Creating and fostering a sense of community is one of the best ways to build a grassroots peace movement. Amani Lazima is a monthly event that does just that, bringing people together throughout Nairobi's many slums in an effort to break down tribal barriers and build alliances.
Wapi is a British council platform that deals with poets, fashion design, artists, and dancers among others. Every month Wapi organizes an event termed Amani Lazima, which is courtesy of the Sarakasi trust and the Norwegian Embassy. The event was started last year, and the main purpose of the event is to raise awareness of peace, reconciliation and also anti-violence.
ANITA MBUGUA [Assistant Program Officer, Amani Lazima]
My name is Anita Mbugua. I'm from Sarakasi, I'm the Assistant Program Officer for Amani Lazima. Amani Lazima is a monthly event. We've already done Korogocho, Mathare, Kangemi, and Kibera is the fourth one.
The Amani Lazima movement has been rotating around Nairobi in slums like Mathare, Korogocho, and also Kangemi, contributing to peace and the fight against tribalism issues. This is to create an alliance and sentiments of association amongst the slum youths.
RAHIM OTIENO [Program Officer, Sarakasi Trust]
We are going, with a group of us, to different neighborhoods, stressing the importance of preserving the peace and also giving life skills, giving workshops that impart skills that the community needs.
During this event, young, upcoming artists are given a platform to showcase their various artistic talents. On 26th March, Sarakasi collaborated with the Norwegian Embassy and the US embassy to organize the Amani Lazima event in Kibera Kamukunji ground. This was to mark and appreciate the effort of Kibera youth on the fight against tribalism, drug abuse, violence, and the rest.
The main aim for this event is that we want to promote peace in the country.
SAM OUJA [Kibera Resident]
The purpose of this event means a lot to me, in terms of how I can control myself as a person and also understand what is good and bad.
The majority of people who turned out for this event were women, men, and also the youths who were the main target for this event.
A lot of the reality of life is shown here, and there is also a lot of empowerment going on here.
The turnout was really good; I'm so excited that I can see so many women around, so many men, so many kids, so many old people. I'm really excited; I hope that today we're going to achieve what we came here to do. It's not all about entertainment.
The Rastas from the community were not left behind in this contribution to peace building.
MUTHIGA JOE KAMAU MAU [Reggae Artist]
It is a peace initiative that deals with disarming the youth, giving the youth more vision in life, not only guns and drugs and alcohol. We are just trying to empower the youth. It's not only about being a Rasta; it's about attracting the energies of nature.
BAFU CHAFU [Reggae Artist]
It was very fine, I saw very many people, white mixing with blacks, all tribes aligned, Rastafari, everybody. It was fine; that was the climax. I've been in all ghettoes, but Kibera was fine, calm. It was not the way I thought it would be, all chaos, the way I saw it on TV. So the show was fine, a success.
MUTHIGA JOE KAMAU MAU
I would like to tell the community to let the Rasta man be.
The event will be going on in different slums with the aim of preaching peace. Wilfred Masea, KiberaTV.