I rarely take note of what our Kenyan celebrities do, especially on matters charity, given most of them do it for the cameras, approval and praise. However, one woman – in the large Kenya’s entertainment scene – has stood up to be counted — Esther Akoth, popularly known as Akothee.
The “Give It To Me” star has shown Kenyans that beside giving them popular hit songs and loads of body flesh to see, she can also give food to the hungry.
Pictures of the musician moving up and down with Turkana residents; trying to feed a baby here and pass on goro goros of maize to a woman there are simply priceless.
Akothee has managed to do what would bring nonpareil shame to the crop of Kenyan politicians, whose renowned slogan is tuahidi na tusitende.
Hunger is ravaging Turkana and Baringo counties at a worse rate than the other 11 listed as worst-hit regions. Unconfirmed statistics show at least 21 people have succumbed to hunger-related complications thus far. Twenty One is not just a number.
As our politicians move around TV and radio stations to say: “No Kenyan has died from hunger”, this mother-of-five – Akothee – decided to travel from her comfort in Mombasa, Rongo or Nairobi to Turkana and see the situation for herself, and even offer a helping hand. Kudos, Madam Boss!
Some would say: “She has chosen the most strategic time to portray herself as caring and concerned”. It could be true, but does it matter, anyway? The reality is she, in partnership with Silverstone, set aside Ksh3 million to help Kenyans dying from hunger in Turkana and Baringo counties.
The musician, I understand, does not owe her fellow compatriots a duty of care to that magnitude – she is not an elected leader, but she used her position to save a life somewhere. That is what I would like our Kenyan entertainers to embrace.
“Play Kenyan music” was a good campaign, but it only benefited the musicians. After they screamed out loud and burned their lungs in the process, no one has heard from them again, maybe, saying: “Feed our Kenyan fans”. Shame on you Mr and Ms Artiste; don’t come back to us and ask us to pay attention to your selfish utopian needs, yet only one of you is evidently seen to be making a difference.
“We cannot ignore the fact that we always have needy families around us – the elderly, women and children. We, therefore, cannot pass them [just] like that. Our food [to Lodwar residents] arrived this morning. I will [also] flag off two Lorries filled with foodstuff this afternoon to the interior parts of Turkana [so as to feed the hungry in those places],” Akothee said on her Facebook update Saturday.
Her contribution, maybe, looks small – to some –, but it matters. It, maybe, saved a Turkana life somewhere. Now, that is using one’s power to uplift the people around.
I, personally, wrote a story to criticise Akothee for her on-stage stunts and “inappropriate” dressing, but I realised her actions didn’t lead to the death of someone somewhere. A politician’s omission, commission, selfishness and negligence is costing us many lives due to the now – arguably – “man-made” famine.
Akothee wear any cloth you so please to the stage, I won’t be offended as long as you keep on engaging in the good deeds that you have shown you can champion.