First they came for Boniface Mwangi



First they came for Boniface Mwangi
And I didn’t speak up,
Because I was an online activist.
I didn’t want to go to jail,
I only cheered him on social media.

Then they came for the reporters and bloggers.
And I didn’t speak up,
Because I wasn’t a reporter,
Why were they digging up scandals
That should have remained buried?

Then they came for the artists and musicians,
And I didn’t speak up,
Because I wasn’t an artist,
They shouldn’t have been making art,
That reflected badly on the government.

Then they came for me,
And by that time there was no one
Left to speak up for me.
I could no longer hide,
Behind my computer screen.


This poem is based on a provocative poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller. It is about closing our eyes and not seeing the bad things happening around us because we think it doesn’t affect us. One day it will be our turn.

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  1. Thought provoking.
    However, the question i would like you to address, is it necessary?
    Is Activism a way of life or another way of making quick money?
    Do we have to be equal in human standards?
    If we played our role from the point of electing leaders would we need to have activism?

    my thoughts!!

    • I think there is a place for activism. I think after Moi retired people relaxed as if all the bad things went away when Moi went away. Many activists of the time got into government and stopped fighting for the rights of the people.

      Despite what people may say, I don’t think Boniface does it for the money. If you know his story and what he saw in the 2007/2008 period you will understand. Seeing violence up close can change a person. Especially when you see that the country that should do something doesn’t and behaves like there was no PEV. Even hearing about it has changed how I view my country and my responsibility to speak for the voiceless.

      I liken Boniface to the prophets in the old testament. They said what needed to be said and even if the Kings and officials didn’t like it, the prophets had a stand.

      Let’s be honest we still elect bad leaders. Why? Because they are from our tribe, or community or relative or at least they give us some money when we need it.

      Truth be told we need more people like Boniface. I am ashamed to say that I fear to be beaten. My ideals are the same as his but I do not want to spend a night in jail. But I do know that one day with the things I write i could end up in jail. I write anyway.

      Sometimes all it takes for evil to flourish is for a good man to do nothing.

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