When protests recently erupted across major states in the US over the death of George Floyd following his gruesome killing by a white cop from the Minneapolis Police Department, a Kenyan living in downtown Seattle, Washington shot into the limelight in an instant.
Joseph Ng’ang’a Wanjiku alias Bishop Ngash hit social media timelines with a bang following a viral video where he was psyching up a crowd in protest of Floyd’s arbitral death, another one from systemic brutality against people of colour in the US.
“Haki Yetu”! (Our right) he first said before the crowd behind him took up the chant and police fully donned in anti-riot gear stood ready to counter the protestors speaking a foreign language that they wouldn’t make head nor tail of.
It is at this time Bishop Ngash showed his other side in agitating for the rights of people of colour in his second home.
Ng’ang’a was born and bred in Thika, Kiambu County. He says that he learned from a tender age to defend himself being in a family of 10 siblings raised by a single mother.
Not held back by his background, he pursued his education to a diploma level and raised money to buy a saloon car which he would hire out and sometimes chauffer his clients.
He recalls this day when he met a Kenyan who had visited Kenya from the US. The man hired his services and as they moved around, the feeling of moving to the US grew stronger.
Ng’ang’a asked his client how he would end up joining him in the US and was taken through the process of applying for an America Visa.
“My client was very kind to share with me the details of applying for an American visa, and the rest is history,” he says.
After migrating to the US, he settled in Seattle, Washington but things were not as rosy as he thought. He found himself working in the health service sector which he eventually developed a liking for while taking care of young men suffering from Down Syndrome.
This would see him pursue a course in psychology and counselling which he lives on. However, with a zest to make the world better, he has enrolled for a degree in leadership.
On the day of the protest, he says that something pushed him to join the protestors bearing in mind that he has seen acts of police brutality back home in Kenya.
“The video of a black man under a white man’s knee and his desperate call to his late mother was painful to watch. This could have been me, my brother or my child.
“As a black man, I have faced racial discrimination many times. Most white clients cancel their trip request when my black photo pops up on their phones,” he implored.
To him, every Kenyan needs to stand up for his rights and those of others saying “We have to do this for our children… If we don’t join the fight, they could be tomorrow’s victims.”