See the World Through My Eyes


Why We Will Kill Again


We are living in fear and our lives are under threat. Insecurity has demonstrated that it doesn’t matter where you are but as long as you are within kenya’s boarders you are not safe. I hate to break it to you but we are to blame. We are getting paid for the sins we have committed as a country. We allowed ourselves to be compromised and now we are crying. For a long time I was bitter with the colonialists because I believed they found us living in peace and disrupted our way of life. I have since had a change of mind and I now believe the blame should heaped on us and our founding fathers. I respect the many who fought for our independence and I strongly believe they had the best intentions. However, when we got independence the few [that we call our founding fathers] got into power messed it up for the rest of us.

The colonialists herded  us from our ancestral lands into reserves and grabbed our fertile lands for themselves. But after independence, our founding fathers grabbed and bought the same lands [formerly our ancestral lands] from the colonialists for themselves. They never repatriated the indigenous Kenyan people to their ancestral lands instead they conspired against us. THAT is the first crime they committed against us. Many of our forefathers and their cronies became wealthy by buying off land soaked in blood and the tears of Kenyans. All the while, Kenyans suffered from disease and poverty in the reserves. We lost our dignity and our cultures. We have lived in lands that we didn’t feel comfortable in. We lost our integrity and took up the same traits we saw in our corrupt founding fathers. We got into the cycle of grabbing and stealing because we knew we had no one fight for us. From fighting together against colonial we turned to fighting each other because the resources were not enough. There was not much land to go around. Since our founding fathers knew system they had engineered would eventually turn against them, they made us hate each other. It made more sense for them to uses Kenyans to kill Kenyans to achieve their selfish gains.

Their ploy was a success. We started comparing ourselves to each other and we suddenly realised the Maasai had huge herds of cattle and tracts of land. Knowing that made us feel inferior. It made us uneasy that the Luos were more learned and assertive. We suddenly assumed that the Kikuyu were all thieves because most of their leaders were in power and they had wasted no time in stealing resources from their fellow countrymen. We were taught to be cautious with each other. And like a lover scorned, we let these notions simmer in our hearts because we were afraid of talking to each other. Our forefathers  had managed to deflect our attention from them and they gained whenever we fought. They held on to power and won elections whenever they made us spite each other. They marginalised us and made our ambitions to be based on our ethnicity. They are still winning. The sad truth is, our forefathers had made us think they were tribalist just like us but unreality, they were partners in crime. They were united by wealth and the secrecy that is bred in shared ambition. Their children attended each other’s birthday parties and even shared bank accounts, businesses and property. All the while, the poor Kenyans were busy sowing the seeds of mistrust between their children and the children of other ethnicities. They taught us to step on each other’s heads to climb the various ladders in life. They taught us that the only way our tribes would exist is if all the others ceased to exist. That was the first massacre.

Our current crop of leaders were the first children of our forefathers. They became our leaders because they had the resources needed to ascend to power. They had learned well from their fathers on the secrets of power. They are sworn to each other on secret pacts. They understand what it means to keep the wealth in their families. They know what it means to use us to remain in power. Since this is the lingua franca of politics and power in our country, anyone who comes to power is forced to play by these twisted rules or risk losing their keep. We have become addicted to politics of tribe and not merit and that is why any leader who ignored tribal politics never makes it far. We always blow in the direction our seemingly caring leaders blow us. This is why we will always fight and kill each other.

Lately, there has been a wave of partriotism that seems to be working albeit a slow pace. We have started shunning tribal politics but it is still not enough. There’s much more that remains to be done. However, the ruling elite that runs the country’s affairs behind the curtains is growing uneasy. They know that their institutions of ethnic politics are under threat. This is precisely why they are switching to religion based politics. They know that next to tribe, the other thing that most Kenyans hold dearest to their hearts is faith. This has the potential of turning into our worst nightmares. The big question here for us Kenyans is whether we can see through this ploy.

So what do we do to get ourselves out of this nightmare and bring peace and prosperity to our nation?

To our president Uhuru Kenyatta, you can end this by dealing with the issues that were the genesis of our current woes. First and foremost, find a way of giving back to Kenyans what they lost. I’m talking about land and resources. Let there not be a Kenyan living in misery because of the sins our founding fathers (yours included) committed. Surely we have enough land to settle disgruntled communities and enough to provide food for the hungry masses! Have we ever rewarded those that fought for our independence? You assume that all their children want is money and since they must be many we cannot afford it but I say let’s give them something better than money! Let’s give them scholarships and let’s make health be affordable for them by waiving medical costs for all of the documented freedom fighters. Look around! Even developed countries may have their own problems but  never forget their veterans. As it is, we are an ungrateful nation and that is our undoing.

In regard to the poor who live in slums and survive on crumbs,  it is common knowledge that if the government wanted to pull down all the slums in Kenya and replace them with decent housing and infrastructure it would. Let’s take away the very misery that our politicians use to win elections. Poor people will always lack the power of choice as long as they lack empowerement. Empowered people can never be held ransom because they are a free people. Let’s pay the same people to build their own decent housing and to improve their living conditions. That’s the first job creation exercise that will be much welcome. Decent housing brings equality and suddenly poor Kenyans won’t have to fight over space, water and money.

Of insecurity, let us re-design our approach. Mr. President, at your word, you can disband our security apparatus and replace it with a tailor made outfit because you really don’t have any other option [unfortunately]. What we have now doesn’t work because it is deeply rooted in cultures that were established pre-independence. Our security officers are corrupt to the core and this will forever be a thorn in our side. I say disband all the disciplined forces structures and let’s start on a clean slate. Let’s start with patriotism at the primary school level. We should do away with the scouts movement [that was established by a white supremacist] and replace it with life skills and patriotic school clubs and syllabi. By so doing we will have changed the perception of any young person that joins our disciplined institutions at childhood. At your word, make it the burden of the state to make sure anyone in the disciplined forces will never have to worry about housing, health  and life insurance. A poor, sick and homeless person lacks dignity and loses his power of choice. By providing the above, corruption will wither away and patriotism will be nurtured; the state protects you and you protect the state.

Still on insecurity, let’s find out why our people are turning against their own to carry out acts of terror and crime. Is it a lack of purpose in life? Is someone else taking advantage of a void in society? That is what we need to address. Confronting internal homegrown terrorism with force is a temporary fix and it almost always fails in the end. I say we confront it with a strategy that will give the youth a sense of purpose. It takes longer but the results are long lasting. As long as our young people lack purpose, they will always be internal mercenaries ready to fight for any cause that gives them a sense of belonging. Let’s also investigate why a people displaced in one county get to be resettled in another. To me, that sounds like a cause for conflict. We are all Kenyans but let’s be honest with ourselves, location matters. In the recent Mpeketoni massacre a few things stood out. First the population is largely made up of a community that was resettled on donated land. My big question is, did this resettlement come at the expense of the local indigenous peoples? Did this resettlement have a negative impact on the cultures of the existing peoples? Is there a reason why these formerly displaced people could not be resettled in their original lands or a place close by? I believe that any resettlement should be planned delicately to avoid future conflict. Let’s shoot straight. We know the underlying cause of ethnic violence. It is our leaders. Both the leaders that are the cause and those that take advantage to meet their own ends.

On our invasion of Somalia (yes I said invasion) I say we bring our troops home now. We have seen through experience that this was not our war. We know that there’s a bigger war going on that is based on neo-colonialism. You can imagine what would have happened had we gone into Sudan to ‘liberate’ the Sudanese. In African culture when your neighbour and his wife are fighting, you should know better than to come in-between them. They will eventually make up but they will label you as their enemy. Let’s concentrate our resources in making sure that our people are safe within our borders. I understand why we went into Somalia in the first place but I also understand that by doing so we unconsciously became part of someone else’s bigger plan. Did Somalia need liberation? My answer is no. We didn’t act on a consensus from the Somali people. We also didn’t act on the consensus of the Kenyan people. We live in a country where a few individuals have the script of what’s going on while the majority are meant to just tag along. Therefore I strongly say we committed a mistake in invading another nation. We broke the nature of our relations with other countries. We are supposed to be a neutral state but we gave that up for more suffering. We might have had great successes in bringing down the strongholds on terrorist organisations in the horn of Africa but we have suffered more as a result. We have been attacked within our boarders more times in the last decade that any time before. We live in fear yet we are supposed to be the beacons of hope to people of other nations who flee their countries in fear. It is not too late to change our mind. Let’s just bring our brave soldiers home and put our house in order first.

On corruption, let us agree it is the mother of all our problems. I have a simple suggestion to our leaders. For once, do the right thing. Agree to end corruption. As with most challenges, the devil is in the details. Our justice system has serious flaws. A person who steals a chicken receives a harsher sentence than a person who steals peoples retirement money from a scheme. Bribing with a policeman with kshs. 10,000 will always be a better option than sleeping in a cell, going to court and paying a hefty fine of kshs. 100,000 because of overlapping. You are to blame for creating these ‘revenue streams’ for corrupt poor and homeless policemen. I think this situation just requires common sense so I will not dwell on it; just fix it.

We have become a nation of ranters and experts on everything (I included) but I hope this article will be read by our children if not you. Maybe through them I will change our country. This is my contribution to our freedom. Tell me yours.

Of Power, Light and Kenya

Hey, are you like me? Do you experience a power blackout every once in a while? Do your lights flicker every now and then? I bet you have had a casualty at one time due to these power fluctuations that have become sort of a normal thing these days. I’m taking about electrical appliances.Unfortunately, it’s one of the things we have to live with as a third world country. I hope you don’t expect this problems to end soon, I guess you have an idea of how long a minute it will take. There are so many reasons why this ‘thing’ is here to stay; at least for a generation or two. Some will say it is corruption, others will claim negligence while others just choose to accept that our energy companies are just hopeless. Life has to go on nonetheless.

So today, I was reading the paper as I got my shoes polished when I spotted an ad. Interesting. No. Embarrassing. KPLC have rebranded! How comes no one told me? Well here is my take on what I think of this rebranding. I’m not a public figure but I am confident that my opinions will reach the right ears. I am a shareholder so in reality, I own a piece of this utility. My little share gives me all the rights to comment on how this re-branding will affect my power supply and most important of all, the chances of our people in rural areas ever getting connected to electricity. If you happen to know someone who knows the culprits responsible just pass my love will you?

I am a designer by profession and in my opinion, the re-branding of KPLC is an epic fail. Why? Have you seen the World Food Program logo? Google it. Why the hell does our most significant utility have to ride in an identity that denotes a food relief aid agency? I’m not saying this in bad taste but I think they would have done it better. The logo does not carry any symbolism and worst of all, it DOES NOT communicate. What happened to the days where communication was simple? When did illusionism become part of the corporate communication process? I believe strongly that if your mission is to sell a red dress and make profit, you have no business in  splashing your billboards with images of a different item hoping your customers will ‘get it’. Get me?

I have heard complaints from the people at the bottom of the pyramid. People who have absolutely no knowledge in advertising and corporate communication strategy. They say that the new look is scary.  I agree. I urge KPLC to ran a poll to dispute my claims and shame me publicly if I am wrong. In fact one of my shareholder friends is fearful that the company is being privatized or sold off. I have also learnt sadly that this rebranding is supposed to be in line with vision 2030. To quote KPLC’s press statement:

The Kenya Power & Lighting Company has adopted a new name and unveiled a fresh look in line with its strategic plan and Vision 2030.”

Now Vision 2030 is a very tricky subject. I am starting to think that some of us understood it differently especially KPLC. I expected them to begin by first streamlining their operations. Have the flaws in electricity delivery gone away or at least gone down? I beg to differ. I have even been monitoring my prepaid digital meter and it’s a sad affair. I pay more for electricity than I used to with the old system. I was about to celebrate that by going digital, my electricity  bills would go down and my share price would go up but no! The share remains dangling at plus and minus 3 while the greedy gadget keeps draining my pocket like an ungrateful brat. I don’t mind paying more if it means someone in Turkana will get connected at my expense but to put my money in a bad re-branding? You need to refund me.

Over the next few weeks, the public will struggle to comprehend what KPLC is turning into and this will have an effect on the share price. Seeing that the milk is already spilled, my suggestion is for the company to step up it’s public education on the re-branding; this I will allow my money to do. The success of any company is also determined by public goodwill. In addition, let’s focus on the important things first. I’m talking about, streamlining our communication and public relation. (I have to commend your presence on Twitter by the way. The person behind it should get a raise.) In addition, let’s try figure out a way of making the rural electrification program as affordable as possible if not free because the potential for business in this category is huge. I also pray that like the rest of the world, we will unveil a green energy generating solution that will ensure we achieve vision 2030.  KPLC is a company of the future and we should treat it delicately if we want to achieve the goals of Vision 2030. As for the agency behind the re-branding….HOW COULD YOU??!!!!



I dedicate this week to my brothers and sisters of the great nation of Somalia. I know that one day peace will return and so will the children of this nation to their homeland. The Somali are a resilient people who have a rich heritage and form one of the oldest societies and civilizations in Africa. I especially pray for the thousands of Somali who cross the Gulf of Aden every year in search for a better life. Many end up loosing their lives at sea while the rest trudge on in search for a new beginning. There are no promises. And for those who choose to remain, I salute you. Lastly, for those we have chosen to label as pirates. Let us sit and ask ourselves where it all started. Only then, can we find a solution.

Every year during the first week of  Zul-Hijjah, the eleventh month of the Islamic calendar, a woman in black robes is seen kneeling in prayer on the beach along the ancient harbour of Hobyo in Northern Somalia.  She covers herself fully that only her eyes can be seen. Those who have had the privilege of facing her claim hers are the coldest and darkest eyes they have ever seen. Some say she is an evil Jin. There is an urban legend that she can steal one’s soul if you dare look into her eyes. No one knows where she comes from or where she goes after praying. She has followed this ritual for the past 10 years. A few metres from where she prays, are shrines marked by piles of sandstone…

Her name is Ayaan Haweeyo, a top member of  the National Volunteer Coast Guard of Somalia (NVCG). In the free world, Ayaan and her organization are called ‘pirates’. She comes to remember, pray , meditate and renew a promise.  A promise that she will not rest until she takes back what once belonged to her land. The shrines represent her family whom she lost when she was 10. She has been fighting since then. Her heart is cold and conscience is a state that she can hardly recall. Only death can free her from the tempest that churns her lifeless heart. Concealed in her robes is her rifle. She is a warrior. She is known as ‘The Judge’. She dispenses justice in the high seas on behalf of the Somali people and her family. A justice she believes, is long overdue.

In 1991, after the defeat of Siad Barre by Farrah Aidid during the Somali revolution, Ayaan’s family moved further north to Hobyo from Benadir to escape the ensuing unrest. Her father was a fisherman while her mother stayed home and took care of them. In the years that followed, the increase in civil unrest made it hard for local fishermen as the open waters grew unsafe for fishing. Life was hard and in the famine that followed, Ayaan’s father and other local fishermen had to sneak out to sea every night in order to provide food for their families.

One morning in 1994 during the second month of Safar, Ayaan’s younger brother woke up with a high fever. In the days that followed, the young child started bleeding from the mouth and became bedridden. Ayaan’s parents took him to a nearby clinic for treatment unfortunately, the local UN doctors could not save the young child’s life. Eventually,young Mohamed died at the age of five. No cause. No explanation.

A few months later, her second youngest sister Hawa developed a strange skin disease that discolored her skin and caused painful boils. The young child was in so much pain that even covering her in the lightest sheets made her scream as her skin had become overly sensitive.  They tried taking her to every doctor they could find but to no avail. She eventually went into shock and died on the first day of fasting in the month of Ramadhan at only seven years of age.

The remaining family was devastated. As they tried to piece up what had happened, Ayaan’s father decided that they would move south to Kismayo to ward off the ‘bad luck’. On the eve of the day that they were supposed to relocate, Ayaan’s father did not return home from fishing. Early the next day, Ayaan and her mother were visited by a relative who broke the news that her father had been killed by an American patrol boat in the high seas, suspected of being a pirate. It was too much too bear. The young Ayaan and her mother mourned bitterly in the days that followed not knowing what to do or where to go. As if the suffering was not enough, death came knocking yet another time and Ayaan’s mother died of a mixture of abdominal haemorage and heartbreak in the month that followed. Ayaan was alone. She had nowhere to go and no one to turn to. She decided to join the rebels as a soldier against the the american led Unified Task Force. By this time, it was widely believed that the Americans were using peace keeping as a way of controlling Somalia’s vast portions of unexplored oil fields.

As the war in the rest of the country raged on, reports started flowing in of strange diseases similar to the ones which had taken their two children.  There were rumors that they had been caused by the toxic waste dumped of the Somali coast by european ships. Months before, some humanitarian aid workers had warned people of eating fish from the Indian ocean citing that it contained high levels of radiation. The main cause of the strange diseases. People were dying everywhere and fishermen were disappearing at sea.

At some point such health cases became so common that the Somali population along the coast started believing that the rumors were true. In addition, the fishing waters that rightfully belonged to the Somali were taken over by western and asian trawlers who had taken advantage of Somalia’s unrest to fish illegally.

Ayaan’s  story is shared by thousands of Somalis around the world. Some of whom are members of various armed outfits that patrol the waters off the Somali coast and as far as Yemen. As the sun sets on the Somali waters, about a thousand Somalis in deferent gangs patrol the waters of the Indian ocean fearlessly to attack and take hostage ships passing through these parts of the ocean. They later demand for ransom often running into millions of dollars for the release of the ships and their crew.  For some of these militia, it is for the love of their country. Others are motivated by the huge sums of money  that come in ransom. For others like Ayaan, it is the pain of unnecessary loss that drives them. All in all, we bundle all of these groups up and call them Pirate. My Somali brothers pronounce the same same word differently. It sounds something like “Ba-i-rate”.  Bairate

Here are some of my Research Notes and some of their sources

• Following the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, there have emerged allegations that after the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in late 1991, Somalia’s long, remote shoreline was used as a dump site for the disposal of toxic waste. The huge waves which battered northern Somalia after the tsunami are believed to have stirred up tonnes of nuclear and toxic waste that was illegally dumped in Somali waters by several European firms. The European Green Party followed up these revelations by presenting before the press and the European Parliament in Strasbourg copies of contracts signed by two European companies—the Italian Swiss firm, Achair Partners, and an Italian waste broker, Progresso—and representatives of the warlords then in power, to accept 10 million tonnes of toxic waste in exchange for $80 million (then about £60 million). According to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) assessment mission, there are far higher than normal cases of respiratory infections, mouth ulcers and bleeding, abdominal haemorrhages and unusual skin infections among many inhabitants of the areas around the northeastern towns of Hobbio and Benadir on the Indian Ocean coast—diseases consistent with radiation sickness. UNEP continues that the current situation along the Somali coastline poses a very serious environmental hazard not only in Somalia but also in the eastern Africa sub-region. – Wikipedia (Piracy in Somalia)

• “It is a response to greedy Western nations, who invade and exploit Somalia’s water resources illegally. It is not a piracy, it is self defence.” – Muammar Al-Gaddaffi

• “Somalia has been used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste starting in the early 1990s, and continuing through the civil war there”, and “European companies found it to be very cheap to get rid of the waste, costing as little as $2.50 a tonne, where waste disposal costs in Europe are something like $1000 a tonne.” -Nick Nuttall, United Nations Environmental Programme,



By Michael Ngigi

Today is January 8, the year 2031. It has been two decades since the great war started. Twenty million people have died and the last of the world’s three governments are on the brink of collapse. Anarchy is the new world order. We read about this day in our holy books when we were young. We were told that smoke and artillery would block out the face of the sun and that every man would turn against his brother for food. It has all come true. One thing is clear though, this is just the beginning. The end is not yet near. In this day, we fear not the threat of disease or natural calamity. We fear war. The war that has caused fathers to rise against their own flesh; blood against blood. In this day, happy are those who die  by suicide. Death is indeed a rare commodity. Surely John had seen this day when he wrote “In those days people will seek death but will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them!”

It is winter and the temperatures average at 7 degrees in central Tunisia during this period of the year. An old man in shabby clothing makes his way through Boulevard Mohammed Bouazizi, in the  capital of Sidi Bouzid. He keeps to the shadows as he is trying his best to conceal his identity. The last thing he wants is someone to know who he is. A wanted man. It’s been two decades since he was last seen here but people never forget. His name is Habib Ali, an ex-municipal officer with the former Tunisian regime that was ousted twenty years ago, in the revolution of January 14, 2011. He crosses the street and breaks in to a slight run. He is old and his feeble feet can hardly hold pace. After ten minutes, he arrives at the Garaat Bennour cemetery and heads straight to a grave in the far end. Tears begin to well up in his eyes as he kneels beside the tombstone.  He is heartbroken and knows heaven will never forgive him for what he did. The grave belongs to Tarek el-Tayyib Mohamed Ben Bouazizi the young street vendor who started the revolution.

These are the events that took place on December 17th of 2010.

Habib reported to work early and as usual, he found his boss waiting for him obviously to brief him of the duties of the day. She was upset. He knew why. He had not completed his tasks for the previous day. It was unusual for Habib not to carry out his duties well and so Fedya (his boss) wanted an explanation. You see, Habib had been ordered to arrest and confiscate the wares of illegitimate vendors along the streets in the municipal. Since he had once been a vendor himself, he understood the plight of these vendors so he ignored the directive and hoped Fedya would forget the issue. Habib also felt bad that he knew how such operations ended. Usually after being arrested, a vendor usually had to bribe the municipal officials to be released. Habib didn’t want to be the one to oppress the poor. After all, these were  young people who had been forced to their situation by the system. But he couldn’t explain his dilemma to Fedya. He had four children and desperately needed this job to take care of his family.

After enduring a twenty minute verbal hurricane, Habib went out to meet his juniors who were waiting outside in the municipal van. He knew he didn’t have any option but to reel the vendors in. The raid lasted for a long half hour and in the end they had arrested fifteen illegal vendors. They collected bribes from  all vendors except one who claimed he couldn’t raise the 400 Dinars demanded for release. The junior officers took this as an act of defiance and immediately set on the vendor with kicks and blows. This escalated when the vendor obviously enraged by now demanded to see the governor and report the matter. Habib ordered his juniors to stand down but it was too late, Fedya was already on the scene.

She had come to complete the work he couldn’t finish. She ordered the juniors to hold up the vendor so she could teach him a lesson. She slapped him hard across the face and spat on him for what seemed like an eternity. She then went on to throw his electronic scales and vegetables on the street as her juniors toppled his cart over. They left him bleeding and whimpering on the street. Habib stood there in disbelief as the crowd also went silent obviously shocked at what had happened. It was later to be stated by a senior official in the municipality that one did not need any permit to sell wares from a cart on the street.

In the afternoon when Habib was back at the office, he got a phonecall from a man claiming the vendor whos name was Mohamed Bouazizi was camping outside the governer’s office in protest. The man also added the Bouazizi was threatening to set himself on fire if  the governor did not show up. Habib immediately sensed trouble and called his boss Fedya to brief her. In response Fedya accused him of siding with ‘scum’ and cautioned him against correcting her in future. As Habib put down the phone, he knew deep down that there was nothing more he could do. He had a bad feeling about the whole case.

Bouazizi immolated himself in protest that afternoon while the citizens of Tunisia and the whole world watched. It was the kind of protest that comes after many years of torment and oppression. He had passed his message loud and  very clear. He was rushed to the Burn and Trauma Centre in the town of Ben Arous where he died eighteen days later on the 4th of January 2011. In the days that followed, citizens took to the street in protest and on the 14th of January they ousted President Ben Ali who they claimed had led their country to ruins. In a matter of days, the Arab world was rocked by similar protests and immolations. One after the other, the tyrants fell like dominoes. Oil prices shot up and the third great war began. It is funny how money and religion always find their way back into the same bed.

Fedya was captured by the citizens and reportedly executed in an undisclosed location in the outskirts of the capital city. Her family is still looking for her twenty years on. They believe there is a chance she could be alive. As for Habib, he fled to Algeria and started a new family there. He never contacted his first family again for fear he would put them in danger. He still feels he was responsible for the war. He believes that he could have handled it differently and snuffed out the spark that started the fire. At the same time he holds in deep respect, the man Tarek el-Tayyib Mohamed Ben Bouazizi. The vegetable vendor who delivered the world from the worst of its tyrants.

It is dark and the sound of gunfire and wailing can be heard in Tunisia. Habib kneels and bows down to pray. He knows he might die tomorrow because he is planning to give himself up to the people he oppressed twenty years earlier. He believes he will find redemption for the things he did in the hope that through his story, the domino effect will stop.

“Inshallah. Thy will be done” he mutters as he stands to leave the grave side.

I hope our governments will learn from the revolution in Tunisia. I dedicate this post to the leader of  arguably the biggest revolution in the world, Mohamed Bouazizi (March 29, 1984 – January 4, 2011; Arabic: محمد البوعزيزي‎)

The government drove him to do what he did; they never gave him a chance. We are poor and they thought we had no power. My son is lost, but look what is happening, how many people are now getting involved.’ Menobia Bouazizi, mother to Mohamed Bouazizi