From a morning filled with laughter, jokes, people milling about doing their business and others scouring the depths of their photo albums to keep up with the #10YearsChallenge, to events so horrific and terrifying that shook us all as Kenyans.
The moments that followed after I saw an active shootout ongoing in a city I call Home, a city I grew up in, a City my family lives in.
I held my breath in as I called and texted family to know if everyone was alright, and I clutched my hands in prayer, asking God to protect those still stuck inside.
The people inside were someone’s father, someone’s sister, someone’s mother, someone’s friend,and I could only just imagine the fear while one awaits to hear news about your loved ones.
After almost 14 hours of keeping up with all the news, local and international, the area was secured and all hostages rescued and the terrorists defeated.
For most, the horror ends there.
For others, the horrors had just began.
One who had to cover herself with the blood of her fallen comrades and stay still as bullets rained.
One who hid in a toilet as the terrorists combed through the plaza.
One who kept on waiting for hope, already accepted death, said his goodbyes.
One who called his father and ,made it out alive, but lost his brothers.
One who passed by fallen Kenyans, people who were moments ago, alive and going on with their lives.
700 made it out alive. Scarred. Traumatized. Survivors.
14 passed away.
14 never made it home.
14 family members.
14 people who left home with no idea of what the day holds.
Prayers came in all directions.
Support showed through.
Hundreds showed up for blood donation.
Mama showed up with tea for the brave souls that undertook the rescue mission.
And then came the hate.
My close friend locking herself in her room in the Campus hostels to avoid the taunting of her school mates.
Your neighbor Muhammad is now no longer your good friend, but a terrorist who needs to go back to his country.
People calling for raids and attacks on Muslim and Somali owned businesses and Worship places.
This is not my Kenya.
This is the time to RISE above the hate.
Terrorism has no colour, no religion, no community, no tribe.
We all are affected.
As a country.
As a people.
As a community.
Choose love and peace above the hate and division.