Is society turning a blind eye?

The writer, Cynthia Dzilla. Photo/ Courtesy

Many a times, we have heard cases of suicide, murder, rape and domestic violence among others in the country. But recently, the mysterious deaths of Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru and former TV reporter Wambui Kabiru have raised questions on whether society is turning a blind eye to what could be a social disaster in waiting.

Most of these cases involve young Kenyans who have either lost direction, overwhelmed by their fortune or simply disillusioned by a society that has become so costly to live in.

Nelly Njoroge a psychologist at Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) says that these cases were there before only that the recent ones have happened at a close interval. She explains that poor upbringing of children is one of the root causes of all these happenings in society.

“In all these cases, when you look at the family setup of all these victims or persons involved in these cases, you will find that they were raised up by a single parent or the usual values, limits and principles were not well instilled when they were growing up,” says Njoroge.

She holds that the reason there is little mentorship in the upbringing of children in this day and age is because parents are busy looking for money to support their family and the children are left at the mercy of teachers and house helps.

“Some parents are absent not because of work but they are not able to instill any values on their children because none was instilled in them.”

According to the psychologist, parents at some point are not keen on their duty of mentoring their children as it is expected and due to that majority of Kenyans in this generation lack principles and limits. She however blamed the cost of living for contributing to the rise of these atrocities in our society.

“Years back in the family setup, people used to visit each other and keep that closeness but since the rise of the cost of living, few people can afford to entertain family gatherings or visits,” she explains.

She elaborates that it has reached a point where entertaining and interacting with neighbours has become costly. “Time is limited and people want to sort out their issues and when they have time they utilize it to rest and due to that, relationships between neighbours are scarce. People are becoming more and more isolated as a survival mechanism.”

The Government, she holds, should also be held responsible for these crimes. “If they had provisions to cushion the common mwananchi from the high cost of living, these cases could be fewer.”

“When poor people cannot stretch their budget to accommodate the high cost of living, they get frustrated and that is when problems start to rise in families and from there you hear a person has committed suicide and has killed his entire family,” says Njoroge.
She adds that the Government should put aside money for the poorest people to support them with just buying food for their families at least to cushion them from the rising cost of living.
The psychologist further urged religious leaders to be keen on what is happening to their members and counsel them on how to handle situations as they arise in their families and also offer support to the poor.

Ms Dzilla is a journalist.


About meshakenya

Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture in Kenya (MESHA) is an association of communicators who are specialized in science, environment, agriculture, health, technology and development reporting.
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3 Responses to Is society turning a blind eye?

  1. Linda Keya says:

    Dzilla, your write-up is so timely and i tend to agree with a bit of what the psychologist you interviewed says. One thing thats for sure is that the more this cases keep coming up, the more the views and analysis we get from society of what the issues may be. Maybe Cosmas could help by posting a link that was in todays nation on – what ails Kenya’s young marriages. The counseling psychologists there have also elaborated on where the problem may have started from which in a way make a lot of sense. That said, we need to appreciate the fact that with changing times, most things, and by things i also mean relationships, get kind of hard to sustain. Society is caught up with the fast life that it forgets to check on whats happening to the person behind it. With this in mind, its solely up to two people to agree and commit to certain values that they need to work around just to ensure they sustain a relationship/marriage. Personally i think that is where pre-marital counseling comes in. This way, a couple could have a rough idea from a third party of what to expect in the union and device there own ways of going round any issues. i also think that someone – the church, counselors – need to come up with post – marital counseling to just be a kind of follow up for a couple.

  2. John Riaga says:

    Thanks Dzilla for this article. I agree with my friend and colleague Linda that it is timely. Soon after the deaths of Wanjiru and Wambui Kabiru, I remember Hon. Millie Odhiambo raised a question in parliament. It was directed at Assistant Minister for Internal Security Orwa Ojode. Millie tried to put the government to task to state what measures are put in place to ensure that such incidents, some which border on crimes, are contained. The good Minister said it was the duty of one Esther Murugi, the Minister for Gender to ensure that families are protected. The entire debate got me thinking and indeed worried that our Society is not bothered about family values.

  3. Dzilla says:

    Thank you so much John and Linda for your comments and i agree with both of you that this govt is not bothered with family unit what happens in ones house is meant to stay in closed doors. Its time we put this govt into accountability and family is one thing they should look into. For more of my stories kindly log on to that is Safari Africa Radio.
    Thank you

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