It has been said to err is human but to forgive is divine. When we are in the wrong we really want to be forgiven for the wrong we have done but when it comes to forgive someone else who might have hurt you or erred, the forgiveness comes with a lot of difficulty, if the forgiveness does come in the first place.
As a child, in school detention meant writing a thousand lines to say sorry, or to give up my favourite toy to my siblings to apologise or be punished severely for doing wrong. The Naughty Corner is used in these corporal-punishment-free times, which allows you a time-out to think about your words or actions and realise why you have been sent to this corner. (Doesn’t work on adults, by the way)
Last week I suffered a huge foot in mouth moment and if you read the column in the Star last week you would know what I am talking about. While I don’t want to go on the defensive I would certainly like to be given a chance to explain myself. I wrote that piece passionately rather than rationally or being racist. Granted my language was on the strong side but my emotions were running high. My colleague had been stopped in the melee, his car was damaged and he also said that money was taken off him during the protest that happened last Wednesday. It was scary that someone I knew had been affected by what was going on.
I felt bad that a young man had lost his life, I learnt about the circumstances of his death and what brought about the fracas that led to him losing his life. 20 is way too young to go because of violence inflicted. I felt bad for his parents for losing a son. It doesn’t matter how old you are, to your parents you will always remain their child. I was emotional and upset at everything and also annoyed that the attitude of ‘an eye for an eye’ was uncalled for. If we all indulged in an eye for an eye, the whole world would be blind in no time.
I was stupid to use the word ‘muhindi’ which most who read it, felt I was talking on behalf of the entire Asian community. I take responsibility for my own words and humbly apologise for the pain and trauma I have caused. I was in no way portraying that Asians are better than anyone. No one is better than anyone – it’s all a matter of perception. I didn’t give myself the label ‘muhindi’. I didn’t wake up one fine morning and decide I want to be called muhindi. I am Kenyan but I get called muhindi so it makes me wonder who is labelling who.
I have received hundreds of mails and comments on what I wrote; many supporting what I said because they kept focus on the problem I was trying to highlight while some took the wrong end of the stick and started bashing me with it. Fair enough my remarks were uncalled for and I apologise for them duly but I was quite stunned at some remarks I had to read. Anyway, it was my bed that I made and have to lie in it too.
So having said and done everything, I would like to humbly apologise to everyone who I have caused distress and take full responsibility for my outburst which I will strongly control in the future.