Tazeen & Willem (Belgium)
Donga, Cheddaz and Kissmart shared their life stories and dreams for the future as they walked us through the streets of Nairobi where they spent much of their childhood, trying to forage a livelihood with only their wits about them. It is a walk we could never have done on our own. We thank them heartily for the insights they gave us on street life in Nairobi. They experienced, pain, hardship, abandonment, love and belonging in their early years in ways unfamiliar to those from established families and family networks. The begged, stole, rapped and eventually found one another through their interest in music. They also shared the desire to mend their ways, mentor other lost kids, provide them with role models so that street kids can find a better future. The road is not easy as the harsh environment of state orphanages and shelters compel many to run away to the freedom of the streets despite its’ many dangers. We all have a role to play particularly in helping those who help themselves. These kids are bright, sharp, intelligent and have their wits about them. They are charming and positive despite everything. And in sharing their lives, our lives become richer too. It was a hot and sunny day. The walk lasted three hours. We walked past Obama’s house, went to a market where people were busy making handicrafts, jewellery, slippers and so on. We saw water collection points, jerry can washing presumably for reuse, various kinds of waste dumps from where street kids look for recyclable metals and machine parts. It ended with a simple lunch of vegetables and roti at a streetside joint. It was a worthwhile experience. We recommend it heartily to others, essential to anybody wanting to understand street life, marginalization and social development issues in an African capital city context.
27. February 2018