Westgate, A Year Ago

It was a year ago on Sunday that we were at the Storymoja Hay Festival, an annual literary fest that brings writers, poets, filmmakers, photographers, Creatives, artists and journalists to Nairobi for beautiful sessions delving into the arts and encouraging creative expression and exploration. The likes of Teju Cole, Kwame Dawes, Warsan Shire and Wole Soyinka have graced the festival. Last year, the highlight was to have been Kofi Awoonor. Unfortunately that never came to be. He was shot down, alongside 68 others during a siege in one of Nairobi’s premier malls, Westgate.

Incidentally September 21st also marks the International Day of Peace. How do we have peace when our bodies are continuously and unapologetically used as battlefields for others to fight with?! When our collective humanities are discarded for other more superficial and divisive identities? Until we are able to see the next person, not as a distant stranger, but as a brother or sister, as a fellow human being, we won’t be able to see sustained peace.

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