Days after the attack, Kenyan gays in the Diaspora lit candles to pay tribute to those who lost their lives during a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, US.
“We are Orlando,” read the placards they waved alongside the Kenyan flag. Muthoni Ngige, a member the Kenyan LGBTQ community, led the group that also lay flowers.
A different candlelight vigil was held on Monday for the victims. And as the names of the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting were being read at a vigil in Orlando, a photographer noticed something up above: A flock of birds flying by.
She snapped a quick photo. But it wasn’t until she counted the birds in her frame that she was truly surprised: There were 49.
In her post, she wrote: “There were 49 birds, my friends. The fallen were with us tonight.” At least 49 people were murdered in the incident that took place on Sunday.
At a a gay nightclub in Orlando a gunman identified as Omar Mateen entered and shot randomly at party goers. Police said officers entered Pulse Club about three hours after the shooting started and killed the gunman who had taken members hostage.
The gunman had visited online gay chat rooms even though he expressed outrage at the sight of two men kissing and making inflammatory comments about gays.
Investigators don’t know whether he visited the chat rooms for personal reasons or for surveillance before carrying out the brutal attack early Sunday at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and wounding more than 50 others.
It was also revealed that he not only visited gay chat rooms, he also frequented the same nightclub he would eventually terrorize.
Authorities said the shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. In Kenya, Homosexuality is illegal and is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
In May 2015, DP William Ruto said that there is “no room” for homosexuality in Kenyan society. The view is widely shared in African countries that puts their leaders in conflict with Western aid donors who back gay rights.
“The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God. We have no room for gays and those others,” Ruto told a Nairobi church congregation.
In July that year, when US President Barack Obama toured the country, Uhuru said values which “our culture and societies do not accept” must be acknowledged.
However in October 2015, he cautioned against “witch-hunting homosexual, citing that all Kenyans ave a right to protection under the law. He urged the country not to act on behalf of the law but to allow suspects face the law.