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Where street children use courtesy to charm drivers with an eye on their cash

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Victoria Chelangat was reaching for her safety belt after putting away the three baskets filled with fresh fruits and vegetables she had bought at the roadside stalls in Emali township when a polite “Shikamoo!” startled her.

Upon looking up, she locked eyes with a pair of warm, brown smiling eyes on a scruffy face.

GUILT

“Tafadhali ni saidie na pesa ya chakula (Please give me some money for food),” the boy in a dirty vest and torn pants pleaded.

“Get off the street and go back to school,” Ms Chelangat lashed in disgust, as she rolled up her window.

“Asante. Uwe na safari njema (Thanks, have a safe journey,” he responded, evoking a deep sense of guilt in the mother of three.

“I rolled back the window and handed him a few coins, with a firmer admonition that he goes back to school,” the Nairobi medic told the Nation recently.

Her experience is common among motorists who shop at the town that straddles Makueni and Kajiado counties, whose street children have learnt to equate courtesy to survival.

There are between 200 and 400 street children in Makueni, a 2018 survey by the Department of Children’s Services found. More than 150 boys and girls aged 10 to 24 roam the streets of Emali.

TRUANTS

Interviews with some of the children found that some are truants from the neighbouring Emali, Ndwaani, and Nairattat primary schools. Others came from distant Nairobi and Mombasa to eke out a living in the busy township.

Some of the youngsters are talented dancers and musicians. They recently told the Nation that they would like to go back to school but are prevented from doing so by poverty, peer pressure, orphanhood, and lack of parental care.

“I found solace on the street after my parents started neglecting me following their separation,” said an eight-year-old boy.

Often, the older street boys recruit the younger ones into using drugs, the common ones being glue and marijuana.

The authorities and the local business community complain that the number of street children in Emali has been rising.

COURTESY

The attractive fresh fruits and vegetables displayed in stalls that line a section of the Nairobi-Mombasa highway that cuts through the busy township lure motorists. Besides, the town is a stopover for thousands of truck drivers heading to and from countries such as Rwanda.

Notably, Emali is the most economically vibrant town in Makueni County, going by the revenue it has been generating in recent years.

Interestingly, most motorists turn down the children’s pleas for cash until they wish them a safe journey. This calculated courtesy works miracles for the children.

“Shoppers who are initially hesitant to engage the children suddenly get interested in them because of their courtesy. They briefly tell the motorists about their backgrounds, and soon get money. Unfortunately, the young ones lose the money to their older colleagues. They spend some of the money on glue and drugs,” says Mr Reuben Mutua, the chairman of the Emali business community.

Some people feel that the children are a nuisance to motorists. Their approach provokes so much guilt that a motorist recently said he would stop buying commodities at the market after he felt constrained to offer them a full chicken meal he had bought for his family after they thanked and wished him a safe journey when he refused to give them money.

“He vowed not to stop here again until we get the children off the street,” said trader Jackline Muthoni.

Nation

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Entertainment

Nyashinski’s wife shows off her engagement ring

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Mrs Nyamari a.k.a Nyashinki’s wife – Zipporah Bett – has a message to thots and hairazzzz.

The fashionista who owns a design clothing shop dubbed Zia Fashions has spoken up for the first time since her traditional wedding.

A fortnight or so ago, rapper Nyashinki accompanied by his boys went to Nandi to pay dowry to Zippy’s parents.

It went well.

Now, she is official engagement to get married to one of Kenya’s eligible bachelors.

Today, she showed off her ring and sent a cryptic message.

Zippy, wrote, ‘bet you can hear my laugh from there…’

By Mpasho

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News

Boy, 9, hangs himself

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A family in Nyandarua is mourning the death of their nine-year-old son, who allegedly killed himself.

Nyumba Kumi Initiative chairman Stephen Njuguna said the boy was reported missing early Wednesday and a search team was mobilized.

Mr Njuguna said that the body of the boy was found dangling from a tree in a maize farm near his home.

“We do not know why the boy killed himself but police have launched investigations,” Mr Njuguna said.

He added that he was yet confirm reports that the boy had differed with some of his family members.

The boy’s mother Esther Mumbi said her son left home on Tuesday and never returned.

“He informed me that he was going to his grandmother’s compound to get some fruits but he never returned home.

“I was later informed that he and his elder brother had a tiff before I arrived home,” said Ms Mumbi.

Nyandarua Police Commander Gideon Ngumi  said the body of the victim was moved to JM Memorial Level Four Hospital awaiting postmortem.

BY nation.co.ke

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News

Popular content developer Abel Mutua, wife celebrate 11 years together

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Content developer-cum-actor Abel Mutua and his wife Judy Nyawira today celebrate 11 years together.

Abel, credited for the success of comedians Njugush and Dj Shiti, wrote a heartfelt yet humorous message to his better half:

“Enyewe God ni msoo kama hapa ndio tumetoka babe! Happy anniversary love. Tungeenda katrip lakini mfuko inainsist tugonge kikombe ya supu na mutuch pale kwa Wangai.

“Leo nilikuwa nikuharibu na mutura ya thao lakini soo tatu nimenunua tokens. Wacha tuone ya soo saba inatoshana aje.

“I love you my baby. 11 years down 89 to go. After 100 Wacha tusample maraiya wengine tafadhali,” he wrote.

Njugush, a close family friend, also sent the couple a comical message:

“@judynyawira una nguvu…kuishi na mtu kama @abelmutua nyumba moja a whole 11 years! Happy anniversary…fanya kazi ya bwana.

“Abel makucha ndio bado hujaacha kukula lakini tujipatie another 11 tuone kama utabadilika….ni thahiri kuwa unaendelea kuzeeka huku mkeo akizidi kupyengekatuko nawe pensioner…lakini nyinyi wawili ni waroho safi ajaaabmnajua siwapendi! #RealOnes,” wrote the comedian.

Meeting

According to Abel, he met Judy at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) during his last year of study.

The Mutuas.

“I never dated in college until the last semester of my final year. And guess what, that girl I met two months before I left college ended up being my wife,” he said in a past interview.

The couple tied the knot in 2015 with Dr Ofweneke emceeing the event for free after their wedding budget ran out.

Workaholic

Abel, who is the mind behind popular local shows ‘The Real Househelps of Kawangware,’ ‘Hapa Kule News’ and ‘Sue na Jonnie’ once admitted to collapsing in the bathroom due to exhaustion.

“After four years of constant writing and acting, I collapsed in the bathroom one evening from sheer exhaustion and I knew it was time to take a break.

“I’d overexerted myself. I felt I had nothing left to give so I quit my job, which some thought was very stupid and some thought was very brave,” he narrated.

The multitalented content creator co-owns Phil-lit Productions with Philip Karanja, who he also met at KIMC.

Congratulations Abel and Judy.

By SDE

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