I love Kenyan films, and a while back got to watch one titled The Roadside, featuring our very own (and lovely) Lupita Nyong’o. Storyline is Lupita and her boyfriend are off for a road trip cum picnic in the wild (that place looked like a desert, probably somewhere in Ukambani, haha! You can hurl stones at me now), then suddenly their car gets a puncture. The boyfriend has to go find a spare tyre at the nearest -service station? – Yeah, so off he goes, and in comes this guy on a bicycle, and they fall in love. Fine. Clearly I am not awesome at doing reviews, just watch the damn film for yourself. It’s great, trust me. What really caught my attention was a scene where the guy who came on a bike asked Lupita what she thinks about God. Not impressed by her response, he went on to explain that God is you and me, that we tell ourselves of a greater, more powerful being up in heaven, but we are just as great as he is. There’s only one thing keeping us from realizing our true greatness. What? You ask. The percentage of brain we use, he says. Apparently humans use only 3 percent of their total brain capacity, yet we have managed to build planes and rockets and go to the moon, build cars, transform bare lands into magnificent cities, etc. How much more could we do if we used all of the remaining 97 percent? We can be God, he suggests.
I strongly agree with the ‘God is you and me’ statement. Strongly oppose the reasoning behind it. Here’s what I think. Every day we see God, we talk to him, eat with him, sit in the office with him, buy fruits from him. Because God manifests Himself in the people around us. This is also the same for the devil. He could be that person sitting next to you in a matatu, that man/woman serving you at the supermarket, the person you sleep next to everyday, the shopkeeper down the corner. He could be anyone.
On Saturday night, a 14-year-old girl was raped by an unknown man, who after getting done with his heinous act, hacked the girl to death. It is suspected he either used a panga or an axe. Here we have a person who felt it was not enough to rape, but also end his victim’s life. This is how you know you are looking right into the devil’s eyes. If you meet this man, you will know you have met the devil head on, and the battle you’re about to wage is not between you and man, but between you and forces of hell.
As I write this article, the hashtag #FindRapistNganga is trending on Twitter in Kenya. It is reported that a man called Ng’ang’a raped and sodomized his house help, an adolescent aged 17, then fled from his house when it finally dawned on him what he’d done was definitely going to put him in trouble. The young girl is devastated, angry, pained. She said in a statement that before the beast pounced on her she had been a virgin, keeping herself pure till marriage. And then this happens. Tell me when I look into the eyes of Ng’ang’a what I see is not the many faces of the evil. Tell me we are only humans who make mistakes, we are weak, we are not perfect. We err.
I am not sure of the total percentage of brain we use that makes us not as great as God, but I am sure we are effective instruments of good and evil. We are either the devil himself or God. We are vessels, in which Heaven or hell feel safe and breed. And each one of us has freewill.
I am not about to embark on a rant of what is right and wrong according to religion, what I stand against is humans volunteering to be instruments of pain to others, willingly and knowingly. I am not perfect, I make mistakes. I have probably said this a million times. You are not perfect; you will make mistakes. But hear this; Having sex with another being, without their consent, especially a minor,is not a mistake. It is not an ‘oops!’ moment. It is not a ‘Oh dear my penis lost its way and landed inside of you’ moment. It is bullshit to call this horrible act a mistake. You are a representative of evil, an instrument of human anguish.
I will not blame this on how our parents brought us up, because it is not them. It is not their fault that we are beasts roaming the earth in human form. Please don’t tell me it is the experiences the rapists went through growing up, that maybe someone hurt them, that maybe they come from a broken family, that maybe they have depression. Nothing validates rape. Nothing.
Check yourself. You man, you woman, the adolescent, the youths. Get a mirror, and look carefully into it. What do you see? Who are you?
Whatever you think you are, you are not a rapist. No, you are not. That is not you.