Some years back, a dog foraging for food at the outskirts of Ngong forest came across an abandoned child in the thickets. It picked the two-day-old girl, crossed the busy Ngong road and took it home. The savior to the baby christened “Angel” got a lifeline from there on. She was named Mkombozi and transferred to Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animal (KSPCA) in Karen which became her new home. Mkombozi the former stray dog was henceforth to be treated like a queen for all her days.
A similar incident occurred this week when a driver and conductor got under the necessity to assist one passenger who went into labour pains inside their bus. With no help in sight and several women approached to help their fellow woman to deliver declining to help, the driver swung into action and helped the woman to deliver a bouncing baby boy before rushing the mother and the baby to the hospital.
However, save for the media that has thrown the matatu crew to the limelight and the Kenyans who have been offering to better the lives of the crew for their heroic act, no government organ has acknowledged the act. Not even a single politician has come out to commend the duo for the act which saved two lives and re-emphasized the value of humanity against adversity.
Kenyan Government seems to only notice and reward popularity and mediocrity over brains and valor. It has happened that Githeri man got a state commendation for standing on a queue to vote with a bag of githeri while Kenyatta Hospital doctors worked for over 20 hours to separate Siamese twins and got no mention. This raises serious questions on the basis of state commendations and qualifications for one to get it. Is it all political?
If nothing changes, the matatu crew will be forgotten once the news in the media become stale. This should not be the case.The government should come up with a department in one of the ministries to be noting and appreciating individuals who perform extraordinary acts and heroic titles be assigned to them. There should also be a benevolent fund for recognition of heroism.
Rather than wait for individuals to reward and recognize the matatu crew, the government should be at the forefront to entrench such values. Just like Mkombozi, the heroic matatu crew should also be treated well for the rest of their lives to act as an embodiment of the saying that the good you do comes back to you.