The post below is taken from an excerpt written by Maryanne Njeri, one of our international correspondents currently based in Kenya, after the murder of her brother Mark on October 10th in Nairobi.
What do you use social media for?
Many users of social media say it is a powerful tool of communication but not many can attest to how it has changed their lives. I can. On Monday, 10th October after 5pm, I sent @MediaMK a tweet asking him what kind of blog he wanted from me to write for his site. At the moment, life was good; I was happy. At 6pm, I get a call from my family friend that my brother Mark was missing; the call was calm and not worried. At 7pm, the call came again, in panic. Mark couldn’t be found, he didn’t go to work, and his phones were off. I broke down, worried about my last born brother, our 3rd born. I love him so much and would not imagine him harmed.
The searches soon started, from hospitals to the police station to his house. My parents, our friends and relatives, and I all aged from the stress and crying since we could not find him. Finally we slept. My sleep ended three hours later, at 4am, I was convinced there was somewhere else to search. 6am I sent a tweet to @MediaMK asking him to tweet about my search for Mark. My soul was paining. I felt like someone stepped on it. The tweets started with various trends such as #FindMarkMuturi. The Facebook was also our searching tool for Mark.
Back to the police station and other places as my family, friends and I, hoped he had been arrested. Our souls hurt. Lucky for me, Research in Motion (RIM) was having technical problems in various continents, so I could not be able to access my internet to find out if anyone had found him. I say lucky for me because as the day went on, the search trend changed from #FindMarkMuturi to #RIPMarkMuturi and I had no clue. We were still searching for him, hoping maybe a kidnapper would call us and ask for ransom, then release him. At that moment, you are desperate for any sign of him, alive. But later, the truth found us and broke us. He had been murdered. He will never call me again, tweet me back as I tweet a hip-hop rhyme, playfully bully me…nothing. He is gone. Taken away from us in a cruel manner.