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Officer melts hearts with nostalgic farewell letter to the people of Kibish

In Kenya, in most instances, the relationship between citizens and uniformed officers has been hostile.

But one officer has left many Kenyans with a change of heart towards uniformed officers.

Officer Sammy Ondimu Ngare on Sunday took to Facebook and penned an emotional message to the people of Kibish in Turkana county who have been a second family to him.

Ngare narrates how he was warned by friends and family about the unfriendly people and insecurity in the county that borders Ethiopia.

“My friends told me that the place was a dreaded far-flung remote area at the apex of our boundary with Ethiopia. A place is known for extreme insecurity, bandit attacks, and gun-wielding cattle rustlers. They also told me that Kibish people were unfriendly, uncooperative and conservatives. My wife and kids received the news of my transfer with a rollercoaster of emotions. After my wife had prayed for me, with a very heavy heart, I began my journey to this place, that I knew nothing about it,” Ngare started.

Because of his work, he took the bold step and moved to the unknown, leaving behind his wife and children.

Since he was posted in the area in 2017, Ngare took the opportunity and created great memories with the villagers, both old and young, and noted that they were the complete opposite of the picture painted by his friends.

“You have helped me reach out and rescued other little girls who had been married. Your girls couldn’t hide their joy when they stepped into classrooms for their first time, wearing new school uniforms, school bags wedged against their backs, and radiant smiles written all over their faces. I cried when I saw girls suffering from exclusion every time they were on their menstrual periods. They felt bad about themselves, their self-esteem suffered big time and felt worthless,” Ngare wrote.

Apart from learning the local dialect, the elders also gave him lessons about their traditions.

“Fathers and elders would sneak into our camp not only to spent with me but to also teach me on the good and wealthy histories of Kibish and also grim histories of this district bordering Ethiopia – how Ekiru was killed by Toposa bandits, how lethal Kibish young men neutralized and pushed back the stubborn cattle rustlers from Ethiopia,” he writes.

Ngare also highlighted the plight of Mama Asinyen (now deceased) who she helped build a decent house following the help from his friends on Facebook. According to the officer that was his greatest achievement.

“Oh man, I remember that morning when I was riding on a motorbike towards Kaikor town and saw an old lady crawling from her house looking emaciated and malnourished. I stopped to check on her and shared her story. In no time, my online family in their numbers took upon themselves and sacrificed their resources towards building Mama Asinyen a decent house. Within 24hrs, Mama Asinyen had relocated to her place and into a new house. Even though Mama Asinyen didn’t live long in the house, she died a happy woman,” he added.

He also shared an incident that almost ruined his relationship with the locals.

“Oh my. I remember that day when I told you about my desire to see all your girls get equal treatment as boys. That conversation almost ripped our ties apart, but after severally convincing you on why a girl child needs education, you somehow nodded affirmatively. As young as I was, you understood me, not as a person who had come to water down your traditions but as a person who had come to offer constructive advice. You saw sense in my message and finally said enough of forced and underage marriages. You allowed me to take your girls to school,” Ngare said.

He now looks forward to the next part of his assignment as he prepares to serve more Kenyans
“Well, after spending two years with you, duty calls that I have to pack my modest luggage and go elsewhere to serve other humans,” he ended.