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OKAY! WHAT IS KONY 2012?

Nowadays I am usually pretty lazy about stuff on the internet because there is just so much to read, I could spend all day reading but since there is work to be done, I usually read my mails at a specific time every day. Starting two days ago, Kony stared trending on twitter, then I heard about the video millions of people had watched, I started stumbling across phrases such as ‘Kony 2012’, ‘Stop Kony’ on twitter and then the actresses, actors and basically the media big wigs all joined up and yet I still couldn’t get it. I knew everyone wanted to stop Kony but no one was specific about what he had done wrong.

So I decided to research and find out what it was all about. Since it was about children and violence, I naturally supported it but I needed to understand what was going on.

I found that the villain was Joseph Kony, the victims were African children in Uganda and the heroes were a charity organization known as ‘invisible children’; their tool of attack was a video on YouTube about children. Joseph Kony is said to have abducted over 60,000 and if that is not a big deal, I guess we are all a little callous and we don’t care about the important things any more. I found that Joseph Kony was a wanted man, a warlord, the leader of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA), a guerrilla group who are notorious for abducting young children; converting the boy to child soldiers and the girls to sex slaves, “ewww” doesn’t even describe the feelings of that inhumane act.

They are also known for committing mass murders, crimes of rape, torture and slavery and all of this has been going on for over thirty years. The following are some of the accusations against Joseph Kony as listed by the agencies after him • Kony stands accused of overseeing the systematic kidnapping of countless African children, brainwashing the boys into fighting for him, turning the girls into sex slaves and killing those who don’t comply. •

His forces are believed to have slaughtered tens of thousands of people and are known for hacking the lips off their victims. Kony has been wanted by the international criminal court since 2005 on charges that include crimes against humanity. He has been living in the bush outside Uganda since that time. • The US designated the LRA a terrorist group after September 11, 2001 and in 2008 began actively supporting the Ugandan military. In October, the president deployed 100 combat-equipped troops – mostly special operations forces – to Uganda to advise regional military units in capturing or killing Kony.

If that does not turn your stomach, you are definite not from planet earth. I cannot imagine that something this crazy is going in Africa; somewhere close by and yet we maintain a deafening silence, a silence that ignores the cry of African children whose freedom has been stripped away from them. Think about it, we have the privilege of getting up, growing up in loving families, maybe not perfect but loving enough that you are not at the mercy of Joseph Kony. We go to school, college and think up dreams and actually have the opportunity to live them out.

In light of our freedom, someone else’s captivity is unimaginable! But just in case you think it is not your business, you need to get your head checked; stomaching another’s misery is not something we were created for but if somewhere inside you, you believe there is something you can do, however little, you had better do it. You should because every time you have the chance to make a difference and you don’t, something inside you dies.

I’m not about to convince you to care about children, I want to be the deciding factor that convinces you to care enough to make a difference.

However corny the twenty nine minute video/movie may be, we cannot deny the fact that the things that Joseph Kony has done are true and that there are people who have suffered because of the way this man has lived his life and the choices he has made. The film was not put there just so you’d talk about it; it was put there so that you’d do something. The film’s objective is to make Kony so famous that the whole world rises up and says enough.

We need this man, this Kony, to be brought to justice by the year’s end, everyone is doing what they can, so do play a role as well. If we would all join up, we can help end this war…

Let’s stop the abductions and mass murders!

Let’s stop Joseph Kony and save the invisible children!

Joseph Kony must face justice!

Click hash tag on Twitter “#kony2012”

The founders of Invisible Children - Bobby Bailey, Laren Poole, and Jason Russell - alongside members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). Photographer: Glenna Gordon

 Written by Tessa Doghor.

Tessa Doghor is the editor of SPICE magazine, she lives in Lagos and runs an online blog called www.extraordinarilygood.blogspot.com and can be reached at tessadoghor@gmail.com

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