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Year 2017 in photos: Angst, joy and resilience

A woman walks past burning tires at Kondele roundabout in Kisumu on November 20, 2017. Residents took to the streets to protests ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold the declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as President. Photo | Ondari Ogega
A woman walks past burning tires at Kondele roundabout in Kisumu on November 20, 2017. Residents took to the streets to protests ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold the declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as President. Photo | Ondari Ogega 

After so many years on the job, many journalists are often numbed by the shocking effects that photographs - especially those that document people's suffering and their lowest points - can have.

But once in a while, even the most seasoned scribes will come across pictures that are so jarring that they force retrospection and for us to ask some hard questions.

This is what happened this week when I came across a photo of Robert Kariuki and his young son, who, along with five other children aged between four and 10, were held in a police station for more than 18 hours.

The children were accused of stealing scrap metal from a businessman in Naromoru, Nyeri County.

The picture speaks for itself, as the best editorial photos often do, but also speaks to the need for a long overdue national conversation on the relationship between the country's security forces and the Kenyan people.

More often than not, it's a relationship marked by lack of trust, fear and force. There is no shortage of instances in this photo essay and elsewhere that illustrate this.

However, 2017 was also a year rich with great Kenyan stories, many of which did not make the headlines. Not because they weren't interesting enough, but perhaps because smaller events were superseded by the mega ones.

From the elections, drought, rugby and joy of national exam results, here are some of the photos that best tell the story of 2017:

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Ms Jaqueline Wairimu (left) talks to her children at their home in Naromoru, Nyeri County and Mr Robert Kariuki (right) holds his son.

Ms Jaqueline Wairimu (left) talks to her children at their home in Naromoru, Nyeri County and Mr Robert Kariuki (right) holds his son shortly after they were released from police custody on December 18, 2017. The children were detained by police for more than 18 hours over allegations that they stole scrap metal. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU | NMG

An elephant charges at a bodaboda rider near Ol Maisor Ranch in Laikipia on February 2, 2017.

An elephant charges at a bodaboda rider near Ol Maisor Ranch in Laikipia on February 2, 2017. Local herders had invaded private farms, ranches and conservancies in Laikipia, forcing wildlife to flee from their natural habitat to roadsides. Wild animals among them rhinos, elephants, giraffes, zebras and elands were also killed for their trophies. PHOTO | Suleiman Mbatiah | NMG

Turkana woman hold dead animals they lost due to a biting drought that ravaged livestock population in Northern Kenya near Lokitaung in Turkana county on March 20, 2017.

Turkana women hold dead animals they lost due to a biting drought that ravaged the livestock population in near Lokitaung in Turkana county on March 20, 2017. In just a few years water, oil and money would flow. Roads, schools and hospitals would follow. Turkana's generations of poverty and neglect in Kenya's arid north would end. But it was not to be: Five years after the discovery of oil and four since a giant aquifer was found, drought has struck again, shattering the dreams of a different future for Turkana, a bone dry region of dust and stone, home to mostly semi-nomadic livestock herders and lacking the most basic trappings of modernity. AFP PHOTO | TONY KARUMBA

A hippo grazes at the dried up Lake Kenyatta in Mpeketoni, Lamu County, where wild animals have died due to lack of water following a severe drought in this photo taken on  March 17, 2017. Residents have started an initiative to pump water from a nearby borehole to refill the Lake which serves a number of wild animals. Photo | Kevin Odit | NMG

A hippo grazes at the dried up Lake Kenyatta in Mpeketoni, Lamu County, where wild animals have died due to lack of water following a severe drought in this photo taken on March 17, 2017. Residents have began an initiative to pump water from a nearby borehole to refill the Lake which serves a number of wild animals. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

A suspected thief is tied to a flower hedge next to Garissa shops in Kisumu on December 13, 2017. Identified as Daudi Otieno, he was caught on CCTV camera carting away electronics. He later publicly confessed to his sins before being let loose. Photo | Ondari Ogega | NMG

A suspected thief is tied to a flower hedge next to Garissa shops in Kisumu on December 13, 2017. He was caught on CCTV carting away electronics. He later publicly confessed before being let loose. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NMG

Inmates and prison guards at Eldama Ravine Prison in Baringo County dance together during a visit by the inmates' relatives on February 11, 2017. The relatives had a precious opportunity to mingle with inmates including having lunch together.

Inmates and prison guards at Eldama Ravine Prison in Baringo County dance together during a visit by the inmates' relatives on February 11, 2017. The relatives had a precious opportunity to mingle with inmates including having lunch together. The prison warden in charge, Geoffrey Amadi, told relatives to welcome the inmates after they are released from prison rather than treat them as outcasts. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NMG

Dennis Ombachi of Kenya blocks Alexandre Lagarde of France during their match on the second day of the Rugby Sevens tournament in Hong Kong on April 8, 2017. AFP PHOTO | Anthony Wallace

Dennis Ombachi of Kenya blocks Alexandre Lagarde of France during their match on the second day of the Rugby Sevens tournament in Hong Kong on April 8, 2017. AFP PHOTO | Anthony Wallace

Nairobians that attended the Fashion High Tea at Zen Garden on February 25, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

Kenyans that attended the Fashion High Tea at Zen Garden on February 25, 2017. It is an annual event celebrating Haute Couture in Kenya. This year's event supported the Imani Children’s Home in Kayole. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

Stacey Chumba of Moi High School Kabarak celebrates KCSE results with her parents and relatives in Mogotio, Baringo County on December 20, 2017. She attained mean grade of A- with 75 points. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NMG

Stacey Chumba of Moi High School Kabarak celebrates KCSE results with her parents and relatives in Mogotio, Baringo County on December 20, 2017. She attained mean grade of A- with 75 points. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NMG

Noordin Kullow of Light academy in Mombasa (in white shirt) leads his teachers and students in prayers after he got his KCSE results on Dec 20, 2017. He scored A- with 79 points. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG

Noordin Kullow of Light academy in Mombasa (in white shirt) leads his teachers and students in prayers after he got his KCSE results on Dec 20, 2017. He scored A- with 79 points. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG

A KCPE candidate at Gatina Primary School in Kawangware, Nairobi is assisted by police officers on October 30, 2017 after tear gas was lobbed at opposition protesters as she was on her way home from school. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

A KCPE candidate at Gatina Primary School in Kawangware, Nairobi is assisted by police officers on October 30, 2017 after tear gas was lobbed at opposition protesters as she was on her way home from school. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

People queue outside a polling station to cast their vote during the presidential election in the city centre in Nairobi on August 8, 2017. PHOTO | JOAN PERERUAN | NMG

People queue outside a polling station to cast their vote during the presidential election in the city centre in Nairobi on August 8, 2017. PHOTO | JOAN PERERUAN | NMG

Nasa supporters outside JKIA on November 17, 2017 as leader Raila Odinga arrived from the US. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Nasa supporters outside JKIA on November 17, 2017 as leader Raila Odinga arrived from the US. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Supporters of president Uhuru Kenyatta run from security officers beating up people who forcefully made their way into the the Kasarani Stadium on November 28, 2017 during the inauguration ceremony of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo | Jeff Angote | Nation

Supporters of president Uhuru Kenyatta run from security officers beating up people who forcefully made their way into the the Kasarani Stadium on November 28, 2017 during the inauguration ceremony of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo | Jeff Angote | Nation

A woman walks past burning tires at Kondele roundabout in Kisumu on November 20, 2017. Residents took to the streets to protests ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold the declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as President. Photo | Ondari Ogega

A woman walks past burning tires at Kondele roundabout in Kisumu on November 20, 2017. Residents took to the streets to protests ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold the declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as President. Photo | Ondari Ogega

Buffalo approach a watering hole after a bowser water tanker delivers water to thirsty wildlife at the Tsavo West National Park (left). Patrick Kilonzo, a pea farmer, fills a hired  water tanker with to deliver to herds of thirsty elephant, buffalo and zebra after a drought dried up rivers and water holes at the park. AFP PHOTO

Buffalos approach a watering hole after a bowser water tanker delivers water to thirsty wildlife at the Tsavo West National Park (left). Patrick Kilonzo, a pea farmer, fills a hired water tanker with to deliver to herds of thirsty elephant, buffalo and zebra after a drought dried up rivers and water holes at the park. AFP PHOTOS

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