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Nairobi slums: Good news from Nafsi Afrika Acrobats

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    I share increasingly encouraging news from Kennedy Owino of Nafsi Africa Acrobats http://www.nafsiafriafrica.org in Nairobi s Kangware and Kibera slums. They
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 4, 2008
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      I share increasingly encouraging news from Kennedy Owino of Nafsi Africa
      Acrobats http://www.nafsiafriafrica.org in Nairobi's Kangware and Kibera
      slums. They will build a human pyramid of acrobats from different tribes
      and be shown on television. We are encouraged to call him at +254 723
      568 251. Kennedy and also Dennis Kimambo in Nakuru are the first in our
      Minciu Sodas network http://www.ms.lt who have been able to pick up
      money that we have sent to five locations in Kenya (typically $100 or
      $200 and we are accepting such donations by PayPal to ms@...). Dennis
      should be able to distribute money tomorrow by sharing phone credits
      throughout our networks in Kenya. Also, Kiyavilo Msekwa made it safely
      from Arushe, Tanzania into Kenya and out and he is writing a report for
      us. For more links and people to call see:
      http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?KenyansToCall and
      http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cg?HelpKenyans Thank you for sharing this
      news.
      Andrius Kulikauskas, ms@..., http://www.ms.lt, +370 699 30003

      ----------------

      Kennedy Owino January 4, 4:37 pm Kenya time

      Hi Andrius,
      This is a note to thank you for your prayers and co-ordinated efforts.
      I woke up with anticipation of seeing calm restored in our lovely country.
      It's like a testimony, though there were fears before of repeated
      violence, everything is serene and the situation calm.
      We had a wonderful meeting and we have called the local media stations
      tommorow, to come and capture our peace calls advocacy.
      We have been promised a 2mins slot on one T.V station incase our footage
      will be appealing.
      Tommorow we are inviting 40 Sarakasi acrobats, dancers and drummers and
      will make a combined human pyramid consisting of artists of different
      tribes.
      We will also do short peace speeches.
      We are planning a 2mins documentary, and rest assured that it will touch
      the hearts of Kenyans, the leaders and spark change.
      The success of this will drive us towards doing another footage in Uhuru
      park to encourage a healing and recociliation process.
      I will make the video available to you to broadcast over the internet
      once it's ready.
      After the meeting, i managed to venture into Town, a number of
      businessses remained opened, most banks closed, and the Town Center
      evidently deserted.
      No sign of chaos or confrontations.
      I belive the situation is over and it will remain so, as the Politicians
      solve the situation.
      Thanks Andrius i managed to retrieve the 100 dollars(Ksh 6500) after
      walking tirelessly searching for an opened Western Union.
      I believe it will be of much use to me, others and my efforts towards
      assisting others.
      I have also received other contribution offers from touched friends.
      Prayers and calls for hope keep flowing in abudance.
      Am now being proven right by my councious believe that "friends are the
      pillars of life"
      I have confirmed,the most service available here is post paid service by
      the local phone companies, charging our phones online seems complicated
      given that the current situation still prevails.
      Signals are back, and at least now i can sneak out and confidently walk
      into a cyber and browse.
      Please help me in posting this stories in my working group
      (Nafsiafrikasaana) and other various M.S.F groups, am having difficulty
      in accessing our labs site.
      Let's keep praying and hoping.
      Wishing you peace, love and blessings likewise.
      Peace prevail, peace rule!!!!!!
      Ken Owino

      ----------------

      Kennedy Owino, Friday, January 4, 11:58 am Kenya time

      Hi Friends,

      I am sharing with you the mail below and providing contacts of Sarakasi
      Trust and Africa Peace point (A.P.P) as Organisations through which
      assistance can be availed.
      I have just had a meeting with Michael Ochieng who is the Director of
      A.P.P and he has told me that they are capturing occurrences especially
      in Kibera through the Ndugu Mdogo film crew and posting the pictures
      together with stories on the internet.
      They are also co-ordinating and collecting donations that can be given
      to the displaced.
      At the moment the number of displaced stand at over 100,000 and over 300
      dead, this is a source am getting from www.africapeacepointkenya.org
      (crisis in Kenya)
      Contact; Michael Ochieng, Director A.P.P (app@... /
      michael@...) Tel; +254733718714

      I also share with you Sarakasi Trusts mail attached below, Sarakasi is
      working on the ground helping acrobats and youths who are at the moment
      going hungry and forcibly being recruited into illegal cliques as Mungiki.
      Donations can be directed through Marion Van Djick, Director, Tel;
      +254722811926

      It was a ghostly Night yesterday in Kawangware slums as Exchange of
      gunshots between the police and Mungiki forces rented the air.
      We had earlier received warnings that they were going to torch luos' and
      Luhyas' houses and hack them with pangas(swords).
      We kept vigil and alert the whole night but calm was eventually restored
      with heavy police presence in the area.
      Today morning i was to confirm the damage as; two people killed, houses
      robbed and women raped.
      We just had a meeting with my group Nafsi Africa Acrobats and some
      dancers, and am confirming that most of them can't afford meals as
      prices keep escalating and food stuffs quickly dwindling from shopping
      stores shelf.

      Today has been at least calm but a crowd has already formed in Ngong
      Road and making their way towards the Town center demonstrating.
      There is heavy police cordon in the Town center.
      And certain areas have been sealed off, people are closing shops and
      public transport vehicles stopping operations in fear of yesterday's
      violence repeat.
      We have suggested as a group to mobilize many Acrobats from various
      tribes to form one huge pyramid as a mark advocating for peace.
      We want to show Kenyans that we can still unite as Kenyans despite our
      political and tribal affiliations to save Kenya from the Abyss.
      We don't know the procedures and implications that would follow in
      organising for such.
      Political meetings have been banned and any gatherings viewed with
      suspicion.
      Any efforts to mediate are met with hostilities by certain groups, it's
      either you take one side or wait to be killed.
      We will seek and explore avenues of getting the requirements and follow
      the procedures of mobilizing Acrobats and Drummers towards this cause.
      As Nafsi acrobats we also appeal for any financial support that would
      help some of the youths and children families that we train.
      Contributions can be sent through Kennedy Owino (+254723568251) or the
      various contacts given.
      Any financial assistance can be received through western union.
      I also need phone numbers of members of the Minciu Sodas forum or any
      leaders residing in Kibera.
      At the moment there is a shortage of phone credit cards which is
      hampering communication at this vital moment, my appeal is for us to
      assist each other in making communications open and possible to all.
      Access to information is also necessary.
      At least we can now access cybers and use the internet during calm
      moments, but cell phones use are at the moment more important.

      My final prayer is that may Kenyans realize that there is no important
      gain for us as opening up our clasped fists and reaching out to each
      other with love, embrace, and hugs and giving peace a chance.
      May we we live in peace as we used to.

      Kennedy Owino

      Nafsi Afrika Acrobats
      P.o Box 21255- 00505
      Nairobi.
      www.nafsiafriacrobats.org

      -----------------------

      Nairobi Ashtanga Yoga <nairobi.ashtanga@...> wrote: Date: Fri, 4
      Jan 2008 09:19:50 +0300 From: "Nairobi Ashtanga Yoga"
      <nairobi.ashtanga@...> Subject: Fwd: Sarakasi Plea

      See: http://www.sarakasi.org We have raised over ksh60000 today to help
      the Saraksi youths affected by this violence get their feet back on the
      ground again. If you wish to pledge your contributions, please call
      Marion Van Dijke 0722 811926 to arrange for the funds to get to Sarakasi
      Trust. May peace return to Kenya soonest possible.

      -----------------------

      Kennedy Owino, Friday, January 4, 8:52 am

      Hi friends,

      Nairobi was unlikely calm in the better part of yesterday, I just
      arrived well to the sad revelations of the wanton ethnic cleansing that
      have been going on.
      We had a tensed Journey from Amboseli National park, packed like bags of
      potatoes in the back of the track.
      About thirty people including Angie( an Italian friend) and Paige (an
      American friend) were in this track and the driver feared being stopped
      in a road block manned by civilians, then everybody asked to identify
      him/herself and tribal affiliation.
      So he avoided the “Namanga” route where such incidences are common, and
      people are being slaughtered in broad day light.
      I had initial plans of fleeing and seeking refuge in Tanzania (the
      neighbouring country), we were just so much near the border.
      I shelved my plan after being informed that there were road blocks and
      vehicles were being stopped and people killed.
      The driver eventually dumped as in a very strange small town (Emali)
      along Mombasa road and swearing that he would not continue with us to
      Nairobi fearing the outcome of such a risk.
      However, we managed getting a Matatu (public transport) which dropped us
      3kms away from Nairobi Town center.

      We did not witness any scene or incidences suggesting that Nairobi has
      been a Ghost Town/No go zone.
      I myself ventured into the Town while the others hailed Taxis/cabs to
      drop them into various estates.
      There was normalcy in the Town center, some shops closed, others opened,
      people walking and a few Police officers on alert.
      I have called and confirmed that all Nafsi members and our friends whom
      we traveled with, their families, my families are all safe.

      Today i wake to the grim realization that people fought yester night in
      my neighbourhood, though no one was reported dead.
      In the hood here the situation is grim, it is a tensed environment.
      Kawangware is notoriously affected being next to the slum, and mostly
      inhabited by by the three embattling communities (Luos, Kikuyus, and
      Luhyas).
      And also being an haven of money judging by businesses dotting the hood
      and the up market estate of the affluent (lavington) just around the corner
      There have been reported cases of people slaughtering each other, arson,
      looting, robbery and anarchy ruling the day.

      I have just managed to sneak out to a friend’s to access internet, but
      the situation is worse with heightened fears of violence erupting again
      today due to the planned Uhuru Park peaceful demonstration by Raila and
      O.D.M luminaries.
      I am under house arrest, there is a curfew here, and venturing out means
      surrendering your life to the goons or the merciless anti-riot police.
      Communication has been hampered, no phone cards for charging the phone,
      frequent network problem/sometimes no signal at all, constant power
      black outs and we get so less from the media.
      My activities are curtailed until the stalement is resolved, I can’t
      access the internet unless I am lucky as today, I will therefore remain
      offline.
      Most shops are closed with the few opened charging double for commodities.
      There is evident hunger, has most commodities are missing from the shelves.
      No water, and shouts and screams occasioning the day.

      Anyway, we remain in prayers and hope that the world is equally
      concerned and praying that we Kenya doesn’t join the list of war torn
      countries spread along Afrika.
      We believe and hope that this acrimony and animosity shall pass, Kenyans
      will practice restraint and an eventual peaceful solution found.
      Keep praying with us friends.

      Regards,

      Ken Owino,
      Nafsi Afrika Acrobats.
      +254723568251
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