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Visually impaired man with gifted hands sets sights on ‘shoe empire’

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They say, disability is not inability. All over the world, there are millions of people who have overcome physical challenges to succeed in life.

Not far from the expansive tea plantations of Kericho, one man has inspired many due to his ability to overcome odds and make the best out of every situation.

Bernard Maina Kipkorir, who lost his eyesight due to meningitis in 2007, is a fighter working his way up the ladder. Perhaps, a millionaire in the making.

Kipkorir, 38, believes in hard work and instead of sitting for hours waiting for alms by the roadside, due to his challenges, he makes shoes and sandals from cow hides.

He’s so good at his job that, without his white cane, you wouldn’t notice his blindness.

Kipkorir’s woes began in February 2007 when he started developing migraines.

When he consulted a doctor at the Kericho District Hospital, all seemed well.

“My head felt as if it was being hammered,” he says.

But after more visits to the doctor, he got admitted to the Kericho Home Nursing Hospital where he spent five months in the intensive care unit, and another two undergoing physiotherapy. It was then that he started losing his eyesight.

“I couldn’t comprehend the goings on in my body, and I even lost the sense of time,”

Kipkorir says. Having lost vision in his left eye, he began adjusting to his new life. However, the condition recurred in October 2008 and he was admitted to the Kisii Level 6 Hospital, from where he was diagnosed with meningitis.

Kipkorir was then transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital, where he also lost vision in his right eye while receiving treatment.

“After I was discharged, my doctor referred me to the social services and protection office for counselling and help. It’s then that I opted to go back to school to learn how to live again.”

With all resources at home depleted, the officers and his family held a fundraiser to raise his college fees. He finally enrolled at the Machakos Technical Institute for the Blind in 2010.

He studied braille and learnt about independent living skills as a blind person.

New shoe designs

In 2011, he joined the shoe making department and from that year up to 2017, he progressed from Grade III to Grade I.

Kipkorir has a national grade test certificate from the National Industrial Training Authority under the Ministry of Labour. While in college, his met his love, Jackline Langat.

They have two children, Joyline Cheptoo and Jayden Kipchirchir.

“I have many challenges,” Kipkorir says. “The main one is capital to expand my business.

I need Sh120,000 to stabilise.” He also plans to go back to college to learn “the new shoe designs. It will help me boost my sales”.

His wife, Jackline, treasures her husband. “My peers ridiculed me when I married him, but I don’t think my life would have been any different or better.

He is a blessing to us; he works hard and provides for us. We never lack,” she says.

By Nation.co.ke

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Paybill number for cash-strapped Gor Mahia

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As a financial crisis bites through the local football scene, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has reached out to landlords of members of his team’s playing unit to exercise patience.

And in a related development, the 18-time Kenyan champions have, through Gor Mahia Augmentin Fund (GMAF), set up a Paybill number which members, supporters, and well-wishers can contribute money to the club in form of cash and ‘Bonga points.’

Bonga points is a loyalty scheme for all of Safaricom’s pre-paid and post-paid customers.

The points can be used to redeem prizes and goods at selected supermarkets.

Rachier has sought to strike a deal with the landlords of his players following consistent delay in rent payment by the players. This has been occasioned by financial crisis at the club that has caused salary delays.

“We have not paid salaries for five months,” Rachier said Wednesday.

“I keep writing to their landlords just to understand and I want to thank those landlords that have extended a good time for them (players) to be able to pay when we are able to pay,” he said.

Rachier spoke at an event where a section of club supporters and players, led by Lawrence Juma, Joakim Oluoch and Samuel Onyango as well as members of group called ‘Kulundeng original’ donated foodstuff worth Sh100,000 to the Fikisha Rehabilitation Centre.

The function was held at the Lutheran Centre in Kawangware, Nairobi.

Gor players each received a Sh10,000 monthly stipend from the government last week in a bid to cushion them from the effects of coronavirus pandemic which has paralysed football activities in the country.

Most of the Kenyan Premier League clubs have benefited from the scheme launched by the government in conjunction with various partners.

By Nation Sport

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Cops hunting for rider who fled with friend’s Sh505K

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Police are looking for a boda boda rider who disappeared after receiving Sh505,200 he had been sent by his friend to collect for her.

Bernard Onsase had been sent by Monica Macharia to collect the money from her friend at Wilson Airport on May 9.

He later switched off his phone and disappeared.

Shaurimoyo police station is obtained court orders to compel telephone services provider Safaricom to share details of Onsase and his wife Asenath Omwenga’s mobile phone numbers.

Police constable Mohamed Ragow told Makadara chief magistrate Heston Nyaga that Onsase has been Macharia’s customer but moved his family and relocated to an unknown place.

Police want Safaricom to avail M-Pesa transaction details of the couple’s phone numbers from May 9 to date and any other information that may help in obtaining concrete evidence for the case.

The police also want to have access and carry away document related to transactions of Onsase’s account and Safaricom to provide other telephone numbers the two could have registered.

Nyaga granted the orders, but, however, pointed out that 90 percent of Kenyans are likely to do what Onsase did.

By NN

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PHOTOS: Bizarre case as thief falls fast asleep after breaking into journalist’s house

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In a bizarre case, a thief who broke into a journalist’s home fell fast asleep midway through his crime.

Confirming the incident in an interview with East Africa Radio, ITV Zanzibar presenter Farouk Karim said that the thief accessed his compound by scaling the perimeter fence.

According to the journalist, the thief stole shoes and clothes from the hanging line before setting his eyes on his car’s power windows. Recounting the fateful night happenings, Farouk said he’d left home early in the morning only to receive a call that a thief had been found at his home.

“I left my house for morning exercise and that’s when I received a call that a thief had been caught at my house; I was shocked. Some of the youths I was exercising with accompanied me and we found the thief was actually not in the house, but my car.

“We found him dead asleep in the car with all he’d stolen the previous night on his lap,” he said.

According to the journalist, the thief easily accessed the car as the doors were not locked and proceeded to steal the power window mechanism from the passenger’s door.

“I think as he tried removing the power window from the driver’s side and that’s when he fell deep asleep.”

Fast asleep

Farouk further revealed that an angry mob gathered at the scene of the crime baying for the thief’s blood.

“I stopped them from beating him up as it was inside my compound; should anything have happened to him, I would have been held accountable.”

That’s when he called law enforcement officers who arrived and handcuffed the thief, who was still fast asleep. He was roused from his deep sleep and taken to the police station.

“We accompanied him to the police station as one would a bride on her wedding day. I think he fell asleep after getting contended with his loot.”

Responding to numerous enquiries from callers insinuating that voodoo had something to do with the incident, Farouk stressed the importance of prayer.

“The easiest way to make a thief fall fast asleep is praying to God to protect you and your home.”

By SDE

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