It’s not every day that you meet someone who vividly remembers their childhood, especially if they come from a well-off family or if they never encountered something tragic and terrifying at that time.
Can you remember when you were 6 years old? What were you thinking? What were your dreams, goals and ambitions? Well, I was thinking of going to school and getting a good job but that opportunity was snatched away from me.
My parents died in a road accident when I was 7 years old. I think death is a sphere headed our way. Life wasn’t easy as it may look. My 5-month baby brother followed my parents due to harsh life. Doctors said he had a hole in his heart. I didn’t understand how that happened. Two months later I went to stay with my aunty in Nairobi. A city within a city. It has no borders. Nairobi is the city that wears you out.
A city where one earns below one dollar a day. If you make it, good for you. If you don’t, no one cares! In Nairobi it is everyone for himself or herself and God for all. Nobody cares what another person is goes through.
While living with my aunty, I found out that life was too brutal for me so I flee from home to go and look for a good life. The question of food and shelter did not come to mind. The harsh street conditions saw me drowning down the valley of death. I was assimilated into sniffing jet fuel. Glue was our staple food.
I could go for days without food. There is nothing about shelter to pen. I was in the company of other street children and each day we would struggle to find food and a place to lay down our heads. On a very good day, we slept outside the verandas of fast food stalls. Of course when the kanjos allowed us to. A bite in the morning from the stall owners made our day an office day.
When I turned ten years old, I had no reason to live. The hardships, the cold and the cruelty I had faced made me lose any hopes I had on making it in life.
My life changed on the 26th day of August 2010 when I was taking a nap outside the veranda of phone stall. Tujikuze Association came to my rescue. Do you know how embarrassing it is to try to fit in? How awkward it is to eat with forks and knives when your whole life you used your hands? With a place to call home, bedding, food and clean clothes to wear, I felt human anew.
Well, being different is not dangerous. The thing with rich people is that everyone mistakes ‘us’ street kids for zombies. It pisses us off. It’s like someone who keeps calling you an animal when you are human and you can’t muster enough nerve to shut them.
Today I’m a successful PR consultant, thanks to Tujikuze Association that brought light into my life after eons of darkness. Few things in this world are worse than feeling so worthless. We all have opportunities but the time is different for each and every one of us.