Thursday, February 10, 2011

Heads and Tails - The Other Side of Col. (Rtd.) John Kimani

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They say that there are two sides of a coin. Heads and tails. Every side is completely different for the other.  There is this side of the K F S Commandant that was completely new to all and sundry.  He has a tender spot, a soft spot that only comes out, through his genuine and kind heart which is giving and charitable.

It was amazing to see the good Commandant roll his shirtsleeves , and in casual wear and undoubtedly unlike his usual stern self mingle and chat freely with the poor of Huruma Shanties on the outskirts of the Karura Forest, while joining them in song and dance which they sang to praises God and their benefactor the said Commandant.

You could see that this was something that came from the heart as he talked to the ladies who had been called upon to come to the Church from their day to day chores, some still dripping wet from their washings, others clutching their little ones with expectation written all over their faces as word went round that a good Samaritan (Commandant) had come around to visit and wish them a Merry Christmas. He invited the British Ambassador’s wife Alice Macaire to talk to the gathered and advice them on ways to make money and improve their livelihoods.

She has a heart of gold and was genuinely interested in the good of the women and as she tried to visualize how it must be hard on them, it was very hard to do so and she clearly stated that she can’t know their problems but she can assist them wherever she can. A lady from the group brought them some beautiful curios they had made themselves (a basket and a necklace) made from recycled plastic waste. The guests were very impressed. Alice promised to help the Huruma ladies set up a market for their goods and encourage tourists to visit the area, no so much as to see the shanties and its dwellers, but to buy the curios from the same.

When they finished talking to the group, it was time to give out the gifts that the good Commandant had brought to them, which was from him and his family and he also gave out well wishes from his beloved wife, who due to some work related constraints could not make it to the venue. Clothes and shoes which were donated courtesy of his family were given out to the appreciative crowd who ululated and profusely thanked the visitors for their generosity.

 After all was said and done, it was truly a humbling experience for those of who knew his other side (his military side), to see Col (Rtd). Kimani come down to the level of the poor and even communicate in his mother tongue to get a message of good will from him and his family across to the gathered.

Report by Rahab Gitau (Communications Assistant- ENCOM)

1 comment:

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