Annah Emathe had a sentimentally appealing childhood in which she occupied herself by taking care of livestock and playing with her peers. But when rival tribes decided to harness the power of human cruelty, her life took a gloomy trajectory. Driven by a parasitic desire to loot, enemy militia descended upon them and drove away the majority of their livestock. This oppressive looting was accompanied by an abject, vicious and senseless streak of violence.

Annah’s brothers became alienated in their convictions. Some expressed their desire to run away from the war. Others echoed their community’s idea of valor and were adamant on staying behind and fighting to the end. The brothers who chose to run hastened to gather the remnants of their family livestock and guided by precious adrenaline they escaped unnoticed with their sisters. Those who remained perished under the unforgiving machetes of their adversaries.

Annah and her family settled down in Isiolo at a time when famine raged through the entire town. The little livestock they had perished and the dark reality of being redacted from history glared at them.

In order to escape this possibility of extinction, Annah resorted to the primitive instinct of marriage. To her advantage, this decision landed her a responsible husband who genuinely cared for. He worked as a security guard at Shamabani Primary School and although his earnings were scanty, they still managed to co-exist happily.

In 2012, an intertribal war broke out in Isiolo and Annah was about to experience the reach and permanence of what human rage can perpetuate.

Unconscious of the war’s magnitude, her husband took a neutral stance and did not partake in it. On his way from work, he was confronted by a group of rowdy youth who made no allowance for their doubting of his neutrality. They smashed his head with a massive rock that shut his eyes for the final time in this realm. Annah took refuge in a missionary catholic church until the war subsided. Three of her children died. One ended up in life imprisonment and the final one abandoned himself to debauchery living his own life away from her.

With the lamp of old age burning and raving at the twilight of her life, Annah lives relying on aid from her neighbor’s children who take care of her and provide much needed companionship.