By Calvin Onyango
20th October is a national holiday – Mashujaa day. It is a day set aside for the commemoration of national as well as personal heroes and heroines. A hero to me is anyone doing something positive for the community, be it in big or small ways. Everyone had their own ways of celebrating this day and we did celebrate it in style.
I got the opportunity to celebrate together with the community, in partnership with Dandora Social Justice Centre. Dandora has been Facing a lot of issues but no one has been there to address them. There are issues of insecurity, police brutality, gender based violence, unemployment (especially among the youth) land grabbing, abuse of power, corruption and lack of information (especially regarding the constitution).
Our first stop was in Phase Five, where traditional song and dances kicked of the celebrations, which attracted a crowd and in no time. The Traveling theater started at high note with a well-acted out and very impressive story about an MCA whose duty is to serve community members but instead, demands bribes (kitu kidogo). As the woman in the story didn’t have money, the MCA propositions getting intimate with her in exchange for government services. The story closes as the woman storms out of the MCA’s office very furious and disappointed. After the play, the audience admitted to relating very closely to those circumstances.
Brian Omondi, the Administrator of Dandora Community Justice Center, encouraged the people to resist corruption and to stand firm in the fight against corruption. He offered that alternatively, those with unsolved cases report to Dandora Community Justice Center, located just before Dandora Secondary School
Our next stop was at Mti Moja in Phase Four. Once again, we got their attention with the traditional song, liberation music and dances and crowned it with a play that they related with. The play reminded me of an encounter with a businessman got arrested and was detained for one week on false accusations, just so the police could take advantage of his business. The play was not new them since it is the reality in their community.
In Phase One, a scene on police brutality got the crowd so riled up, they almost beat up the actors playing police The people got educated on the rights of an arrested person as well as the right to life and basic needs.
Chapter One of the Constitution declares all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and shall be exercised in accordance with the constitution, which is the Supreme law. As a citizen of Kenyan, the constitution gives both me and you the power.