house, stunned and afraid. As 2007 gave way to 2008 she could find no cause for celebration. All around her, chaos was in charge. Day and night she could hear shouts and wailing, could see bashed-in […]

The Kenyan Diaspora Takes Action

GRACE, ‘BABY BRIAN’ AND THE HUMANISATION OF THE INHUMANE It is a great pity we don’t know/ When the dead are going to die/So that, over a last companionable/ Drink, we could tell them/ How much we liked them – Bernard O’Donoghue, ‘Going Without Saying’ There are certain types of violence and suffering that can […]

The Preacher of Peace

Soon after the post-election violence in Kenya started, Ochieng’ Nyawire took up the role of roving peace-maker in the streets of his Kiambui neighbourhood, armed only with his Bible and his prayers. He argued endlessly for peace, facing down angry police officers and equally angry neighbours as he preached reconciliation and calm even at the […]

Nourishing hope in Kibera

When I met her, nothing in the lovely smile that never seems to leave her face betrayed the things that she has experienced. Yet something, maybe her dry wit, gives her the ability to let go of wounds and wake up each day with fresh enthusiasm. I stumbled into Uzima Foundation in Kibera by coincidence […]

Nyaminwa

No one would ever call her pretty. She is too strong, too urgent, too passionate for that. No one would ever deny, however, that she is exceedingly, even disturbingly, beautiful. Sitting under a maroon Java House umbrella, I watch as she talks. She listens as if attempting to mine a hidden heart of meaning, her […]

An Unusual Hero

Mention the Kenyan GSU, and images of red-bereted, combat-geared policemen waving batons chasing rioting university students amid plumes of choking tear gas come to mind. It is not clear where the tagline fanya fujo uone (just try to make trouble, and see)came from, but it stuck so indelibly in the Kenyan psyche they might have […]