Florence Nightingale: Epitome of Social Justice in Action.


Several decades ago, lived a woman who chose to leave a legacy. History is full of her monumental acts that will serve our generation that seem to be infested by social Injustice, and mass violation of human rights.

Florence Nightingale, served wounded soldiers in Crimea during the Civil War between Britain and Russia in 1854. Of importance, is her willingness and compassion for suffering soldiers despite her social standing as a wealth lady from a loyal family .

Given her family background, nobody would have expected nor imagined that she could give herself to the battlefield; especially when cognizant of high probability of physical harm and even death.

Her resolve is mind bogging . Her actions inspiring; her compassion  a virtue. Her life, a symbol of impossible made possible.

Today I write, inspired by her life, mindful of the sacrifice she made. Persuaded that change is possible even though our atmosphere is greatly contaminated by all manner of social Injustice.

Her temerity to stand against the norms of the Victorian ideals can be compared to standing against the powerful political forces that propagate exploitation of the poor . what the chief justice of Kenya Willy Mutunga calls Mafia like Cartels that are  ready  and keen to go any length in save gaurding their source of wealth – corrupt deals.

Florence Nightingale’s resistance to conforming to the Dogmas of the Victorian era is a reason why history embraces her.

Us too,  if we have to be remembered ;we have no option, but staying true to the ideals and values of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu that requires us to stand against social and economic exploitation.

Ubuntu that requires us to use our intelligence and education to propagate right social values not being sycophants of the political class.

Therefore, when we abdicate our responsibility of being the voice of the voiceless, then we become like a salt that has lost its sweetness which, it’s place is to be thrown away to be trampled upon.

It is the reason I think the words of Godwin Siundu, a University of Nairobi lecturer “… so there are no literacy and cultural intellectual in Kenya today who can lead in voicing social protest against state arrogance of tribalism corruption and selfishness…” should sound alarm to those who want to see social change.

Without us taking our responsibility seriously, history will judge us harshly. Sure, If we fall in the pit of whining and complaining while sitting back watching as our Africa sink into the sea of impunity; we would have ourselves to blame. And I guess our conscious will torment us for ever.

Knowing this sad fact, I have refused to take the words of the those who are waiting for their time to eat.

They have told me severally , Social justice is an illusion you create in your mind.

They have constantly reminded me, you are nothing, but just like a man making noise in the wilderness like John the Baptist ; they always  insisted that I am  incapable of bringing any change. 

Their words though painful, have not scared me.

Today, like never before I believe social justice is possible. Yes history has plenty of people who have remained true to their ideals. And it is comforting to know that when their time came to leave the world  they rested in peace for they achieved their purpose in live. Just to mention one such person is Africa icon Nelson Mandela.

Today, like never before; brothers and sisters,  their exist critical opportunities that we will take to show that we can achieve the dream of human dignity and respect for all.

If you doubt this, let me trouble you to the incident of Muslim teacher from Northern parts of Kenya who sustained but later  succumbed to the injuries inflicted on him by the bloodthirsty alshabaab while protecting his fellow Christians from death.

He is a hero; a manifestation of Humanity in all of us.

We only need to invoke our atavistic nature of Ubuntu. We only need to nurture compassion.  We only need to stand for equality.  Yes, we only need to resist the seductive charms from slippery elites who are keen to create hegemony for their culinary interest.

It is possible, many examples from history stretching to several decades reveal that we have the potential of transforming the world. From mother Teresa to Martin Luther King Jr to Wangare Maathai to the recent gallant heroes who met their untimely death I Somalia.
It is possible to cause a social revolution to bring about dignity of African people.

It is possible to realize the dream of  world  free of exploitation of the poor.

And I dare dream of a socially just society even at the backdrop of intensified  chaos, wars, hunger and myriad of challenges in several countries in the world.

It will only take your resolve and mine to realize this dream. Let us not shy away from what is right.  Let us not keep quiet  while we see atrocities meted on the innocent.

Yes, let us raise our voices when the corrupt are keen to squandering our future.  Let us condemn those who are Ill bent to destroying the future of our world.

It is my call to you; that we need to stand in the gap for those who have no voice, and finally let us act in a manner that will invite history to remember us when we are long gone just like Florence Nightingale.



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