“If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”Abraham Lincoln
Looking inside a home on Wasini Island that has existed since the days of slavery.
On one of my visits to Mombasa, I was told that there were slave caves in Shimoni but we could not immediately make the trip. So, I returned to Nairobi carrying a burning desire in my heart. I made arrangements then traveled directly to Diani where I stayed overnight. The next morning, I woke early and began my journey. It took about 2 hours to reach my destination and we were quickly met with tour operators selling boat rides to Wasini Island. Being the explorer that I am, I agreed to take a ride over to the island. Of course my consent was given only after he accepted my counter offer which consisted of a very low offer. Lunch on the island was delicious and the tour was quite informative.
Drinking Water for Slaves
After a boat ride back to the mainland, we finally made it to the Shimoni slave caves. To my surprise, there was a power outage! Fortunately, that didn’t stop the tour. The guide grabbed a flashlight and proceeded to escort us into the seemingly pitch dark and eerie caves. As we walked, I tried to capture the moment through the lens of my camera while skirted around muddle puddles. Every few steps it seemed as if drops of water were falling on my head and I was cringing the entire time.
Shackles where slaves were chained to the walls
I’ll have to admit, it was quite uncomfortable being in those caves especially without any lights. We could not see at all. My tuk tuk driver kept saying he was scared and I completely understood. While having this experience, I thought of the fear and terror that must have been felt by the slaves who were forced into these horrible conditions. Many who were stuck in these caves for long periods of time. Seemingly I could feel the terror of those who passed through the caves on their way to a foreign land as well as those for whom the caves became their death beds just before being tossed outside for wild animals to eat.
Inside the slave caves
Although I would have preferred a lighted tour, I strongly believe being in the dark shed more light on the grueling experiences of the men and women who were subjected to and endured the horror of those caves. Having that experience opened my eyes in a way that can never be forgotten. Not only was this the fate of many Kenyans but it was the journey of my foremothers and forefathers. Now, I have seen that from which I cannot look away.