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It’s a silent Easter with closed churches

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The streets were deserted. Not a sight of people dressed up, hurrying to church as has been the norm during Easter. The shops were devoid of the “Easter Sale” notices designed to lure custom.  Pascha – the feast to celebrate the resurrection of Christ failed to live up to its name, as there was no public feasting.

The preaching that defines the day was replaced by silence as people remained indoors.On televisions and live streaming on social media platforms, the church services were different.

The African Inland Church in Pipeline, Nairobi, had a jerrycan of water and sanitiser placed among the empty pews, near the Holy Communion table. There was no breaking of bread to signify Christ’s body.

Instead, Rev Abraham Mulwa passed the bread that signifies the body of Christ using metallic tongs. The microphone was covered with a piece of cloth. The choir, scattered on the altar, belted out tunes behind the lone preacher donning a mask.

“The people who cannot join us today, the ones who are watching from home can take communion spiritually,” said Mulwa.On social media, people talked of the irony that this Good Friday presented. At a time when people need hugs, visitation to the sick and to gather and intercede for one another, Covid-19 has stopped everything and changed the meaning of Easter.

READ ALSO:   Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga narrates his 18-day battle with Covid-19

Abandoned

If things had remained the same, people would have travelled to join their kin in celebrating Easter. Orders for food and drinks would have streamed in.

Chicken and goats would have been slaughtered to prepare sumptuous nyama choma.Hotels would have made a kill, and beaches would have been thronged by merrymakers.

Bus companies would have cashed in on people traveling to spend the holiday in the villages. Then Covid-19 came and everything froze.

There is an eerie silence at the pulpits, a reminder that the world is at a standstill. Some hotels have placed padlocks on their gates and the social places have been abandoned as call to stay home and keep social distance dominates conversations online and off the net.

The movement restriction order by President Uhuru Kenyatta to control spread of the virus has separated families that had planned to mark the festive season together.“I had planned to travel home and surprise my parents during Easter after being in USA for five years,” said Judith Bosibori, narrating how she has had to cancel a trip that she started planning last year.Religion is marking unprecedented times.

Never in recent history have Christians remained indoors and not participated in Holy Communion on a day whose existence is pegged on feasting and coming together.

READ ALSO:   Photo of armed KDF soldiers in prayer warms hearts online

“This is a spiritual attack. Church happens when people gather, and there are people who feel that something is amiss if they do not take sacrament. We have to keep safe and stop gathering, but it is difficult,” says ACK Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit, adding that they are now planning their Easter sermons online, through Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter.

“I have asked the bishops to use technology to preach on Good Friday and Easter Sunday,” he adds.

Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria says they will also have live stream services during the Easter season, and they will preach about celebrating family love.

“Easter is a moment of hope and celebration of victory of love over death, and light over darkness. When we have the dark clouds of corona hanging over us, we encourage people to celebrate family love, and offer each other the gift of smiles and service,” says Muheria.His sentiments are shared by Citam Bishop David Oginde who says in these times of uncertainty, people should do some self-reflection and build on having a personal relationship with God.

“People are used to doing group worship without reassessing their personal relationship with God. They depend on group faith. Now they are being tested and they need to find God on a personal level,” says Oginde.

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Even as they cling to technology, Sapit notes that coronavirus has awakened the reality that even science and the economy that has always offered comfort to the masses can crumble.“Countries that have always depended on their science, military and strong economy to keep them together are feeling the crack. Let us use this Easter to go back to God. Easter is a time of salvation. Let us ask God to save us from coronavirus,” says Sapit.

Muheria explains that it is becoming apparent that material wealth cannot insulate humanity; and that people had reached a point where they were mocking God and feeling self-sufficient.For many people, this will be a season of making readjustments, in their budget, how to spend time, and their plans for the future.

Some are cancelling the flights and reservations they had made.Betty Ijanga wrote on social media about the plans she had made with her husband.

They were supposed to go for their wedding anniversary in Malaysia during the Easter holiday, but they have had to cancel.

By Standard


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Lifestyle

Paul Walker’s heartbreaking autopsy and grim details that aroused daughter’s suspicions

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Seven years ago today, Hollywood actor Paul Walker had enjoyed a fun-filled day with friends at a charity fundraiser in Los Angeles. Little did the Fast and Furious star know that when he agreed to take a spin in friend Roger Rodas’ 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, the ride would be his last.

The car ploughed into a concrete lamppost at high speed, tearing the vehicle almost in half and killing both Paul, 40, and Roger in an inferno of mangled wreckage. Helpless witnesses tried to extinguish the molten fireball that enveloped the car, but the flames could not be stopped. Given the horror of the crash, many believed father-of-one Paul must have been killed instantly.

But his autopsy revealed a heartbreaking fact – traces of soot were found in Paul’s windpipe, meaning he’d still been breathing as the fire raged. Furthermore, the report detailed how Paul’s body was so badly burned that he could only be identified by dental records and his charred organs were too damaged for donation. Meanwhile, Roger’s skull was fractured and the top part missing, leaving his brain exposed.

Paul Walker and his daughter Meadow. (Courtesy)

The coroner found no evidence of drink or drug use and recorded a verdict of death by “combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries.” But Paul’s daughter Meadow didn’t agree and filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche, claiming her father initially survived the crash and could have escaped but was trapped by his seatbelt.

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According to the lawsuit, which was obtained by TMZ and vigorously contested by Porsche, Paul was alive for one minute and 20 seconds after impact but couldn’t get out because the seatbelt “snapped Walker’s torso back with thousands of pounds of force, thereby breaking his ribs and pelvis”.!

Lawyers claimed it had taken a whole minute for the fire to break out, giving Paul ample time to make his escape. They also alleged the car lacked sufficient door reinforcements and that manufacturers hadn’t used fuel lines that break free to prevent a fire in a crash.

The lawsuit claimed: “Absent these defects in the Porsche Carrera GT, Paul Walker would be alive today.”

But Porsche defended itself stating Paul was a “knowledgeable and sophisticated user” of the sports car and argued: “The perils, risk, and danger were open and obvious and known to him, and he chose to conduct himself in a manner so as to expose himself to such perils, dangers, and risks, thus assuming all the risks involved in using the vehicle.”

The battle was resolved in 2017 when the wrongful death lawsuit was withdrawn and a settlement reached although the terms have never been disclosed.

By Standard.co.ke


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Lupita, others pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman on what would have been his 44th birthday

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Oscar award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is among celebrities and fans who paid tribute to late actor Chadwick Boseman on his would be 44th birthday.

The Black Panther star was 43 when he lost his four-year battle with colon cancer on August 28, 2020

Boseman was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2016, according to a post on his Twitter account announcing the actor’s death.

Lupita, who played Boseman’s love interest in the “Black Panther”, shared a picture of herself and Boseman with the caption, “Deeply loved, sorely missed. #ChadwickBoseman.”

Disney honoured Boseman with a “Black Panther” themed Marvel Studios logo.

The redesigned logo could be seen by those watching “Black Panther” on Disney’s streaming platform, Disney+.

Marvel Studios further shared a video of the logo on Twitter.

Disney honoured Boseman with a “Black Panther” themed Marvel Studios logo.

The redesigned logo could be seen by those watching “Black Panther” on Disney’s streaming platform, Disney+.

Marvel Studios further shared a video of the logo on Twitter.

Actor and producer Mark Ruffalo shared a behind-the-scenes video of the cast and crew singing happy birthday to Boseman during the filming of a Marvel film. “Happy Birthday”, he captioned the video, “Thinking of your passion, love, and your light today @chadwickboseman Happy Birthday. Wishing we could time travel back to this moment.”

READ ALSO:   Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga narrates his 18-day battle with Covid-19

Rapper and actor Common tweeted “Happy Birthday King. God Bless You. Thank you for using your gift to bring light to this world. RIP.”

Many others also wished the late actor a happy birthday posthumously.


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Shock as more teenagers are caught up in crime

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As Kenyans were waiting for the launch of BBI signatures collection drive, a tragic and bizarre thing happened in Kamuyu location, Machakos County.

A Class Eight pupil at Kaitha Primary School strangled her classmate to death in a suspected love triangle.

The girl who is currently in custody awaiting a mental assessment before being arraigned on Tuesday, allegedly undressed her victim to make it look like a rape after strangling her using a brown rope.

She then tucked the rope in an envelope before hiding it in a bush a few metres away from her parents’ home. The suspected murderer is 14, her victim was 15 and the boy in the middle of the love triangle 14.

“The suspect pointed out the murder weapon, a strong rope, brown in colour, which was about 150 metres away from the crime scene. The rope was hidden under dry thorny bushes after she used it to strangle the deceased,” said a police statement about the murder that has left the residents of Mwala in shock.

Committing crimes

A shocking as it is, what is of concern is not the just fact that a 14-year-old girl killed another because of a boy who was having a relationship with both of them. It is the fact that the incident happened when the whole country is witnessing a surge in incidents of minors committing crimes.

This week alone, police have arrested 105 teenagers while partying, smoking, drinking and engaging in sex orgies.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, records at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) show that 242 youth have been arrested in various towns engaging in such parties. Kisii, Homa Bay, Mararal, Nairobi, Kisumu, Webuye and Nairobi lead the country in having such parties.

READ ALSO:   Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga narrates his 18-day battle with Covid-19

And as if it not bad enough, the parties are taking place when everyone is supposed to be practising social distancing and the sale of alcohol and cigarettes is prohibited to anyone who is under 18.

What is giving law enforcement agencies sleepless nights is that there are adults luring and facilitating the youth to engage in such risky behaviours.

“It is unfortunate that such individuals are doing so not only in contravention of the law, but also ignoring the impact of their actions on the lives of minors,” said DCI George Kinoti.

“Anyone found guilty of an offence of child pornography and upon conviction will be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than six years or to a fine of not less than five hundred thousand shillings or both.”

Trafficking ring

Last weekend, Kenyans were shocked when seven teenage girls who had been reported missing by their parents in Komarock in Nairobi emerged from their hideout only to say they had been bored and sought to have some fun.

As detectives continue to pursue a suspected online trafficking ring dubbed Carty Gang, who they think lured the girls from their homes, the Sunday Nation has been told that the group usually hosts teen parties in Athi River or Obama Estate along Kangundo Road.

Teenagers are usually baited with images of previous parties on the group’s Instagram page, whose content has since been erased. The group, whose owners have not yet been found, has even offered a form of apology, which is the only thing remaining on the page.

READ ALSO:   Photo of armed KDF soldiers in prayer warms hearts online

“We would like to apologise to our fans for the inconveniences from the media,” says the group administrator.

The DCI insists it is only a matter of time before the owners of the group are arrested. The reality is that there are several adults operating alone or in groups facilitating minors to engage in vice. What is not known is how worse the situation can get.

Additionally, if you consider the number of youth who have been arrested since the beginning of the year for engaging in such risky behaviour then the problem shifts from just being a criminal matter to a moral one.

Gengetone genre

While reacting to degenerate behaviour of the youth, Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua blamed the content of today’s Kenyan pop music specifically the new Gengetone genre.

The genre, which emerged from the low-income areas of Nairobi, has in the last year become very popular among the youth with its explicit lyrics that promote promiscuity, partying, use of drugs and alcohol.

“We can’t afford to be neutral on moral issues and bad content. We can only help our youths by telling them the truth. If we fumble or become ambiguous we will confuse them. Deep down their hearts, they know they are doing wrong,” said Dr Mutua on his Twitter account.

“Artistes and the media must understand that they have the power to shape societal norms, values and character. They must behave responsibly and professionally.”

Dr Mutua who has on several occasions found himself on the wrong end for pushing for the pulling down of certain songs that he sees have crossed the red line may be right. Several studies have shown that the more importance youth place on a type of music, the more they pay attention to the lyrics.

READ ALSO:   Nature vs nurture: Where leadership runs in the family

In addition to the effect content aired by the media has on the youth, experts say the behaviour of adults also greatly influences how teenagers figure out what is wrong or right.

“The way we behave as a society plays a big role in moulding the character of children as they grow up. If for example, teenagers find crime or murder as the most prevalent thing around them, they accept it as normal and with time they start indulging in it,” says Dr Philomena Ndambuki of Kenyatta University.

“A person’s brain fully matures when they are 25. Before that what the person consumes from the adults around them will be given out as output,” she says.

The Machakos murder is not an isolated incident, continuing a trend, which peaked between 2018 and 2019 when hardly a month would pass before the country would be shocked with a riveting murder tale involving adults.

Three weeks ago, a 17-year-old boy stabbed a 20-year-old man during a fight over a woman at Ndiru Trading Centre in Rangwe, Homa Bay County, for allegedly sleeping with his wife. The encounter degenerated into a fight.

During the argument, the boy who was armed with a knife overpowered the man stabbing him twice on the back.

He then disappeared into the night and was arrested the next day from his parents’ house. Bunde can count himself lucky to be alive today after getting caught up in a love triangle with the 17-year-old boy with his wife.

by NN


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