Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Simon Mwangi Muthiora, 28, got engaged in human rights campaigns and activism from his days in secondary school. This was by chance.
"HUMAN RIGHTS CRUSADER; DIPLOMAT IN THE MAKING" The story of Mwangi S. Muthiora. Founder of Two Hours Before and the Managing Director of Fafdays Foundation.
When i started this blog, i hardly expected it to grow this fast. In under an year, TWO HOURS BEFORE has maintained a very high number of visits and new membership. Our sister facebook group under the same title has also managed an impressive 950 members within a very short time. I thank you all my fans and friends for your support and encouragements. I resume my poetry posts next week with my Valentine Special poem for this valentine season. Below is short commentry followed by extracts from the super brand Parents Magazine that has carried my personnal untold story. Buy your copy and read the whole story. In the meantime, enjoy the extracts.
Several years ago, I helped Lieutenant General (Rtd) Gonzana Bukenya get freedom from the oppressive Ugandan Military that had kidnapped and secretly ferried him out of Kenya. Bukenya, a former Personal Aide to President Museveni had been accused of planning and masterminding an alleged plot to over throw the government together with some other dissidents. Further, he had been accused of collaborating with the Opposition and the infamous Lords Resistance Army of one notorious Joseph Kony. When I met Gonzana Bukenya, he was a man on the run and he was trying to get a Visa to Denmark or the USA where most refugees were seeking asylum.
At the youthful age of 32, Bukenya had managed to climb the Military ladder to the coveted post of a Lieutenant General and a decorated Presidential Aide- normally reserved to high rank military officials and personal confidants to the president. This inspired me and we immediately struck a very strong rapport. After all he represented what I had always dreamt of; success and ambition.
“Ambition can be dangerous at times” that’s what I later learnt as my association with Bukenya had squarely put me on the wanted list of the one feared Museveni. In more than one incident, I practically cheated death as ‘special security agents’ hovered around me and my family………………..read on the extracts below. However, the story has been highly edited and thus some very key incidences have not been captured. I though intend to someday write my Memoirs and share my untold story.
Below are some extracts from my feature story “Human Rights Crusader, Diplomat in the making” appearing on the February issue of the super brand Parents Magazine, published by Stellan Consult Ltd and Distributed/ Circulated by Nation Marketing & Circulation Group
Simon Mwangi Muthiora, 28, got engaged in human rights campaigns and activism from his days in secondary school. This was by chance. A major personal challenge he had could have broken a weaker person, but this young man used his weakness at the time to discover a strength that had been dormant.
“……………….many people blamed me for sticking my neck out too much in Bukenya’s case, but I thought I did the right thing, as I am not one to shy away from challenges. My journey to bravery and human rights started when I joined Kanunga, a provincial high school in Kiambu District in 1997. Despite my excellent performance in the Kenya certificate of primary school (KCPE) exam, I could hardly communicate in English. All the teaching and communication in primary school had been done in my mother tongue and switching to English was extremely challenging.”
“Teachers did not understand how I managed good grades yet could not orally communicate fluently. It bothered me too, especially after being made the schools laughing stock. I was embarrassed and confused, and turned rebellious, seeking solace in the company of ‘bad’ boys, just to avert attention. To get acceptance in the group, I safely stashed away their bhang and other contraband wares in my school box. My uncle was a senior teacher at the school hence my box was bypassed during frequent and impromptu inspections to capture anything illegal that had been sneaked in by students. Thankfully, I never did drugs and my role stayed the same, that of safekeeping. With time…………….”
“………by the time I did my final national examination, i was aware of my potential in articulating important national issues effectively. I started participating in public forums where human rights issues, my favourite subject, were being discussed. Coincidently there was a lot of hype and political realignment in the civil society movement between 2001 and 2002, something that heightened my zeal for human rights discourses.”
“The formation of the Youth Parliament in 2003 was a major blessing in my life. I was confident it would give me a forum to articulate my agenda for the youth. I put an application and successfully went through an interview to become a member of parliament (M.P) for a three year term………………………….”
Buy your copy of the Parents Magazine and read the rest of the story. To contact me kindly refer to my Blog address at: http://www.twohoursbefore.blogspot.com
MWANGI S. MUTHIORA
TWO HOURS BEFORE
P. O. BOX 147-00216
Tel: +254 725 385 654
Facebook: Two Hours Before
Simon Mwangi Muthiora