Of Terror Attacks and Mind Attacks

On a quiet Friday night during my university days , a friend and I strolled to the affluent Kenyatta University Conference Centre for an indulging evening. Straight into the doorway we met a mutual comic friend, he was welcoming American students to the university. A few words here and there and we were all fired up conversing about how America is different from Kenya. Then it happened, we suggested it was more fun hanging out of the university and they all the students went in unison “we have a security advisory from our embassy”.

Moment of silence* , I mummer-ed, okay, now let’s go, they insisted “We can’t leave the campus.” Did I miss something? Then I realized how much Americans valued information from their embassy. I guess that’s why the Government of Kenya complains when travel advisory are placed for the country. If there was an imminent terror attack in the Nairobi, and the government issued an alert with a precise location, I’m quiet sure 90% of the people who read this post would still find themselves walking that aisle oblivious of the danger. It’s as if the information value of our news is so low that we don’t trust it or we just have mind attacks. Umpteen times someone always notes the callous nature of Nairobians.

Last week the United States embassy in Nairobi issued a security advisory for the City of Mombasa. A friend who works as a cook at Diani Beach Hotel calls it the emergency low season. A day after the announcement 60% of the reservations were cancelled and that’s how he ended up jobless. But he is still hanging in the City looking for another job (mind attack). In my humble observation, the “rich” care about almost everything while the “poor” careless even for their own lives. We call it the mind divide, a tragedy of the brain.

Originally published at blackorwa.com on June 25, 2012.

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