Louis Otieno, in his hey days, was one of Kenya’s finest TV personalities. And that was a valuable time to watch TV. Louis Otieno, Beatrice Marshall, Christine Nguku, Nyatichi Nyasani, Sophie Ikenye, Tom Mboya, Njoroge Mwaura, Catherine Kasavuli, Fayyaz Qureishi. Wa wa wa. The list is not very long.
These TV presenters did their job with honor, respect, and dignity. And because of that, the rest of society idolized them. At the same time, we saw these men and women we idolized as being perfect. Oh how we forgot that even such great men and women are human enough to make mistakes! And that is Louis Otieno for you.
It is a common knowledge that life is inextricably interwoven with scars and bruises and wounds and hurts and heartache and sorrow. Louis Otieno made bad choices. He betrayed people who loved him. Because of the choices he made, some driven by his king-like status in media, some families were broken. It was one mistake after another.
There were/are people hurting because of Louis Otieno. I can imagine these people going down on their knees and praying to the God of Kirinyaga to “deal with the enemy,” and the enemy in this case being Louis Otieno. God perhaps is dealing with Louis Otieno. I do not know. But that is the work of the Master. And He is very good at it! At the same time, God calls on us to love everybody (in Matthew, the word is “enemy”). He does not say “love only those whose mistakes and follies are not in the public limelight.” He does not say “Love only those who are righteous.” In the Letter to the Romans, Paul reminds us that “No one is righteous, no, not one.”
Is it possible to love Louis Otieno after all? To some, it’s difficult. To others, maybe it’s possible.
Today Louis Otieno needs medical attention. And this will cost money. What would the Good Samaritan have done in such a situation? Abandon him for being guilty of so many misdeeds? Now forget about the Good Samaritan, for a minute. What will you do about Louis Otieno? Will you help him meet his medical costs?
The human in me will not look at Louis’ faults. I will look at the human capacity to redeem others. Besides, John Ruganda said it well in the book The Burdens: “Fools laugh at disease, the wise laugh at ugliness.”