Blood is the price we have always had to pay to gain freedom. It is a steep price, yes, but the quest for complete freedom drives a hard bargain. In many cases, those who spill their blood as a solemn sacrifice upon the alter of freedom are easily forgotten. History books do not remember them, for as soon as their caskets are buried in the soil, their memories begin to decompose along with their bodies.

Last week, a student from the University of Nairobi Edward Kubai paid that price. He was not fighting against white domination. The Kapenguria Six already did that over half a decade ago. Truth is, we might no longer be in chains, but that doesn’t mean that we are free. Oppressive taxes still weigh heavily upon our backs, elections are a sham, and police brutality is still and everyday thing. The only difference between a slave in 1920s and a ‘free’ man in 2013 is that the former knew he was in chains.

Edward Kubai was one of the 30,000 UoN students who felt that something was amiss when his college-mate, Erastus Abok, was found dead at Central Police Station. The mystery angered him, but what stirred his rage the more was the explanation from the police that his fallen comrade had committed suicide inside the police cells. It didn’t add up. His friend, Abok, had been locked up for attempting to break into the administration’s office; and to kill himself over an expulsion sounded neurotic. It sounded like a cover up. And so he (together with other UoN students) resorted to a protest- a resort that is guaranteed in the Constitution. That is when police opened hell fire upon them. He died on his way to hospital.

It is a rather strange coincidence that these murderous acts by the police happened on the eve of Mandela’s burial. Flashback slightly over two decades ago, a mob of students rioting for Mandela’s release was shot at by the apartheid regime forces. Well, history repeated itself.

Wheras the Soweto students fought against a government that refused to appreciate the equality of all human races, Edward Kubai took a bullet for the team against a police force that steadfastly rubbishes the sanctity of human life.

“There is only one power that cannot be shot dead by a police bullet, the only power that admin can neither suspend nor expel, it’s the only power that even those dwarfed and money minded SONU leaders can’t sell or exchange for cash. It’s the COMRADES POWER.The only voice that those thick headed policemen can understand. The spirit of our comrades are calling for justice, their blood is crying for justice yet some inhumane, cowards are busy here telling us how we came to college in person and shall leave in person! Bullshit!! “– John Eric

Just like many dissidents of tyranny before him, Edward Kubai’s name may not be echoed upon the annals of history. No monument will be erected in his name, and his burial will not be televised. He will be obliterated from many a memory by the New Year. But I will be damned of his contribution of life towards purchasing neo-colonial freedom in today’s Kenya goes unrecognised in this space.

Rest in Power, comrade Kubai.


About Author


Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.