It is said that only a mother knows best the pain of having a child. When the heart of a mother breaks even the sun gets cold. Violent extremism to the government and society is only a menace that threatens life and business as usual but for the mothers who have lost their sons to radicalization and terrorism, the pain and heartache is a reality that they have to live with every single day.
In their narrations, Women from Majengo and Eastleigh tell of how their sons had been lured into Somalia with a promise of a very handsome pay. Most of them are bitter saying that if the government only supported it’s youth and collaborated with them instead of victimizing them then their children would still be here with them. One of the mothers who sought anonymity, told Ghetto radio that the reason her child joined Al shabab was because of the constant harassment from police because of Somali origin. She says her son was very bright and had done very well in school but couldn’t land a job because he didn’t have an ID and yet he had actively been trying to get one with no luck since the government always insisted on vetting him and his kind claiming they were aliens. This treatment she says radicalized his son against the government to a point he desired to blow them up.
This bitterness has also been seen to push these very mothers who seek an outlet for their frustration to sympathies or even join terrorism. Case in point is the recent front by women who attacked a police station at the Coast. It later emerged that the widow of a slain terror suspect was involved in the planning, a clear indication that the anger and heart ache harbored could lead them into a revenge mission.
All is not lost though as now these mothers have in one voice risen to fight this vice. They now demand that the government allow round table discussions with all stakeholders on board so that a speedy and sensible solution is reached. They especially appeal to the government to strengthen amnesty for those reformed youth to allow for their sons who want to come back home but are afraid of the repercussions, to be assured of their safety.
Women are synonymous to change and their willingness to now embrace the fight against Violent Extremism can only be translated as white smoke. There indeed is hope of countering this monster that has reared its head with stinking audacity but only if we unite and speak in one voice. We need our mothers to lay their heads at night and count stars in the skies not days that they haven’t seen the seeds of their wombs.