The debate on the circumstances the death of Woud-Maggero in Sweden rages on.
At the forefront of the debate is the Kenya Stockholm Blog (KSB), mouthpiece of Okoth Osewe and alleged community site for Kenyans resident in Sweden.
Osewe peddles propaganda surrounding the events focusing on how African, and Kenyan culture has been belittled. Video uploads of interviews where Kenyans are asked leading questions with shocking impunity are numerous.
These have only one agenda and function; the condemnation Maggero’s family in Sweden and of those post writers on African Press in Norway (APN) who are brave enough to go against the grain, The Liberated Young Kenyans.
What have these young Kenyans been liberated from Osewe, and his supporters ask. Well, they are liberated in mind, and are able to discern and think logically for themselves without bowing to peer pressure or resorting to mob justice akin to that being seen on KSB. This is the liberation they speak of.
Osewe and other so-called conservatives come out strongly in defence of culture and traditional rites. This is undoubtedly admirable.
Notwithstanding Osewe does show ignorance when he claims in his article “Moving the center” that “In Stockholm, many members of the Kikuyu community have not circumcised their sons and daughters although this is what could have happened if their children were born in Kenya.”
Circumcision of Kikuyu girls has not been practiced in over 100 years, and Osewe seems apt to make sweeping statements based on ethnic stereotyping, especially if the ethnic group in question excludes his own.
Circumcision in Sweden conducted on male children and adults. In the case of children, or minors under the law the prerequisites are a permit acquired from the relevant authority Socialstyrelsen, and of course parental approval is necessary.
Culture as Osewe states is not static, proven in the Kenyan diaspora by the fact that many members of the luo community undergo circumcision, a taboo with the luo a decade ago.
I daresay that members of the luo community that even contemplated circumcision during the taboo period were branded madmen, and ostracized by the community, traits that belong to a bygone era reminiscent of witch hunts and magical folklore.
Osewe must really learn to exercise caution, and restraint when making statements that are not true. None of the Liberated Kenyans have made the statements as found on Kenya Stockholm Blog, and their reaction has largely been to treatment of Dagmar, and family by the luo community in Stockholm.
The concerns they have raised have been met with hostility, lies and gender slurs on KSB. Unsupported claims of harassment from Liberated Kenyans have also been widely circulated by KSB sympathisers.
Attempts to sending information that does not conform to, and with the general consensus on KSB have been effectively blocked. Is this the kind of democracy Osewe, and KSB advocates?
Another area confusing the die-hard conservatives is the definition of “Next of kin”. The conservatives would have us communicate only in our vernacular languages.
That is in it self most appealing, but would tend to circumscribe our interaction with other peoples. Since the dynamics of culture are stronger, the English language is not an issue in this time and age.
Next of kin is defined as “The person or persons most closely related by blood to another person”. Osewe, and the conservatives certainly do not encompass this defination, and questions to their take in Maggero’s fate still go unanswered.
Friends and confidants in all honour, but to attempt to hijack the process, and proceedings leading to Maggero’s interment is quite frankly absurd. Granted, Maggero may have a wife back in his native country, but the man lived his choice for 43 years.
This was Dagma and their offspring. The on-going campaign to ostracize Maggero’s family is not only repugnant, but a feeble attempt at closing the barn door after the horse has fled.
These friends and confidants should have used every opportunity to highligt their reservations to Maggero when he was alive, if they were indeed what they claim to be.
Whether or not Maggero would have harkened to their cry is debatable, but this is clearly the course of action true friends would have undertaken. Not harassing and demonizing the family.
Every dark cloud does however have it’s sliver lining though. The events that have unfolded will go a long way in ensuring that Kenyans, and others, in interracial relationships protect their loved ones from having to contend with unscrupulous elements after their demise.
By Michael Kanda,
Published by African Press in Norway, APN, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel +47 932 99 739