Space and Time — Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Consciousness flickers round the edges of dreaming and I become vaguely aware of the delicious luxury of warmth and comfort and a body relaxed and sleepy. It is dark and silent, the dawn will be long in coming, and dreams hover on the edges of mind. The eastern horizon waits for sunrise… and the thought […]

via Space and Time — Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Justice or Justice?

icc.jpg

Celebrating Ruto and Sang Freedom is self expression or rather an art that depict public stunt, and NOT pursued for the sake of truth relating to Post Election Violence (PEV) Victims. We can sing, rejoice and mail our utterances to the Creator of the Universe for their unchained link from the International Criminal Court (ICC) but not all persons find this deserving.
 
Efforts to compensate and resettle the PEV victims are unclear and not promising. Whereas the Government of Kenya under Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai promise an end to victims plight, many still believe its ‘lip service’ and the launch of International Crimes Division (ICD) by the latter is ridiculous, uncouth and barbaric in nature. This explains further interference of witnesses and indulgence of political wings in Kenyan future cases. If the Hague, an icon in resolving crimes failed to honor victims in spite of its reputable law masters, the launch of ICD in this case will be precipitated by the same people with power and money. And they’ll still outshine everyone with no case to answer.
 
The innocent souls that died during the PEV will not at any point reincarnate to witness their fate. The widows and widowers are still pointing fingers to the PEV perpetrators. And those with severe body deformities are still in camps and at homes crying fool. The ICD, however should not be on the ground, if the PEV victims demands are not consolidated and reformed.

On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for your ideas

{Jonathan Morrow }

The doctor cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, but I have bad news.”

He paused, looking down at the floor. He looked back up at her. He started to say something and then stopped, looking back down at the floor.

That’s when Pat began to cry.

She’d argued with herself about even coming to the doctor’s office. Her baby was a year old, and he hadn’t started crawling yet. He tried, yes, dragging his legs behind him as he struggled to make it just a few feet on the floor, but it didn’t look right. Everyone told her that she was worrying over nothing, and maybe she was, but she told herself that she would take him to the doctor, just to be safe . . .

“Your son has a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy,” the doctor said. “It’s a form of muscular dystrophy that primarily affects children.”

Pat was speechless. Everyone had told her she was silly. She had hoped she was wrong, prayed she was wrong, but still . . . she knew.

“What’s going to happen to him?” she managed to say.

“Where most children grow stronger as they get older, your son is going to get weaker. He’ll lose the ability to move. He’ll lose the ability to breathe on his own. And one day, he’ll catch an infection that will spread into his respiratory system, giving him severe pneumonia . . .”

She held up her hand to stop him. “You’re saying he is going to die?”

He nodded. “There are three types of SMA. Caught this early, your son almost certainly has Type I. Most children with Type I die of pneumonia before the age of two.” He paused. “I’m sorry.”

Pat looked up into his face and saw that he really was sorry. It made her angry. Not because of his pity, but because in this man’s eyes, her baby was already dead.

“Don’t be sorry,” Pat said, wiping tears away from her face. Her voice was suddenly very calm.”He isn’t going to die.”

“It’s important you understand the situation, Mrs. Morrow. The pneumonia . . . he won’t be able to fight it.”

“He won’t have to,” she said. “I’ll fight it for him.”

The miracle of mothers

Over the next 16 years, I had pneumonia 16 times. But I never died. It sounds strange to say it, but my mother wouldn’t let it happen.

She orchestrated a team of more than a dozen doctors. She slept in a chair beside me in the hospital, sometimes for as many as 30 days in a row. She pounded my chest and back every two hours to loosen the mucus, covering my chest and back with bruises.

Today, at 27 years old, I’m one of the oldest people in the world with my type of SMA, and people tell me it’s a miracle. And I agree, it is. But the miracle isn’t just me. It’s a mother who fought like only a mother can to keep me alive.

By “alive,” I don’t mean just “not dead,” either. You’d think my mother would have been satisfied for me to live at home, tucked away from the world where she could protect me, but for her, that wasn’t living. She insisted that I be great.

When my elementary school principal decided that disabled children didn’t have a place in her school, my mom appealed to the school board and turned every board member’s life into a living hell for two years.

She won.

When I wanted to play basketball, she forced an astounded coach to reinvent the rules of the game so that I could be the “ball carrier” for the team, and no one could take the ball away. Not surprisingly, everyone wanted me on their team.

When I could no longer pick up a pencil, she arranged for honors students at local colleges to help me with my homework after school. I graduated at the age of 16, not only near the top of my class, but with college credit.

If you’re a mother, none of these things surprise you. Some mothers are weak, sure, but the vast majority fight for their children, especially when those children are defenseless. It’s not because they’re trying to be heroes. It’s because that’s their job.

And I think we can learn something from them. Not to minimize what mothers do, but I’ve come to believe that our job as writers is not all that different.

Fighting for your ideas

Growing up, I always had to fight to get people to listen to me.

The worst part about being disabled isn’t the pain or the struggle but how the world tries to shove you into a corner and pretend that you don’t exist. After all, what could you possibly have to contribute? You’re going to die soon, poor thing. Here’s a nice, quiet room and some morphine to ease the pain.

They don’t proactively hold you back, no, but they don’t expect you to succeed either. I’ve spent my entire life fighting against the weight of those expectations.

Like when university professors were flabbergasted when, on the first day, I asked my attendant to raise his hand, so I could answer the question that no one else could.

Or the vaguely constipated look on the face of a venture capitalist when I asked for $500,000 of startup capital for my first software company.

Or the disbelieving stares of people at a real estate conference when I gave a talk about buying million-dollar homes without even being able to get up the stairs to see the inside of them.

Their disbelief has never stopped me, of course. It’s not a matter of persistence or strength or attitude, as some people think. It’s a matter of shame.

How could I possibly look my mother and father and all of the others who have sacrificed so much for me in the eye and tell them, “I can’t?” I couldn’t bear it. The shame of dishonoring their sacrifice by giving up would poison my soul.

And so I fight

If my mother could ignore a doctor who would condemn me to death, then I can ignore my inner demons who tell me I’ll never make it as a writer.

If my mother could demand that I achieve straight As in school, then I can demand greatness from every blog post I publish.

If my mother could lobby school administrators and government agencies to get me the help I needed, then I can lobby bloggers and social media power users to get my idea the attention it deserves.

Not to imply that I’m unique, because I’m not. Yes, I’ve had to overcome a lot of adversity, but so does every creative person who wants their ideas to see the light of day.

If you want to succeed, you can’t wait for the world to give you attention the way a cripple waits for food stamps to arrive in the mail. You have to be a warrior. You have to attack with the madness of a mother whose child is surrounded by an army of predators.

Because, let’s face it, your ideas are your children. Their future is as tender and delicate as that of any newborn.

You can’t just write them down and expect them to succeed. Writing isn’t about putting words on the page, any more than being a parent is about the act of conception. It’s about breathing life into something and then working to make sure that life becomes something beautiful.

That means spending ten hours on a post, instead of 30 minutes.

That means writing a guest post every week, instead of one every few months.

That means asking for links without any shame or reservation, not because you lack humility, but because you know down to the depths of your soul that what you’ve done is good.

You have to realize that your blog is more than just a collection of ones and zeros floating through cyberspace. It’s more than the words on the page. Your blog is a launchpad for your ideas, and you are the rocket fuel that lifts them off the ground.

So burn it up, baby.

Your ideas are counting on you.

Dem Days (Flash Back)

nakumb

I miss those days

When we used to sneak homes and go for local video shows and watch action films all day long. We would widen our eyes following every bit of Chinese martial arts which will later be showcased (although fake) to kids in the village who did not have 5 shillings or less to pay for a watch. And sometimes we would sweep video rooms when there was no money and we are guaranteed a free watch.

We would keep our petty chests out, move in strange motions and talk in brutal sounds to scare non-vibrant kids. I vividly recall that moment when one kid I thought weak catapulted a jab on my cheek just for making fun out of him. All the arts I had ‘mastered’ in movies evaporated and Bruce lee was just there in memories and his kong fuing. It’s then that I would slowly peep for space, go home and cry. And at some point mum would come asking the bone of contention and of course cheating and faking the situation was ready in mindset.

I would go find places where mum used to hide her money pick some and head straight to pay for movies. When returning home, you are clueless of mums tempers and as you enter the house, she holds your shirt back, pulls you down to her feet and you hear her say ‘’hii wizi yako leo imefika kikomo, ita sasa Bruce Lee ama Jackie chan akusaidie’’ MEANING: your theft behavior has come to an end, let Bruce lee or Jackie Chan come to your rescue. That’s when mum would punish you and you would go sleep with or without food.

If you once experienced the same, I bet it’s closely related to mine.

Death

death-panels

Death is arguably one of the subjects that’s rarely discussed by people. Being the greatest lose in life, there’s no real-time set that can actually allow a room for preparation. Everyone once a while has his or her dearie pass on. There’s that conscience deep down your memory lane that one day your living will have no more meaning.

The fear of death is a natural phenomena that’s spiritually inbuilt in everybody’s mind. There’s no one who wishes he or she dies or rather live a life that has no ending with trials precipitated by earthly odds, that’s for barbarians. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.

There’s no war on death. And if were, Africa would have succumbed to the stigma and the Westerners would have toppled more living on earth. We don’t bribe death, and if that is allowable, the poor and the vulnerable will perish and the rich society will arise. We are breeding and losing our beloved ones, those that we’ve cherished and have been the epi-center to our smiles.

While majority fear death, some say it’s nothing at all and that it’s not a loss in life. 2 pac quotes ”Death is not the greatest loss in life, the greatest loss is what dies inside while still alive”. Everyone is born to play an important role in this world and to deliver a service of their own, that’s somehow unique to the rest. I tend to believe when none of these roles are not executed, the meaning of life fades away. Living a spiritual life is worthwhile and that is believing in the Almighty God. Only God knows more. Avoid irrelevant speculations that paves way to blasphemous mindsets.

A moment of silence to Moses Lokong Logos, Cancer is no more in you now. May your soul Rest in Peace. A moment of silence to Jannet’s Mother, Songot family and to all the families who have once lost their beloved ones. FROM HIM (GOD) WE COME FROM AND TO HIM (GOD) WE RETURN.

We love you!

Obama African Union Speech In Ethiopia Transcript From Historic Address [FULL TEXT]

obama-ethiopia_0

Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Madam Chairwoman, thank you so much for your kind words and your leadership. To Prime Minister Hailemariam, and the people of Ethiopia — once again, thank you for your wonderful hospitality and for hosting this pan-African institution. (Applause.) To members of the African Union, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen — thank you for welcoming me here today. It is a great honor to be the first President of the United States to address the African Union. (Applause.)

I’m grateful for this opportunity to speak to the representatives of more than one billion people of the great African continent. (Applause.) We’re joined today by citizens, by leaders of civil society, by faith communities, and I’m especially pleased to see so many young people who embody the energy and optimism of today’s Africa. Hello! Thank you for being here. (Applause.)

I stand before you as a proud American. I also stand before you as the son of an African. (Applause.) Africa and its people helped to shape America and allowed it to become the great nation that it is. And Africa and its people have helped shape who I am and how I see the world. In the villages in Kenya where my father was born, I learned of my ancestors, and the life of my grandfather, the dreams of my father, the bonds of family that connect us all as Africans and Americans.

As parents, Michelle and I want to make sure that our two daughters know their heritage — European and African, in all of its strengths and all of its struggle. So we’ve taken our daughters and stood with them on the shores of West Africa, in those doors of no return, mindful that their ancestors were both slaves and slave owners. We’ve stood with them in that small cell on Robben Island where Madiba showed the world that, no matter the nature of his physical confinement, he alone was the master of his fate. (Applause.) For us, for our children, Africa and its people teach us a powerful lesson — that we must uphold the inherent dignity of every human being.

Dignity — that basic idea that by virtue of our common humanity, no matter where we come from, or what we look like, we are all born equal, touched by the grace of God. (Applause.) Every person has worth. Every person matters. Every person deserves to be treated with decency and respect. Throughout much of history, mankind did not see this. Dignity was seen as a virtue reserved to those of rank and privilege, kings and elders. It took a revolution of the spirit, over many centuries, to open our eyes to the dignity of every person. And around the world, generations have struggled to put this idea into practice in laws and in institutions.

So, too, here in Africa. This is the cradle of humanity, and ancient African kingdoms were home to great libraries and universities. But the evil of slavery took root not only abroad, but here on the continent. Colonialism skewed Africa’s economy and robbed people of their capacity to shape their own destiny. Eventually, liberation movements grew. And 50 years ago, in a great burst of self-determination, Africans rejoiced as foreign flags came down and your national flags went up. (Applause.) As South Africa’s Albert Luthuli said at the time, “the basis for peace and brotherhood in Africa is being restored by the resurrection of national sovereignty and independence, of equality and the dignity of man.

A half-century into this independence era, it is long past time to put aside old stereotypes of an Africa forever mired in poverty and conflict. The world must recognize Africa’s extraordinary progress. Today, Africa is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Africa’s middle class is projected to grow to more than one billion consumers. (Applause.) With hundreds of millions of mobile phones, surging access to the Internet, Africans are beginning to leapfrog old technologies into new prosperity. Africa is on the move, a new Africa is emerging.

Propelled by this progress, and in partnership with the world, Africa has achieved historic gains in health. The rate of new HIV/AIDS infections has plummeted. African mothers are more likely to survive childbirth and have healthy babies. Deaths from malaria have been slashed, saving the lives of millions of African children. Millions have been lifted from extreme poverty. Africa has led the world in sending more children to school. In other words, more and more African men, women and children are living with dignity and with hope. (Applause.)

And Africa’s progress can also be seen in the institutions that bring us together today. When I first came to Sub-Saharan Africa as a President, I said that Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions. (Applause.) And one of those institutions can be the African Union. Here, you can come together, with a shared commitment to human dignity and development. Here, your 54 nations pursue a common vision of an ‘integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.’

As Africa changes, I’ve called on the world to change its approach to Africa. (Applause.) So many Africans have told me, we don’t want just aid, we want trade that fuels progress. We don’t want patrons, we want partners who help us build our own capacity to grow. (Applause.) We don’t want the indignity of dependence, we want to make our own choices and determine our own future.

As President, I’ve worked to transform America’s relationship with Africa — so that we’re truly listening to our African friends and working together, as equal partners. And I’m proud of the progress that we’ve made. We’ve boosted American exports to this region, part of trade that supports jobs for Africans and Americans. To sustain our momentum — and with the bipartisan support of some of the outstanding members of Congress who are here today — 20 of them who are here today — I recently signed the 10-year renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. (Applause.) And I want to thank them all. Why don’t they stand very briefly so you can see them, because they’ve done outstanding work. (Applause.)

We’ve launched major initiatives to promote food security, and public health and access to electricity, and to prepare the next generation of African leaders and entrepreneurs — investments that will help fuel Africa’s rise for decades to come. Last year, as the Chairwoman noted, I welcomed nearly 50 African presidents and prime ministers to Washington so we could begin a new chapter of cooperation. And by coming to the African Union today, I’m looking to build on that commitment.

I believe Africa’s rise is not just important for Africa, it’s important to the entire world. We will not be able to meet the challenges of our time — from ensuring a strong global economy to facing down violent extremism, to combating climate change, to ending hunger and extreme poverty — without the voices and contributions of one billion Africans. (Applause.)

Now, even with Africa’s impressive progress, we must acknowledge that many of these gains rest on a fragile foundation. Alongside new wealth, hundreds of millions of Africans still endure extreme poverty. Alongside high-tech hubs of innovation, many Africans are crowded into shantytowns without power or running water — a level of poverty that’s an assault on human dignity.

Moreover, as the youngest and fastest-growing continent, Africa’s population in the coming decades will double to some two billion people, and many of them will be young, under 18. Now, on the one hand, this could bring tremendous opportunities as these young Africans harness new technologies and ignite new growth and reforms. Economists will tell you that countries, regions, continents grow faster with younger populations. It’s a demographic edge and advantage — but only if those young people are being trained. We need only to look at the Middle East and North Africa to see that large numbers of young people with no jobs and stifled voices can fuel instability and disorder.

I suggest to you that the most urgent task facing Africa today and for decades ahead is to create opportunity for this next generation. (Applause.) And this will be an enormous undertaking. Africa will need to generate millions more jobs than it’s doing right now. And time is of the essence. The choices made today will shape the trajectory of Africa, and therefore, the world for decades to come. And as your partner and your friend, allow me to suggest several ways that we can meet this challenge together.

Africa’s progress will depend on unleashing economic growth — not just for the few at the top, but for the many, because an essential element of dignity is being able to live a decent life. (Applause.) That begins with a job. And that requires trade and investment.

Many of your nations have made important reforms to attract investment — it’s been a spark for growth. But in many places across Africa, it’s still too hard to start a venture, still too hard to build a business. Governments that take additional reforms to make doing business easier will have an eager partner in the United States. (Applause.)

And that includes reforms to help Africa trade more with itself — as the Chairwoman and I discussed before we came out here today — because the biggest markets for your goods are often right next door. You don’t have to just look overseas for growth, you can look internally. And our work to help Africa modernize customs and border crossings started with the East African Community — now we’re expanding our efforts across the continent, because it shouldn’t be harder for African countries to trade with each other than it is for you to trade with Europe and America. (Applause.)

Now, most U.S. trade with the region is with just three countries — South Africa, Nigeria and Angola — and much of that is in the form of energy. I want Africans and Americans doing more business together in more sectors, in more countries. So we’re increasing trade missions to places like Tanzania, Ethiopia Mozambique. We’re working to help more Africans get their goods to market. Next year, we’ll host another U.S.-Africa Business Forum to mobilize billions of dollars in new trade and investment — so we’re buying more of each other’s products and all growing together.

Now, the United States isn’t the only country that sees your growth as an opportunity. And that is a good thing. When more countries invest responsibly in Africa, it creates more jobs and prosperity for us all. So I want to encourage everybody to do business with Africa, and African countries should want to do business with every country. But economic relationships can’t simply be about building countries’ infrastructure with foreign labor or extracting Africa’s natural resources. Real economic partnerships have to be a good deal for Africa — they have to create jobs and capacity for Africans. (Applause.)

And that includes the point that Chairwoman Zuma made about illicit flows with multinationals — which is one of the reasons that we’ve been a leading advocate, working with the G7, to assist in making sure that there’s honest accounting when businesses are investing here in Africa, and making sure that capital flows are properly accounted for. That’s the kind of partnership America offers.

Nothing will unlock Africa’s economic potential more than ending the cancer of corruption. (Applause.) And you are right that it is not just a problem of Africa, it is a problem of those who do business with Africa. It is not unique to Africa — corruption exists all over the world, including in the United States. But here in Africa, corruption drains billions of dollars from economies that can’t afford to lose billions of dollars — that’s money that could be used to create jobs and build hospitals and schools. And when someone has to pay a bribe just to start a business or go to school, or get an official to do the job they’re supposed to be doing anyway — that’s not ‘the African way.’ (Applause.) It undermines the dignity of the people you represent.

Only Africans can end corruption in their countries. As African governments commit to taking action, the United States will work with you to combat illicit financing, and promote good governance and transparency and rule of law. And we already have strong laws in place that say to U.S. companies, you can’t engage in bribery to try to get business — which not all countries have. And we actually enforce it and police it.

And let me add that criminal networks are both fueling corruption and threatening Africa’s precious wildlife — and with it, the tourism that many African economies count on. So America also stands with you in the fight against wildlife trafficking. That’s something that has to be addressed. (Applause.)

But, ultimately, the most powerful antidote to the old ways of doing things is this new generation of African youth. History shows that the nations that do best are the ones that invest in the education of their people. (Applause.) You see, in this information age, jobs can flow anywhere, and they typically will flow to where workers are literate and highly skilled and online. And Africa’s young people are ready to compete. I’ve met them — they are hungry, they are eager. They’re willing to work hard. So we’ve got to invest in them. As Africa invests in education, our entrepreneurship programs are helping innovators start new businesses and create jobs right here in Africa. And the men and women in our Young African Leaders Initiative today will be the leaders who can transform business and civil society and governments tomorrow.

Africa’s progress will depend on development that truly lifts countries from poverty to prosperity — because people everywhere deserve the dignity of a life free from want. A child born in Africa today is just as equal and just as worthy as a child born in Asia or Europe or America. At the recent development conference here in Addis, African leadership helped forge a new global compact for financing that fuels development. And under the AU’s leadership, the voice of a united Africa will help shape the world’s next set of development goals, and you’re pursuing a vision of the future that you want for Africa.

And America’s approach to development — the central focus of our engagement with Africa — is focused on helping you build your own capacity to realize that vision. Instead of just shipping food aid to Africa, we’ve helped more than two million farmers use new techniques to boost their yields, feed more people, reduce hunger. With our new alliance of government and the private sector investing billions of dollars in African agriculture, I believe we can achieve our goal and lift 50 million Africans from poverty.

Instead of just sending aid to build power plants, our Power Africa initiative is mobilizing billions of dollars in investments from governments and businesses to reduce the number of Africans living without electricity. Now, an undertaking of this magnitude will not be quick. It will take many years. But working together, I believe we can bring electricity to more than 60 million African homes and businesses and connect more Africans to the global economy. (Applause.)

Instead of just telling Africa, you’re on your own, in dealing with climate change, we’re delivering new tools and financing to more than 40 African nations to help them prepare and adapt. By harnessing the wind and sun, your vast geothermal energy and rivers for hydropower, you can turn this climate threat into an economic opportunity. And I urge Africa to join us in rejecting old divides between North and South so we can forge a strong global climate agreement this year in Paris. Because sparing some of the world’s poorest people from rising seas, more intense droughts, shortages of water and food is a matter of survival and a matter of human dignity.

Instead of just sending medicine, we’re investing in better treatments and helping Africa prevent and treat diseases. As the United States continues to provide billions of dollars in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and as your countries take greater ownership of health programs, we’re moving toward a historic accomplishment — the first AIDS-free generation. (Applause.) And if the world learned anything from Ebola, it’s that the best way to prevent epidemics is to build strong public health systems that stop diseases from spreading in the first place. So America is proud to partner with the AU and African countries in this mission. Today, I can announce that of the $1 billion that the United States is devoting to this work globally, half will support efforts here in Africa. (Applause.)

I believe Africa’s progress will also depend on democracy, because Africans, like people everywhere, deserve the dignity of being in control of their own lives. (Applause.) We all know what the ingredients of real democracy are. They include free and fair elections, but also freedom of speech and the press, freedom of assembly. These rights are universal. They’re written into African constitutions. (Applause.) The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights declares that “every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being.” From Sierra Leone, Ghana, Benin, to Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, democracy has taken root. In Nigeria, more than 28 million voters bravely cast their ballots and power transferred as it should — peacefully. (Applause.)

Yet at this very moment, these same freedoms are denied to many Africans. And I have to proclaim, democracy is not just formal elections. (Applause.) When journalists are put behind bars for doing their jobs, or activists are threatened as governments crack down on civil society — (applause) — then you may have democracy in name, but not in substance. (Applause.) And I’m convinced that nations cannot realize the full promise of independence until they fully protect the rights of their people.

And this is true even for countries that have made important democratic progress. As I indicated during my visit to Kenya, the remarkable gains that country has made with a new constitution, with its election, cannot be jeopardized by restrictions on civil society. Likewise, our host, Ethiopians have much to be proud of — I’ve been amazed at all the wonderful work that’s being done here — and it’s true that the elections that took place here occurred without violence. But as I discussed with Prime Minister Hailemariam, that’s just the start of democracy. I believe Ethiopia will not fully unleash the potential of its people if journalists are restricted or legitimate opposition groups can’t participate in the campaign process. And, to his credit, the Prime Minister acknowledged that more work will need to be done for Ethiopia to be a full-fledged, sustainable democracy. (Applause.)

So these are conversations we have to have as friends. Our American democracy is not perfect. We’ve worked for many years — (applause) — but one thing we do is we continually reexamine to figure out how can we make our democracy better. And that’s a force of strength for us, being willing to look and see honestly what we need to be doing to fulfill the promise of our founding documents.

And every country has to go through that process. No country is perfect, but we have to be honest, and strive to expand freedoms, to broaden democracy. The bottom line is that when citizens cannot exercise their rights, the world has a responsibility to speak out. And America will, even if it’s sometimes uncomfortable — (applause) — even when it’s sometimes directed toward our friends.

And I know that there’s some countries that don’t say anything — (laughter) — and maybe that’s easier for leaders to deal with. (Laughter.) But you’re kind of stuck with us — this is how we are. (Applause.) We believe in these things and we’re going to keep on talking about them.

And I want to repeat, we do this not because we think our democracy is perfect, or we think that every country has to follow precisely our path. For more than two centuries since our independence, we’re still working on perfecting our union. We’re not immune from criticism. When we fall short of our ideals, we strive to do better. (Applause.) But when we speak out for our principles, at home and abroad, we stay true to our values and we help lift up the lives of people beyond our borders. And we think that’s important. And it’s especially important, I believe, for those of us of African descent, because we’ve known what it feels like to be on the receiving end of injustice. We know what it means to be discriminated against. (Applause.) We know what it means to be jailed. So how can we stand by when it’s happening to somebody else?

I’ll be frank with you, it can’t just be America that’s talking about these things. Fellow African countries have to talk about these things. (Applause.) Just as other countries championed your break from colonialism, our nations must all raise our voices when universal rights are being denied. For if we truly believe that Africans are equal in dignity, then Africans have an equal right to freedoms that are universal — that’s a principle we all have to defend. (Applause.) And it’s not just a Western idea; it’s a human idea.

I have to also say that Africa’s democratic progress is also at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their terms end. (Applause.) Now, let me be honest with you — I do not understand this. (Laughter.) I am in my second term. It has been an extraordinary privilege for me to serve as President of the United States. I cannot imagine a greater honor or a more interesting job. I love my work. But under our Constitution, I cannot run again. (Laughter and applause.) I can’t run again. I actually think I’m a pretty good President — I think if I ran I could win. (Laughter and applause.) But I can’t.

So there’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving, but the law is the law. (Applause.) And no one person is above the law. Not even the President. (Applause.) And I’ll be honest with you — I’m looking forward to life after being President. (Laughter.) I won’t have such a big security detail all the time. (Laughter.) It means I can go take a walk. I can spend time with my family. I can find other ways to serve. I can visit Africa more often. (Applause.) The point is, I don’t understand why people want to stay so long. (Laughter.) Especially when they’ve got a lot of money. (Laughter and applause.)

When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife — as we’ve seen in Burundi. (Applause.) And this is often just a first step down a perilous path. And sometimes you’ll hear leaders say, well, I’m the only person who can hold this nation together. (Laughter.) If that’s true, then that leader has failed to truly build their nation. (Applause.)

You look at Nelson Mandela — Madiba, like George Washington, forged a lasting legacy not only because of what they did in office, but because they were willing to leave office and transfer power peacefully. (Applause.) And just as the African Union has condemned coups and illegitimate transfers of power, the AU’s authority and strong voice can also help the people of Africa ensure that their leaders abide by term limits and their constitutions. (Applause.) Nobody should be president for life.

And your country is better off if you have new blood and new ideas. (Applause.) I’m still a pretty young man, but I know that somebody with new energy and new insights will be good for my country. (Applause.) It will be good for yours, too, in some cases.

Africa’s progress will also depend on security and peace — because an essential part of human dignity is being safe and free from fear. In Angola, Mozambique, Liberia, Sierra Leone, we’ve seen conflicts end and countries work to rebuild. But from Somalia and Nigeria to Mali and Tunisia, terrorists continue to target innocent civilians. Many of these groups claim the banner of religion, but hundreds of millions of African Muslims know that Islam means peace. (Applause.) And we must call groups like al Qaeda, ISIL, al-Shabaab, Boko Haram — we must call them what they are — murderers. (Applause.)

In the face of threats, Africa — and the African Union –has shown leadership. Because of the AU force in Somalia, al-Shabaab controls less territory and the Somali government is growing stronger. In central Africa, the AU-led mission continues to degrade the Lord’s Resistance Army. In the Lake Chad Basin, forces from several nations — with the backing of the AU — are fighting to end Boko Haram’s senseless brutality. And today, we salute all those who serve to protect the innocent, including so many brave African peacekeepers.

Now, as Africa stands against terror and conflict, I want you to know that the United States stands with you. With training and support, we’re helping African forces grow stronger. The United States is supporting the AU’s efforts to strengthen peacekeeping, and we’re working with countries in the region to deal with emerging crises with the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership.

The world must do more to help as well. This fall at the United Nations, I will host a summit to secure new commitments to strengthen international support for peacekeeping, including here in Africa. And building on commitments that originated here in the AU, we’ll work to develop a new partnership between the U.N. and the AU that can provide reliable support for AU peace operations. If African governments and international partners step up with strong support, we can transform how we work together to promote security and peace in Africa.

Our efforts to ensure our shared security must be matched by a commitment to improve governance. Those things are connected. Good governance is one of the best weapons against terrorism and instability. Our fight against terrorist groups, for example, will never be won if we fail to address legitimate grievances that terrorists may try to exploit, if we don’t build trust with all communities, if we don’t uphold the rule of law. There’s a saying, and I believe it is true — if we sacrifice liberty in the name of security, we risk losing both. (Applause.)

This same seriousness of purpose is needed to end conflicts. In the Central African Republic, the spirit of dialogue recently shown by ordinary citizens must be matched by leaders committed to inclusive elections and a peaceful transition. In Mali, the comprehensive peace agreement must be fulfilled. And leaders in Sudan must know their nation will never truly thrive so long as they wage war against their own people — the world will not forget about Darfur.

In South Sudan, the joy of independence has descended into the despair of violence. I was there at the United Nations when we held up South Sudan as the promise of a new beginning. And neither Mr. Kiir, nor Mr. Machar have shown, so far, any interest in sparing their people from this suffering, or reaching a political solution.

Yesterday, I met with leaders from this region. We agree that, given the current situation, Mr. Kiir and Mr. Machar must reach an agreement by August 17th — because if they do not, I believe the international community must raise the costs of intransigence. And the world awaits the report of the AU Commission of Inquiry, because accountability for atrocities must be part of any lasting peace in Africa’s youngest nation. (Applause.)

And finally, Africa’s progress will depend on upholding the human rights of all people — for if each of us is to be treated with dignity, each of us must be sure to also extend that same dignity to others. As President, I make it a point to meet with many of our Young African Leaders. And one was a young man from Senegal. He said something wonderful about being together with so many of his African brothers and sisters. He said, ‘Here, I have met Africa, the [Africa] I’ve always believed in. She’s beautiful. She’s young. She’s full of talent and motivation and ambition.’ I agree.

Africa is the beautiful, talented daughters who are just as capable as Africa’s sons. (Applause.) And as a father, I believe that my two daughters have to have the same chance to pursue their dreams as anybody’s son — and that same thing holds true for girls here in Africa. (Applause.) Our girls have to be treated the same.

We can’t let old traditions stand in the way. The march of history shows that we have the capacity to broaden our moral imaginations. We come to see that some traditions are good for us, they keep us grounded, but that, in our modern world, other traditions set us back. When African girls are subjected to the mutilation of their bodies, or forced into marriage at the ages of 9 or 10 or 11 — that sets us back. That’s not a good tradition. It needs to end. (Applause.)

When more than 80 percent of new HIV cases in the hardest-hit countries are teenage girls, that’s a tragedy; that sets us back. So America is beginning a partnership with 10 African countries — Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe — to keep teenage girls safe and AIDS-free. (Applause.) And when girls cannot go to school and grow up not knowing how to read or write — that denies the world future women engineers, future women doctors, future women business owners, future women presidents — that sets us all back. (Applause.) That’s a bad tradition — not providing our girls the same education as our sons.

I was saying in Kenya, nobody would put out a football team and then just play half the team. You’d lose. (Applause.) The same is true when it comes to getting everybody and education. You can’t leave half the team off — our young women. So as part of America’s support for the education and the health of our daughters, my wife, Michelle, is helping to lead a global campaign, including a new effort in Tanzania and Malawi, with a simple message — Let Girls Learn — let girls learn so they grow up healthy and they grow up strong. (Applause.) And that will be good for families. And they will raise smart, healthy children, and that will be good for every one of your nations.

Africa is the beautiful, strong women that these girls grow up to become. The single best indicator of whether a nation will succeed is how it treats its women. (Applause.) When women have health care and women have education, families are stronger, communities are more prosperous, children do better in school, nations are more prosperous. Look at the amazing African women here in this hall. (Applause.) If you want your country to grow and succeed, you have to empower your women. And if you want to empower more women, America will be your partner. (Applause.)

Let’s work together to stop sexual assault and domestic violence. Let’s make clear that we will not tolerate rape as a weapon of war — it’s a crime. (Applause.) And those who commit it must be punished. Let’s lift up the next generation of women leaders who can help fight injustice and forge peace and start new businesses and create jobs — and some might hire some men, too. (Laughter.) We’ll all be better off when women have equal futures.

And Africa is the beautiful tapestry of your cultures and ethnicities and races and religions. Last night, we saw this amazing dance troupe made up of street children who had formed a dance troupe and they performed for the Prime Minister and myself. And there were 80 different languages and I don’t know how many ethnic groups. And there were like 30 different dances that were being done. And the Prime Minister was trying to keep up with — okay, I think that one is — (laughter) — and they were moving fast. And that diversity here in Ethiopia is representative of diversity all throughout Africa. (Applause.) And that’s a strength.

Now, yesterday, I had the privilege to view Lucy — you may know Lucy — she’s our ancestor, more than 3 million years old. (Applause.) In this tree of humanity, with all of our branches and diversity, we all go back to the same root. We’re all one family — we’re all one tribe. And yet so much of the suffering in our world stems from our failure to remember that — to not recognize ourselves in each other. (Applause.)

We think because somebody’s skin is slightly different, or their hair is slightly different, or their religious faith is differently expressed, or they speak a different language that it justifies somehow us treating them with less dignity. And that becomes the source of so many of our problems. And we think somehow that we make ourselves better by putting other people down. And that becomes the source of so many of our problems. When we begin to see other as somehow less than ourselves — when we succumb to these artificial divisions of faith or sect or tribe or ethnicity — then even the most awful abuses are justified in the minds of those who are thinking in those ways. And in the end, abusers lose their own humanity, as well. (Applause.)

Nelson Mandela taught us, ‘to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.’

Every one of us is equal. Every one of us has worth. Every one of us matters. And when we respect the freedom of others — no matter the color of their skin, or how they pray or who they are or who they love — we are all more free. (Applause.) Your dignity depends on my dignity, and my dignity depends on yours. Imagine if everyone had that spirit in their hearts. Imagine if governments operated that way. (Applause.) Just imagine what the world could look like — the future that we could bequeath these young people.

Yes, in our world, old thinking can be a stubborn thing. That’s one of the reasons why we need term limits — old people think old ways. And you can see my grey hair, I’m getting old. (Laughter.) The old ways can be stubborn. But I believe the human heart is stronger. I believe hearts can change. I believe minds can open. That’s how change happens. That’s how societies move forward. It’s not always a straight line — step by halting step — sometimes you go forward, you move back a little bit. But I believe we are marching, we are pointing towards ideals of justice and equality.

That’s how your nations won independence — not just with rifles, but with principles and ideals. (Applause.) That’s how African Americans won our civil rights. That’s how South Africans — black and white — tore down apartheid. That’s why I can stand before you today as the first African American President of the United States. (Applause.)

New thinking. Unleashing growth that creates opportunity. Promoting development that lifts all people out of poverty. Supporting democracy that gives citizens their say. Advancing the security and justice that delivers peace. Respecting the human rights of all people. These are the keys to progress — not just in Africa, but around the world. And this is the work that we can do together.

And I am hopeful. As I prepare to return home, my thoughts are with that same young man from Senegal, who said: Here, I have met Africa, the [Africa] I’ve always believed in. She’s beautiful and young, full of talent and motivation and ambition. To which I would simply add, as you build the Africa you believe in, you will have no better partner, no better friend than the United States of America. (Applause.)

God bless Africa. God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. (Applause.)

MY TWO NIGHTS IN SUGUTA VALLEY

maxmax 2

It’s still a month time since the peace deal between Turkana and Pokot communities was agreed upon, signed and echoed in unison. An initiative that was orchestrated by leaders from both parties. A place like Kainuk in Turkana South, once a hot spot, is now a region to visit and more profoundly, the two communities meet and exchange their socio-cultural activities and extend the same to Pokots in Sermach, close to Turkwel Gorge. Unlike Kainuk, Silale Pokots in Tiyati Constituency, Pokot East have refuted the peace deal and resolved into continuing their ‘normal business’. Rumour has it that, these hard cores are in memory of previous raids with Turkana warriors at Nadome and they still feel there’s need for an eye for an eye before any word of peace is raised.

On Monday, 6th of July 2015, around 4pm, the armed bandits raided 3 constituencies in Turkana County and drove away over a thousand goats. The raid took place at Kang’irisae, Nakaalei and Lomunyen-ekwaan locations in Turkana Central, South and East respectively. Leaders to these places including Turkana South MP Hon James Lomenen gathered the GSU, local KPRs and Ng’orokos (Turkana warriors) to go after the stolen wealth. I voluntarily joined the team as ‘Informative blogger’ little did i know it’s going to be a hard, tough and risky mission that aimed at hunting down the thieves and recapturing the goats.

Drawing down the map plan: Kang’irisae location in Turkana Central to Silale location in Tiyati Constitution is estimated to be 250kms. It’s presumed the bandits had spent about three nights walking before the raid. Nakaalei in Turkana South to Lomunyen-ekwaan in Turkana East computes about 5kms. These gives a total of 255kms. Just before the bandits entered these regions, they walked through Suguta valleys, crossed Suguta River before reaching Loriu Mountains which spreads some miles away from Kangirisae, Kerio ward in Turkana Central and up the downslope of Kaamuge village in Lokori Location and towards Kapedo, under the same location. In between Nakupurpurat and Loriu Mountains in Turkana East, lays untapped grass for livestock, wild animals like antelopes and wild beasts that will otherwise be best reserved for tourist attraction and the permanent water flow in River Suguta, efficient in supplying domestic water and establishing irrigation schemes to Kaamuge Village. Due to frequent raids the place is still hostile and insecure therefore creating a no mans’ land. In addition, the topography in this region looks amazing. The nature on top, beneath and between these mountains is more than just an eye expedition.

Being a no Mans’ land, banditry along this geographical place becomes easy. Good riddance, a rough road for vehicles had been constructed in between these mountains towards Turkanas’ living in Nachola village just across Nakupurpurat Hills. The main intelligence behind this is to curb banditry menace along the valleys and plains through easy access of Police vehicles and to link people living in Nachola and Kaamuge Village and of course a way leading to Baragoi County. We drove off the plain from Kaamuge Village on 8th Wednesday, about 109Kms from Lokori in Turkana East, then across Suguta River towards Nakupurpurat hills close to Suguta hills. We dint mind having our night in the deadliest plains. To me it was about watching the art of capture and recapture showcased during raids. This is where the bandits were counter attacked by Ngorokos and over a thousand goats taken away and handed over to the owners. There were no casualties reported.

In conclusion, measures to stop banditry along these valleys in Turkana East and across Silale Location, Tiyati Constituency in Pokot East MUST be put in place by leaders in these regions. Just like Uganda, disarmament has to follow suit. Its normal a snake cannot bite when its’ stomach is full but can only do that when it’s hungry. I quote this from Mahatma Ghandhi “An eye for an eye makes the world blind” and this again from former South African musician, Chico (papa stop the war lyrics) “Reconciliation and reconstruction is like a dark cloud giving way to the blue sky”.

TUISHI KWA AMANI.

Touching: WILL SMITH Words

smith

Grades are getting low, the teens are getting high. That 12 year old is pregnant and her parents wonder why. A 1st grader is swearing, a 3rd grader has been raped. Just take a look around you, isn’t the system great?

Who isn’t faded these days, teens are sending nudes,kids are getting beaten, the teachers see the bruises. No calls for help are spoken, teens are smoking weed, young girls are cutting, this isn’t what we need. The
marks of taunt and yelling, parents are divorced.

That 14 year old is drinking beer, this can’t get any worse. A little girl has killed herself, nobody seems to care. Another kid has been expelled for a stupid dare. But it needs to change. Our world is officially broken. It’s time to take a stand; your thoughts need to be spoken.
—-Will Smith—-
AGREE ?? Where We Human Stand ??

Facts about Libya under Muammar Gaddafi

gaddafi-head

• There was  no electricity bills in Libya; electricity is free … for all its citizens.
• There was  no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
• If a Libyan is unable to find employment after graduation, the state would  pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
• Should Libyans want to take up a farming career, they receive farm land, a house, equipment, seed and livestock to kick start their farms –this was all for free.
• Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
• A home was considered a human right in Libya. (In Qaddafi’s Green Book it states: “The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.”)
• All newlyweds in Libya would receive 60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start a family.
• A portion of Libyan oil sales is or was  credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
• A mother who gives birth to a child would  receive US $5,000.
• When a Libyan buys a car, the government would  subsidizes 50% of the price.
• The price of petrol in Libya was  $0.14 per liter.
• For $ 0.15, a Libyan local could  purchase 40 loaves of bread.
• Education and medical treatments was all  free in Libya. Libya can boast one of the finest health care systems in the Arab and African World. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of charge.
• If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government would fund  them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US $2,300/month accommodation and car allowance.
• 25% of Libyans have a university degree. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. Today the figure is 87%.
• Libya had  no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – though much of this is now frozen globally.