Monday, October 27, 2008

The Unusual Kenyan Hero


Armed forces are generally a dreaded lot. More so the GSU. But one Joseph Musyoka Nthenge stands out for giving the forces a less brutal face at a time when they seemed to be shooting at anything that moved while some Rambo characters were caught on tape kicking a dying man in the ribs. The UN has recognized him with a ‘United Nations Kenya Person of the Year Award’, a prestigious award that has previously gone to the likes of Abbas Gullet for his good leadership at Kenya Red Cross Society, Njoki Ndung’u for her contribution in the fight for Girl’s and Women’s rights and Agnes Pareiyo for her tireless efforts to rescue girls from Under age marriage and Female Genital Mutilation in her community.

Joseph stands out for the peaceful manner in which he dispersed a crowd of rowdy youth who were headed for the city center to protest the delayed presidential results during last year’s General Elections. The youth had already left a trail of destruction in their path. There is no telling how much more blood shed we’d have witnessed or how many more lives would have lost if that group got their way on that day. So it’s Hats off for Joseph Nthenge. My little doctorate goes to him.

Having said that, a lot of other Kenyans did their bit to peacefully restore calm during our darkest days. Hats off to them too. Every one of them.



See Also: The Case Of The Overweight Policeman

20 Comments:

31337 said...

kudos to him, at least he was recognised. i watched him as he spoke to the group of youths he was supposed to be teargassing and sending back into kibera and thought why did the whole force use the same tack and diplomacy to disperse crowds? he spoke reason.

Shiko-Msa said...

I remember him well too. I watched him.

To think of it if the whole force used the same tact and diplomacy, then things would have been much easier.

Maua said...

The Force should have mandatory training on communication and reasoning, then tact and diplomacy would be employed.

Well done Joseph.

BP ONE said...

Congrats to Superintendent Joseph Musyoka Nthenge. What really pleased me most was his advice to the youth. He said and I quote
“We have built Kenya over along time, why should we destroy it in one day? Why?”
As if the gentleman was seeing what was to happen in the following weeks. The Kenya that was built over 40 years was destroyed in matter of days. In reality the officer is not only a hero of different kind but a uniformed Wise man.

joyunspeakable said...

Now that's my hero. Watching him talk sense was such bliss. he sud have been the police commissioner

Shiko said...

True Maua. At some point there they tried to tone down their brutality. there was a time when even mentioning police to a child would make her cringe in fear! The forces at the moment have some human faces thankfully. some are still enjoying the brutality of course but a journey of 100 steps starts with 1.

BP, Joy it's congrats to Nthenge. I still recall that footage. he deserves the prize.

bOMSEH said...

The one in a million character. Hope others follow the example.

Pink M said...

I also remember that footage. It was humanity displayed in mayhem. Methinks he should have gotten the honorary degrees, but who am I?
Glad he's got some recognition though.

Maua said...

Now that BP1 quotes him, I recall the guy. I watched him on 'A song for Peace' in January and the song made me cry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vvbUFrU7dM&feature=related

Shiko-Msa said...

Hope so too Bomseh.

Pink Kenyans have already honoured him, including us here. He'll forever live with that honour and he deserves it.

Maua thanks for the youtube link. A very touching song indeed. It touches a very deep part of the heart. I've heard it before but still somehow never got to watch this version.

Watching if from a foreign country it must have been even more so for you. That is Eric Wainaina at his best.

Anonymous said...

Maua you are right that song made us cry too , especially those days when the future of kenya looked dark.

Shiko-Msa said...

True Anon. Kwanza the children. Anything involving children is just twice as touching.

Rafiki said...

Shiko: It is people like these who should indeed be honoured - instead of Kibaki and Raila being given honorary degrees of Doctor of Law. At least I am happy the two were not given the Nobel Peace Prize.

Anonymous said...

that song on You Tube is giving me goose bumps. I love my country so much after listening to that song. najivunia

Shiko-Msa said...

Rafiki indeed the doctorates and all that belong to the likes of Nthenge. The fact that someone even mentioned Kibaki and Raila in the whole nobel thing, it feels like the prize is losing it's prestige?

As for the honorary degrees, those ones became cheap a long time ago.

2.50 it's a touching video indeed. Maua thanks.

ruthleen said...

hi,shiko,thanx for commenting on my blog,tiz new and i think yours is intresting esp.ndoa,come we stay lo!
anyway will recommend your blog ,do to mine as well,here inVI it reminds me of mombasa.
thanx again

Shiko-Msa said...

Most welcome Ruthleen. I got there through Neema. The Jeniffer Hudson story was just too touching. Wish her all the grace in this difficult time.

SupremeGREAM said...

Its been a while since I was around. I guess I blame it on being mobile and I lost my laptop last last week in a almost ghastly situation.

I hope the youths he spoke to went to their homes and didnt take part in the chaos again otherwise his efforts would have been to waste. But then again, even if those youths didnt hear him, there many others like me who heeded to his words.

Its good to see the police can have afew good men among them.

Shiko-Msa said...

Yes indeed Greamz. Sorry about your laptop. Hope you did not get hurt in the almost ghastly situation.

Nthenge is one of a kind. See what they forces are doing in Mandera.

Cee said...

Great post Shiko....he deserves our utmost respect.