On a rainy morning, life seemed quiet behind the window, as I sat and listened to the news and thought about the present and the future of humanity. Is it really the end, as predicted by some Hollywood movies and by some researchers and experts in economics and politics who wrote about it? Or is it inevitably the beginning of a new era based on love and hope, in which peace and happiness prevail and the human being becomes truly human(e). I was trying to be positive and listen to my heart more than my mind, and to stop thinking only about the issue of quarantine and the number of COVID-19 infected in the world. Actually, I wanted to be living a dream from which I would wake up soon, but I realized as I looked at the deserted street through the window that the dream was reality. So I decided not to make reality a dream and avoid it, but to live it and write down reality’s details so that humanity will learn from her in the future, a lesson for all of us at the end of this distressing test. So I let my pen fly free to the world and narrate this difficult period in human history.

Said Bahajin, Morocco

As I pen the deepest feelings from the bottom of my heart at this point in time the  real threat of Covid-19 pandemic is mercilessly taking away souls and causing untold pain and agony to humanity across the world. I prefer to call it a seasonal challenge with  the hope that it  will end soon…though it’s taking too long. The season that have put on hold the dream that I wanted to live and live to my fullest!  This will not weaken or kill my spirit to live my lifetime dream of finishing up with my medical studies and standing up for my young family.

I see from far there is a ray of hope….a distant hope that one day, our now deserted streets would once again be a buzz with humanity and make  life regenerate again.  As I pen this work,  for most of us even access to basic needs has become difficult like black stone in the jungle. Survival has become the only word on the lips of humanity. Humanity is sadly at a crossroads! We are on the journey of self-destruction!

Human-induced  genetic diseases, increasing effects of global climate change, international terrorism , the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the divide between those who have hardly anything to eat and those excessively rich than they need….The list is endless..Where  is humanity headed?

Abdiaziz Hussein, kenya

Stretched beyond human endurance, my emotions swing on the status what is and what would be for the less fortunate in our midst. I am left with lots of disturbing thoughts with no one willing and ready to furnish me with tangible answers. The only tune that everyone has learnt to dance to is the government’s warning, instructions and possibilities of a greater impact should anyone circumvent them. What will happen to those with nothing as those with something have won the race? It looked like a threat, it looked like a calamity, one that replicated a time bomb that can blow us into ashes. Not a single being was prepared for it. The maxim of » everybody for himself and God for us all » has come into play.

Narrowing down to the subject at hand, I am left to wonder how on earth a small virus has brought the whole world to its knees. The mighty nations of the World that chest-thumbed as superpowers and controllers of the globe are finding themselves incteasily trapped and defeated by the turn of events. Oh lord.. Every time I switched on my television, the headline was inevitably predictable. We were getting served the same diet from the same plate again and again. It was all about the Corona infection spreading at an alarming rate, the death toll surging uncontrollably. I switched my mind to what I already knew that mankind is just but a faint creature, with no strength and vitality. This was a life we never imagined to ever live, not even on wild imagination. It was a twist of fate, a tale of a new beginning of a new ending.

Before the pandemic that paralyzed all and sundry, without segregation of who is who in the social stratum, the world was seemingly appearing to have lost the grip. Dead end loomed even before we were hit by this virus  We were battling malnutrition that ravaged thousands of people, terrorism that top-class military cadre was left to find a solution to, poverty, diseases of unfathomable nature with its cure still a nightmare.  What is left for the globe to face than what larks with us?

The human race is now in the race to save itself from the pangs and pain of the pandemic. As a person that believes in and loves humanity with passion, a person with goodwill and faith in a fair world that serves everyone on a single beam balance, one thing beats my sense of reason. This begs a million-dollar question, what will the common man, the less fortunate, » the wretched of the earth» and those writhing and wallowing in the abysmal pit of poverty have in store? Apart from palliative support by charity organisations, donors and well-wishers, and the bent arm of an already disintegrated government, could there be a long-lasting solution that will end the tragedy we are facing today?  I am left to wonder when normalcy will be restored at our doorsteps and give us a room full of love, full of humane and sincere heart to help, a globe without hatred but love for one another, tenderness and care without measure.

Ever since the era of intellectual stagnation, myriads of scientific and technical theories on human advancement and growth trajectories have been put forward. The agricultural and industrial revolution has given birth to lots of hopes but still, the entire world is in the dark. The hope miraging further and further into the horizons… Not every of the progress made by mankind has solved one problem in full and moved forward. Adding value to our present predicaments! 

It’s a fallacy of domino-effect, one thing bringing about a different realm. From my humble childhood days I was brought up with the determination and zeal to never give up but keep my head high. In not too far a future I am personally optimistic that there will be a light at the darkest end of the tunnel. And so shall we.

Soon, despite the setback that the world is facing, an array of hope looms. In the foreseeable future, my instincts predict that when we pull our minds together, imbibe knowledge and extend support and love to one another, the world will be a better place for everyone. And that is the world that everyone has and is yearning for. Can we have it?

Mohamed Abdi Aliow ( Kenya )

As a proud son of a herder these days,  I find the nights quite  longer than usual as I battle sleepless nights in my » olol » , a traditionally made wooden bed bequeathed to me by my mum with lots of weird thoughts racing my mind . At times the situation gets out of hand forcing me to spend the entire nights gazing at silhouettes of the images formed by dim rays of lights penetrating the roof of our hut. One thought leads to another and of late I go into deep thoughts wondering what would be the future of the  innocent poor men and women who are out there in the world. The devastating onslaught of the Covid-19 virus which I am told was manufuctered , packed and sent to the unsuspecting men and women out there is loudly being felt globally.

I fear the Covid- 19 pandemic which is traveling faster than light might bring a disaster of unknown proportion to the vulnerable poor folks  who have no fat bank account to rely on as they keeping hustling without rest in persuit of their daily bread.

One of the directive that is proposed is social distancing. This  is unfriendly by nature to pastrolist communities whose existence and survival solely  depends on movement of people and their livestock. It becomes very  difficult to tell such group of people to shun greetings, public place ,  gatherings or even refrain from their normal lifestyle.

This coupled communal / social  way of living of our people makes them all the more vulnerabe lots that is highly at risk in the face of  such biological/germ warfare. With no any tangible intervention or alternative support structure in place to serve as safety net it becomes outrightly preposterous to expect these people to religiously adhere to these directives and guidelines.

This virus that has made the poor and rich almost equal,  has devastating consequences on the rural population since they already lack medical facilities and what is there  lacks the necessary facilites required to provide sufficient medical services required in such scenarios.The poor class lack access to clean water which is essential component in combating the virus.  Similarly,with our health facilites grappling with the acute shortages of equipment and medical practitioners, the safety and well-being of the population is questionable.

The National/ International Aid/ humanitarian agencies must put in place  pro-active, pro-poor  measures that will insulate out people against this human – induced disaster that if not well contained before it makes the human race extinct.

In fact those who have been doing illegitimate trials and tests like guinea fowls must be put to account for this evil mission that borders on atrocity against humanity. In future adequate preparedness measures should be put in place to counter such or even worst scenario that may get us off-guard. Stiffer penalties and measures should be instituted against individuals or nation’s that are in pursuit of such devilish move.

Hussein Adan. ( Kenya )

Most times I find myself deeply engrossed in deep thoughts and myriads of questions come afore with regards to the immense suffering  humanity is experiencing in the face of Covid-19 pandemic. Whenever I reflect about my village’s fate, I cannot hold back my tears. It cascades uncontrollably, just like that of an orphan who is hit by the thought of his deceased parents. My village, Cherab , a small dusty village which is no more than a scattered collection of huts in the far-flung northern border of Isiolo is surrounded by » Gaar» (plateau). Such a resplendent place to call a home. In spite of the occasional drought disasters and occasional prevalence of  common diseases the place used to be a haven in the middle of nowhere!

Today its a distant  reflection of that and I am fearful that in case the current condition be urgently addressed, there is a sure threat of the place being shuttered to irreparable status!

Life in the suburb of Cherab had really changed from what it was some years back. Doom, agony, loneliness and fear is eminent and written boldly over  the faces of the dwellers.

From their looks since the strike of COVID 19, Children show acute symptoms of  malnourishment with bouts of hunger and  wrinkles being manifest in their faint body from lack of food. In the past, the only monostrous and devastating disease they knew was Malaria that kept them inclined to their beds followed by Cancer which claimed many lives of their loved ones in the area. Some lost their parents from the disease. Theirs was a case of cheating death  by whiskers.

Lack of basic amenities :  water, dilapidated health services and facilites, lack of regular meals with no promise of the next one is now a reality they are gradually coping with. As evolution dictates, the plight and fight for survival for the fittest is  seen into play.

Cancer is no longer news now, they are facing the most dangerous pandemic wiping humanity from the face of the earth. A pandemic that overwhelmed most developed nations like the USA, with her state of art hospitals, enough medical personnel, advanced technology and every other paraphernalia at their disposal to contain this pandemic.

Whenever I see the turn of events in the USA, I completely go into despair knowing that my villagers will not survive this pandemic. They are already facing a wide range of problems,  Where on earth will  Taditi  (a female Borana name) and  Tadich (a male name) find clean water to wash their hands as one of the preventive measures against this pandemic. Humanity is indeed at stake. We need to join hands and save humanity. With ingredient of good governance, love  for others welfare and good willed charity we will overcome. I have hope, a great hope that very soon humanity will heal.

Mohamed Jillo (Kenya)

As usual while at my rural village I normally have my afternoon nap and then proceed for a leisure walk towards the rocky, dusty fields. My good guess is that the bare and windy rocky fields are as a result of the ever increasing impacts of the global climate change,  Once I reach the furthest end of the field I usually sit on one of the huge cylindrical boulders and start to think about the fate and predicaments that humanity is currently grappling with. Deep down in my hearts I start soul-searching and reflecting on the deteriorating spirits, goodwill and love evident across humanity world over. I always believe and lived the understanding that all of us , human beings deserved to live good and dignified life. At least a modest life worth living. A purposeful life that enshrines and explain our existence as humanity on planet earth!

In my deeper reflections at times I get emotionally disturbed by what we are all seeing as a capitalistic world that only cares and has space for the ultimate survival satusfaction of one’s ego at the expense of others! . The richest , Those in position of influence or the blessed lot continue to wallow in massive richness while openly neglecting those were less endowed. This tendency goes against the values that I cherish and love most ans hence making me a worried man. I spend lots my precious time meditating on how people these days relate to one another and ask myself the same million-dollar question over and over again..Where is humanity heading? Where am I heading? What could I do that bring a difference? Then darkness engulves my thoughts and I go into a stance..I really just can’t stop imagining or fathoming what has become of humanity today.

However, in spite of all these mess we have found ourselves I see a flicker of hope , hope of a better future here and there.. At the end I have only to say that this world is becoming one hell of a contradiction. Indeed an amazing place!

A classical example of what am saying or alluding to, could be seen in the recent news that was widely covered and circulated in mainstream newspapers and social media when a church in Berlin – Germany offered its space and place of worship for Muslim faithfuls to use during their Eid- Ul-Fitr celebration! The good gesture was to help them comply with the stringent social distancing measures put in place to contain the spread of Covid19 pandemic. This was unexpected manifestation of love between humanity. At this point in time, the world came together as one people, with one religion- that was the religion of humanity and love for one another. This melted our hearts and souls world over!

These stories are moving reminder that at the end of the day, its love and kindness that help us survive and thrive individually and collectively as humanity. I just hope that we don’t forget this imperative truth , this bonding point is upheld or even further strengthened when the dust settles and life get back to normal..

Then and only then would the world be a home and abode for all mankind and indeed a blissful garden that every one of us aspiires in his or her dreams!

Abdishakur Halake.( Kenya )

I currently stay with my family in Garisa town , a busy business town in the North Eastern Province of Kenya formerly called the  Northern Frontier Districts ( NFD) of Kenya. The mere mention of NFD scares all and sundry as it has has been infamously associated with all kinds of ills and evils that one could imagine. Historical injustices and blatant precedence of marginalization by successive Kenya Government has shuttered all their prospects of development and instead rendered the region inhospitable and hell-on-earth sort of a plac. Inter-community clan feuds , organized cattle rustling and violent extremism has infiltrated and continues unabated in the expansive northern corridor of Kenya.

This coupled with the recent announcement by the Kenya Government of the high prevalence of  Covid-19 in the region compounds and complicates the scenario even further. This does not mean that the region doesn’t have anything good to showcase! The hospitality of the local communities , ailability of large tracks of unadulterated parcels of land , huge potential of minerals , gas and hard metals in the region , the potential economic stimulus and benefits as a result of the 2030 GoK  mega projects the region has gradually shed the bad publicity  and is now warming up to visitors and investors from within and outside Kenya.

The incident that happened mid last year and covered extensively by all mainstream media houses and on social media changed perceived outlook of the region by those from » Up-Kenya » a derogatory term for those who were in the well developed regions of Kenya.

The story goes that sometimes in April, 2019, a bus that was heading to Wajir from Garisa was.attacked by a heavily armed contingent of terror groups at a place called Banale. They randomly shot at the bus and all burst it’s tyres. There only three security personnel aboard the bus who were quickly overpowered and executed in the broad daylight as the horrified passengers watched from their seats in the bus. Then the merciless terrorists went into the bus and asked the non-muslim passengers to alight and face the same fate encountered by the soldiers a while ago. Panicked and disillusioned members mainly from outside the province we’re shoved out the bus and paraded. This scenario caused panic and mayhem in the bus as death loomed so close. At this point in time one of the passenger who was a teacher came down and asked them to shoot and kill him first and then proceed to kill and execute others after he is gone. He lectured the vehemently on the fact that Islam as a religion is a manifestation of love , peace and compassion for others. Soon two other muslims and infact one being a woman joined suit. The arguement and counter arguments took sometimes before the usual Kenya Defense Force Patrol on that route bumped into them. The highly – trained squad of military guys showered bullets and soon the visibly shaken terrorists had to take off in the middle of their ambush on the bus.They nevertheless could not just give in effortlessly but hit the teacher in the arm . The teacher was prepared to sacrifice his life for the other innocent Kenyan’s oblivious of the consequences.

The teacher sustained injuries and was airlifted to Nairobi where he could access better medical attention.

This story is a clear proof that even today goodwill , sense of sacrifice,  love for humanityand being your brother’s keeper is not fully lost in our otherwise seemingly hell of a world .

Boru Mohamed ( Kenya )

Man is by creation a complex and complicated being at the same time. You will agree with me that the unquenchable thirst , urge and desires for confort , to be at peace with oneself  prosperity, happiness and goodness lies intricately in the bossom of his nature and no doubt deep within his psychology. Let’s pause a bit and look around us. One observes that everything you see is direct product of man’s insatiable desire for perfection and ultimate goodness.

Earlier on during the medieval times man used to walk from place to place to fend for his needs  but soon became tired with the practice. Man then went ahead  and forced animals to carry them and their properties from place to place. These could not satisfy the unfathomably desires and wants of man and the idea of taking care of these animals by way of feeding and caring overwhelmed him that soon he explored the idea of using metals to make life easier for him. Soon motorcycles, van ( modern day automobile, vehicles) , vessels / ship and aeroplans became his latest and most smartest invention! All these developments and » progress» was meant to give man ultimate satisfaction and make life easier, enjoyable and worth living.

Fast forward in this era in time man has reached his ultimate target and lifetime expectation. Today man could explore and even go for a tour in the earstwhile unknown of planets and just by a touch of a button get whatever he may so wish from anywhere in the world. Advancement in all aspects has made man now reach the self-actualization level of human needs and satisfaction theory. In short he has reached his apex!

With all these remarkable progress , sophistication or technological advancement, I now post my itching question?  Why with all these advancement and technological advancement man still not ultimately confortable and at peace with himself, others and his God ?

These technological advancement we see now has given man a wrong notion of self-efficacy. That he is the ultimate beginning and end , that he is self-sufficient and entirely depends on himself for everything. That he is the ultimate driving force behind all these great achievements.That he is the Power unto himself and not answerable to any divine deity or creator.This wrong belief or fallacy explains why  modern  day man has became so insensitive, uncaring and merciless with  dictators like Hitler who decimated 6000 Jews during the holocaust seen as super heroes!  We have many Hitler’s around us these days! You just need to open your eyes..

Open your eyes and see what man has done to the environment which he was bequeathed for free. What is the status of the ozone layer that nature has clothed us with against the harmful radiations that negatively impact on us! Look at the current  status of Global Climate Change trend and think about the levels of threats it’s posing to us by the day. What about absence of care , the virtue of love and the capacity to put yourself in your brothers shoe and feel for him as your fellow human being?

The poor of the world are forced by circumstances to be more poorer by the rich and those with better financial or technological endowerment . They use this blessing as an opportunity to inflict pain on others and reign terror with impunity!

Does man realize that his insatiable appetite for fame , money , power and popularity is tearing him apart anf pushing to the point of extinction? His denial of the divine powers that created him and kept sustaining him will definitely haunt him and relegate him to the lowest ebb of status and reverse the good gains he has made over and be the biggest source of his  infinite torment on earth.

Abdirahman Osman- Kenya

I am convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that our coming  into existence in this world was premiditated and was never out of our intellegence, wish, or plan. Psychologists insinuate that at birth our minds were blank like a sheet of clean white paper, a situation they call «tabula rasa».

Proponents of this school of thought opine to the fact that it is the life-time experiences that we  encounter on  daily basis that  dictates what finally goes into shaping the nature of our minds. On the contrary those who oppose this line of argument share the belief that it was planning and «efforts’ of our parents who «manufactured’ and  brought us into existence!

Away from that argument,  I know all of us look around our immediate environment and irrespective of the school of thought you subscribe to one gets dumb-founded and mesmerized by the unfathomable mystery of mother earth ! Believers in the former theory of creation attest to the fact that our origin and destiny is the work of a superior power who is the master and excellent creator the human mind cannot comprehend: God. On the contrary those those who claim to be highly learned and ardent students of such writers as Stephen Hawkins of the » From the Big Bang to the Black Holes » fame are of the different view that mankind evolved as a result of a big force which brought about massive collision of atoms from where we came into existence!

Be that as it is, one fact is very clear for all of us, that we are bona-fide citizens of mother earth.   Out of her bossoms,  mother earth welcomed us all into this world and provided with the unquestionable rights of being here regardless of who we are , the color of our skin, our cultural or religious affiliations or geographical location.

All this development happened centuries before human beings started seeing each other through the lenses of race, religious beliefs, social economic status and other discriminative ways. We started drawing physical and imaginary lines amongst ourselves, enclosing ourselves in borders of countries, ruling each other , subjecting and shoving one another to ungodly status  and other forms of in human experiences. Today, you will agree with me humanity is not at peace with itslef and continue to delve further into trajectories of hopelessness and destitution. While it’s common to see uncountable number of people suffering in abject poverty and conditions of distress a few group continue to wine and dine oblivious of this open reality afflicting humanity.  As time goes and generations come and go so we grow.

Have we re-assed ourselves and determined where things have gone wrong..?  Where the rains have  started beating us? Humanity needs to seriously acknowledge this fact , re-evaluate what they are currently doing and where it’s leading them and reconcile themselves to one another, their God and make a committed endervour to make this world a habitable place where mankind can live in peacefully. This can only be surely attained once we love and care for our fellow human beings, our environment and return to our Creator in prayers.

By Steve Dika ( Kenya )

The philanthropic act showcased by Namunyak, a female prison officer currently stationed at Isiolo GK Maximum Prison and Correctional facility has gone viral and warmed the hearts of many residents in Isiolo town for using her free time to produce free masks for the vulnerable group in the society as part of her contribution towards the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

I saw this in the daily newspapers and was touched and humbled with Namunyak’s love for humanity , big heart and desire to assist poor people who cannot afford to buy face masks.

Namunyak saw many people walking without the the very essential face masks in spite of 4 cases of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Isiolo County. She remembered that the tailoring machine she bought with her first salary was just lying idle with only a few problems here and there. She repaired it and using three hours in the morning of her daily free time she is able to produce 50 pieces of face masks which she distributes to those who cannot afford to secure it.

Namunyak target is to produce and distribute 10000 pieces face masks to the fight against Covid-19.

This little act of mercy may appear small in the eyes of many but it speaks volumes on how with a willing, loving and giving heart , feeling for one another and desire to help and add value to humanity can bring a big difference in our lives! With a few more with such kind and helping heart like that of Namunyak, this world would be a better place and aboard for humanity to live and cherish.

Boru Godana (Kenya)

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