Mr President: What is the Taste of Oppression…
Dear Mr. President: What is the Taste of Oppression?
Mr. President Sir,
I’m hoping you’re fine especially now that Tuesday is almost here, I mean I would be if I knew the whole country would be watching me inspect a guard of honour, the whole of the Kenyan army under my command, bodyguards around me, riding in a motorcade of high-end vehicles, I would be excited!
But I just remembered I’m a 21-year-old boy who’s grown up in a middle-class family with parents struggling to make ends meet, a boy who has been taught that the only means of survival is chasing dreams, shrugging off hardships and soldiering on. I’m a boy who left childhood and stepped into adulthood only to realize I’m riding on a treadmill, why?
I have spoken of oppression, against it. My pen has scratched too many books, my mind has hidden in the darkness just to think, my poetry has spoken so much so that it almost became deaf, ulcer has grilled my insides just because I was bile, I’ve been angry so much so that I wanted to be Malcolm X.
Today, I want to let you know what oppression tastes like;
Oppression tastes like grief when your child leaves home but never comes back because they were murdered by the police,
Oppression tastes like silence because you can’t speak out- you’d be arrested or even tortured if you did,
Oppression tastes like teargas poured on you just because you were protesting for truth,
Oppression tastes like bullets sprayed on the innocent for standing for what they believe in,
Oppression tastes like love that you’ll never have because you can’t marry from another tribe (every tribe has a funny story about the culture of the other)
Oppression tastes like the knowledge that your vote can never count in an election,
Oppression tastes like waking up every day to the sound of gunshots,
Oppression tastes like not being listened to…
So, Mr. President, we can’t just assume that we are okay
So, Mr. President, we can’t just assume that we are okay and that after you’re sworn in, things will just change. If you truly care for the rest of us, you will ensure that the murderers in the police force are executed, that those who lost property are compensated, that those who lost their lives are at least condoled, that our values and general beliefs are upheld, that our constitution is respected, that justice is served, and if all this cannot be achieved, at least listen to our lone voices.
If I won’t live to see my country whole again, at least let my kids grow up knowing oppression as something that existed in history books.
And as Mahatma Gandhi said ” When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
As of now, my only hope is God Almighty, He gifted me Psalms 23 as a reminder whenever I’m overwhelmed. Thank you.
About the writer Jephthah Malelah aka Malelah Poet
Jephthah Malelah who is also known as Malelah Poet has been crazy about writing since he was 10. His passion grew stronger when he got exposed to more Kenyan writers. He was joining Kenyatta university to study Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts and Film Technology. At this point, he knew writing was the way to go.
He is a spoken word artist having performed on various platforms within his University, The Booth Kenya, Poetry Spot, Street poetry and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation’s Angaza Show.