“Then I remembered, the terrible truth, about the truth, if you stand for the truth you will always stand alone.” – Lucky Dube
No one knows this quote best that Daniel Wekesa Nalyanya.
On February 11, he was seen on TV receiving a not-so-gentle treatment from the presidential bodyguard at the Nyayo, Nairobi, National Stadium during the memorial service of the former Head of State Daniel Arap Moi.
His sin? Shouting out a job request to the President when everyone was quiet as Baringo Senator Gideon Moi eulogised his father.
Police called that disturbing public order.
But to Nalanya, it was a prayer for a job.
As thousands of mourners gathered in the stadium to mourn Moi, Nalyanya was there to talk to President Uhuru Kenyatta trusting that his life would change after a word with the big man.
Nalyanya camped at the stadium for the whole night as he awaited for his big day.
In an exclusive interview with The Standard, The 30-year-old said he did not talk to anyone about his move but walked all the way to the stadium, eagerly waiting for the opportunity to catch the make-or-break presidential attention.
All this in hope of providing for his family.
“I have been looking for employment opportunities for nine years but my efforts have borne no fruits,” says Nalyanya
After the gates were swung open and the requiem begun, he ran out of patience and began heckling attracting not only the attention of the public but also the mourners.
“My heart was beating. I really wanted to meet the president and I was prepared for it. With me I had a copy of my updated CV and my national identity card. Before standing up I told myself if that was the way my life could come to an end, then let it be,” he said.
The 30-year-old stood to address the president on his grievances, but things went awry.
His dreams of addressing the president were short-lived as he was immediately grabbed by hawk-eyed bodyguards.
It then became a struggle. From the video that made rounds on social media, one could see the struggle between him and four presidential security officers.
He was immediately bundled out of the stadium, but not without a beating.
“I was carried away by four officers. They really beat me. A few blows on the face, slapped me, it was bad,” he said
But his frustrations did not end there.
“That is not how you address the President. Come we show you how you can address him,” he quoted one of the officers.
Nalyanya was then taken to the Nyayo Stadium police station and questioned for four hours by the Director of Criminal Investigations, before he was released on grounds that he was not a security threat.
Although still unemployed and in spite of the beating, he is still hopeful of one day meeting the president and getting employment to help him sustain his family.
“I know the president has heard about me and probably saw me on TV, I believe that I will soon meet him in Statehouse,” he waxes hopeful.
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