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Number of posts : 87
Location : kenya
Registration date : 2007-12-11

PostSubject: WOMAN ATTACKED FOR BEING "LIGHT SKINNED" IN KISUMU   Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:06 pm

Relocation plan to lake side turns tragic for ‘light skinned’ woman

AS the nation anxiously waits for the Annan led mediation team to broker a middle ground between the protagonists of the disputed December 27th elections results and restore peace in the nation, tribal animosity that has left hundreds dead, and several others displaced is taking on a strange twist.

Alice Akoth, a former mitumba seller in Tigoni where she had been a resident for the past 20 years was recently a victim of unwarranted assault in her own home tuft. The widow and mother of three, who had been displaced from her home and was seeking refuge at the Tigoni police station, had agreed to the government repatriation plan to return to her ancestral home after what she describes as an enduring week of chilly nights and empty bellies.

According to Akoth, the decision was made in the best interest of her children’s education despite the fact that she had last visited the area 10 years previously when she buried her husband. Having lived with a majority light skinned people in Tigoni, Akoth’s perception of beauty had steadily altered to mean ‘brown is beauty’, a belief that would later see her bleach her skin.

Yet in contrast, brown which is perceived to be the skin colour of a rival community, is abhorred at the lake side city where Akoth originates from. Last Friday, Akoth who was heavily burdened with luggage and her children, threw caution to the wind and left for home expecting to be picked up from Kisumu by one of her in-laws.

But the arrival of a striking light skinned stranger accompanied by three boys who spoke only sheng’ (corrupted mixture of English and Swahili) would in a matter of minutes be the centre of attraction. It was evident, they perceived her as ‘an enemy.’ Alarmed, she inquired of the bodaboda (bicycle transport) man who also appeared very sceptical as he approached her if the reason behind the tensed atmosphere were any recent skirmishes.

But in what took her by surprise, the man answered she was the problem. And in a split second, a surging mob had pounced upon her, beaten her senseless and robbed her of all her possessions. Not even her pleas in the native dhalou language would deter them. Instead, the rowdy mob argued she had just conveniently learned the language inorder to fool them.. In the ensuing melee, her three helpless sons who could not decipher why their mother was being attacked and unable to contain it, took off to an unknown destination.

The arrival of her in-law was what saved her from the crowd. She was unconscious and was rushed to Russia hospital a few kilometers away. Akoth who is currently undergoing treatment expressed her worry that she was not aware of her children’s whereabouts or if they are alive but had reported the matter to the police. With regret, she wonders why she voted if this was going to be consequences of poll.

At the moment she is unsure of where to begin from as she has not reached her destination and doesn’t know if her late husband’s relatives will accomodate her at the matrimonial home.

Last edited by wceke on Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:07 pm; edited 3 times in total
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