It is year 2009. What does that mean? To many it is a time of euphoria, celebration, benchmarking and setting new milestones. Or using different terms it is a time for individual, at times collective, reexamination of goals, directions and what we want to aspire in the next 360 or so days.
This sounds like a something worthwhile for us to pursue as well in this forum that seems to take forever to take off. For the Sabaot, there is just so much to worry about even for those of us that are counted to the lucky ones for immigrating to the first world.
This past year was dreadful. There was and still is fear, anger, wrath, regret, pain, loss, sorrow, anxiety and even compounding depression just to capture a little bit about how we still feel.
We were a community that started 2008 with such an embracement. We had continually killed one another in 2007 and by the begging of 2008 that terror was on going. As a community we had the blood of the innocent in our hands. Such a grouping was not decent or honorable, but we stuck in there to claim our bad name. The feeling reminded me of the saying, n-go saa-mus muria kubo chii.
Here we are at those same cross roads. Nothing much has changed, we still hate one another. Many are still hurting. Many more are still displaced. Just like me, scores are refugees in their own country. Like the children of Israel in Babylon it is painful to find yourself as a refugee, more so without any source of livelihood.
However there is a glimmer of hope this year. In many areas now some sense of security is assured. You can travel with some degree of certainty. You can go to sleep to find the goats are still in their kraal. To many this sounds weird. Yes! Where we call home, Mt. Elgon has always been weird. And this less weird year is the hope of the Sabaot people. We cannot wait for the day that we will be a part of the mainstream. The day when we will enjoy the freedom that other Kenyans have called theirs for the last 40+ years.
Sons and daughters of Mt. Elgon, Happy 2009!
Be reminded that “happy” has no bounds, no tribal limitation, no lingual restriction, no color bias, nor socio-economic strata. Happy year means, celebrating the diversity that Mt. Elgon has. It is by accepting one another that we will transcend the problems of today and starting preparing ourselves for the challenges of tomorrow.
There is no beautiful country, sweet waters, hospitable people, fertile soils, unique terrain, like the slopes of Mt. Elgon. We are all lucky and should count ourselves proud to be called “pikap koret” irrespective of what others think or tell us.
Let the those from Rok-ook (Lwakhakha) embrace those from Endebess, while the folks from Kaptama play a friendly volleyball match with those from Kimo-bor (Kimabole). Let the folks from Chepkital have field day in Changara.
Let Etawan and Muron and Waase be human once more, and embrace one another as we play our unique roles in making Mt. Elgon the home of all, my home and yours too. Happy New Year!
Arap Pkania Shabattai aka Samedi