It is sad when intellectuals on Twitter engage in small debates like how and when ‘Ben Ngatia’ changed his shoes.
His real name is Boniface Manono, but he was baptized ‘Ngatia’ by KOT on Tuesday.
The story was that he died after being clobbered by the police officers. Later on Tuesday afternoon, he turned up alive in Kibera. Pictures were posted on social media and media outlets quickly changed their initial stories. The guys responsible for the rumors, chief among them Robert Alai, refused to admit they were wrong and posted a series of tweets and Facebook updates that Dennis Itumbi had hired a guy, dressed him like Ngatia, and paraded him to the media.
More reporters would later catch up with him at Coptic hospital where he narrated his ordeal on camera.
Robert Alai challenged them to take pictures of the back of his head, since that would be definitive proof. Soon, pictures of the back of Manono’s head surfaced, and the big scar was visible.
It should have been game over at this point, but even though God loves us all, he gave us different levels of intelligence.
The story quickly changed to the shoe color.
In pictures of ‘Ngatia’s’ clobbering, he appeared to have a light brown shoe when running for his life, and a dark brown or black shoe when he was getting beaten on the tarmac. Despite all the other evidence, some people have taken this as proof that the government staged the scene, with a different actor since ‘Ngatia is already dead.’
In basic photography, colours can appear lighter or darker than they are depending on various conditions. Even on your own phone, you appear light in some of your pictures and dark in others. That’s simply common sense.
In professional photography, some factors that affect color perception include lighting, exposure time and even camera angle relative to shadows etc.
Further, after taking the photos, a photographer may decide to tone up the colors in his editing by adjusting brightness and contrast among other things.
The final image may end up being very different.
But I’m sure many of those arguing this shoe theory know all this. They just won’t accept Ngatia does not exist.
Further, despite Manono coming out, no one has told us where Ngatia’s body is. Which morgue or hospital he was taken to.
There’s also this video that they are deliberately overlooking. It shows Ngatia from the moment he dashed out of Hazina Centre to the tarmac, in a different angle (not what has circulated widely). You can pause at your preferred moment to observe the shoe colour.
The shoe argument is also funny, because they do not explain anything. For instance, the photo showing the ‘black’ shoe was taken by an Associated Press photographer, and was wired to media houses all over the world even before the ‘Ngatia is dead’ story broke.
Those saying that the government staged the scene have the burden of proof. They should explain how Ben Curtis, the AP photographer colluded with the government to stage the scene even before anyone knew there was need to stage a scene.
By saying the guy in ‘black’ shoes is not the same one who has been found alive, they should be able to tell us why picture and video evidence say he is.
This video posted on Facebook by Polycarp Hinga further shows the guy get up and walk moments after the GSU officers had left the scene.
But maybe at the end of the day we cannot all agree on colours. The world for instance was split in half by this dress.