Extrajudicial Killings Persist

By Moses Okoth

Odo (not his real name)  was arrested early in December by police in Mathare slums for a crime his close friends don’t understand. He was then driven to Githurai along Thika Road where his other friend lived and then to a third friend residing in Kariobangi North at a gunpoint. Their move to Kariobangi was the last across the city as they were all shot at the Kariobangi North home. The news was relayed by Hessy wa Dandora, an infamous police officer, via the Dandora Crime Free Facebook page.

As it later turned out, the trio had stolen a gun from police within Mathare and this led to thorough investigations being carried out. 

Odo, was laid to rest and received a decent send off by his family, who did not disclose the cause of death. He was a real art supporter and always visited Sanaa Centre in Mathare Kosovo area for more interactive sessions with artists. According to Micko Migra, Afro-Luo ragga artist and Sanaa Centre Founder, Odo always wanted the centre to bring up a new crop of artists who are financially empowered. He had promised to buy more materials like paints to perfect the space. He believed in unity but was disturbed by the artists’ poor living conditions. 

During my years as an artivist practicing citizen journalism, artists have always been role models to teenagers and youths. Young people are drawn to the lavish lifestyles of celebrities and public figures and try to emulate the same, to the extent of using dangerous and dishonest means.  This is why mentorship is key.

In addition to fighting extrajudicial killings, artists must also focus on the creative economy and utilize their art to mentor and guide youths in the right direction. They should also strive to create job opportunities for young people, more so in the arena of art marketing and distribution. This can as well activate the business side of art given that the film and TV industry is now opening doors for active community participation through awareness, training and capacity building.      



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