The picture that took Kenyan social media by storm — and the country by extension — was that of a woman and her two lovely boys.
The adorable little boys donned bright red ‘Team Kenya’ jerseys. The public quickly judge the jerseys were meant for our athletes. The woman in the picture is a daughter-in-law of Kipchoge Keino and Kenyans deduced that the sports attire worn by the woman and her adorable children must have been from the stash of Nike sports kits that the Nock officials were accused of stealing.
The Keino family has never and will most likely never comment on the source of those Team Kenya kits. We will never know for sure if those were truly the Nike kits meant for our athletes. I know for a fact that such kits are not difficult to find in the sports shops around town.
We may also never know what happened to the Nike kits meant for our athletes and I bet you that we will have forgotten about the woman and her two boys by Monday.
But what we don’t realise is the irreparable psychological damage inflicted on those boys and the scars they will harbour for years to come.
Why do people feel the need to expose their children on social media?
Women, in particular, have the dubious distinction of putting everything regarding their children and their families out there for all to see.
Women whose minds I am convinced are plain, tabula rasa, with nothing but expensive weaves between their ears are oblivious to the dangers they expose their children to. Any stalker on Facebook knows what school and class your children attend. We know your children by name, age and face. We know where you live, where they go swimming and for ballet classes.
We know your schedule because you are a perennial “check-inner”. We know you go for ice cream on Sunday afternoons because #FamilyTimes. We know where you holiday and which days you were away. You, modern Facebook and Instagram moms, are a child kidnapper’s dream come true and you are a scandal waiting to happen.
Just like that Keino woman, who I would assume meant well to post pictures of her lovely boys on social media for all the likes, aaaws and ooohs from her network of fake Facebook friends. Until scandal broke loose and now those children have become the face of the rot in the Kenya, none of it of their own doing.
Those boys have become the poster children for the Rio scandal and they shall be known as beneficiaries of stolen goods — whether or not they were wearing stolen kits.
In the court of public opinion, those children are guilty by association and they are paying for the sins of the faceless fat cats that are Nock officials.
Their mom, in a single swipe, thrust them into national limelight and they will carry the Rio scandal around their necks like an albatross for the rest of their childhoods. Their crime? Posing for pictures with mummy, in kits that mummy told them to wear (one of it at least three sizes bigger).
BULLYING AND HARASSMENT
I pity those children because I know for sure that they have had a very rough first week of school and an equally excruciating third term awaits them.
Poor children. You see, children can be cruel. Their classmates obviously saw the picture. Every break time and lunch break will be a nightmare for those two adorable little boys. Imagine the hell those children will go through at school; the teasing and the merciless bullying, the harassment and blatant victimisation those boys will endure all because their mother posted their pictures on her Facebook wall for the sake of “likes” and “comments”.
Imagine a scenario where that little boy, whom I am guessing is still in lower primary, will be teased by his friends and classmates, taunted and asked if that lunchbox and that bag is also stolen goods. Picture a situation where at break time, that precious little boy will be asked, “Did your grandpa steal that sausage in your lunchbox too?”
Without a doubt, your children are cute and adorable. Yes, they are brilliant like their dads and pretty like their moms and we respect you for taking them to expensive “group of schools”.
However, Instagram mothers need to respect the privacy of their children, because if you ask me, what that Keino woman did is blatant child abuse.