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Interview: From street beggar to pharmacy assistant

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Your parents divorced when you were only two years old… I was born in a family of five in Kitanga village, Mua hills. My parents had a nasty break-up when I was still a toddler, forcing us to relocate to Mbooni to live with my uncles. Things were a bit difficult for us because the living conditions were different.

For instance, snakes used to crawl at night, something that we had not experienced before. We used to sleep on the floor and some of our close relatives would mock my mother telling her to come and pick her ‘small dogs’. When the situation got out of hand, mother could not stomach the humiliation and that’s when we moved out of Mbooni.Where did you go to?We moved to the outskirts of Lavington where my mother used to hustle as a hawker.

Most of the times we would sleep on shelves without anything to cover us. We later moved to Huruma where my mother was lucky to get an abandoned mabati structure on the road side which became our home.

Many nights we never slept because thieves would lean on the wall as they divided their loot. We feared losing our lives because they had guns and whenever we heard we them, we would hide under the bed and keep silent. We had two wooden stools and one rubber bed which accomodated the four of us.I remember one night when the bed sunk in and made sounds which prompted the thugs to come for us, fearing that we had heard them and were going to report them. They gave us a dog’s beating.How did you get out of the streets ?

My mother tried all she could to make sure that we attended school. I was enrolled at St. Joseph primary school and later to Mother Theresa home in Kiamaiko which was a home for street children. It had reached a point where my mother could not bear seeing us sleep hungry. At least in the home we could have a meal.

Was life difficult in the children’s home?No. I blended well with other children and I used to top my class, something that earned me a full scholarship.

I was transferred to Huruma primary school by a nun who kept encouraging me that I was destined for greatness.If things were easing up for you, how did you end up becoming a beggar?Well, life brought me another twist. My brother was schooling at Comina primary school back then and he was on the verge of being expelled because of fee arrears. The headmaster had grown impatient with my mother’s empty promises of clearing the balance. Mother always valued education, it’s just that she had no means of keeping us in school.

One day the city askaris took her goods and she was left without a cent in her pocket.  I was forced to become a begger in the streets of Nairobi to get some money. I would wear my brother’s school uniform and lie on a sack with a written fake medical plea saying that my mother was admitted in hospital.

My mother would sit watching from a distance and collect any money left by well-wishers.Did anyone realise that you were an impostor?Education officials and the director of Comima primary school heard that there was a child that was pleading for help in the streets wearing their school uniform. A few days later they located me. They were furious.

When my mum saw that I was cornered, she came out of her  hiding place. The officers called the media and before we knew it, cameras were clicking as I stood next to my mother carrying my gunia. We were in the dailies the following day.How did your sponsors take this news?

They were shocked. It also affected my performance greatly and eventually I went back to the streets. I felt this was where I belonged, a life with neither classes nor discrimination. I became a hawker at the age of 12.When did your life change?I met a well wisher who took me back to school. I later joined high school and became the chairman of the Christian union. Luck was on my side again because after high school I was enroled in college where I became the first student president and later graduated with a diploma in pharmaceutical training.

Are you proud of the man that you have turned out to be despite all the hardships ?Yes. I am blessed with a family and currently I am the manager of an Athritis treatment brand called Jointfix under Kinetic resources limited, and operating in Machakos, Makueni and Kitui regions.

By Standard.co.ke

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Lifestyle

End our anxiety, families of missing Lamu men tell State

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Lamu families whose kinsmen disappeared mysteriously are questioning the government’s continued silence on the matter.

The families had hoped the year 2020 would bring to an end all the emotional turmoil they have undergone while wondering whether their relatives are alive or dead. The year is now almost over and there are no signs of their loved ones coming back.

More than 10 families in the region have, for several years, been in the dark concerning the whereabouts of their brothers and uncles who vanished under unclear circumstances, some in the hands of security agencies.

Families, relatives and friends of the victims interviewed by Nation.Africa acknowledged finding it hard to cope with the unanswered questions.

Most of the victims have been missing for as long as eight years.

An example is the family of Makka Mzee living at Mkunumbi in Lamu West.

Mr Mzee, a teacher by profession, has undergone tough times since his son, Imrana Said Makka, 29, went missing on March 31, 2015.

Mr Imrana Said Makka, 29, who went missing since March 31, 2015.

Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

Imrana was abducted by three men who identified themselves as anti-terror officers in Malindi town on that fateful day, never to be found or heard of again.

It is now six years since his mysterious disappearance.

Imrana’s sister Sada Said Makka told the Nation that they have not heard any news concerning his brother who left behind three children.

“Despite our efforts to visit various police stations in Lamu, Malindi and Mombasa for enquiries, nothing has materialised. We’re yet to get any news on Imrana’s whereabouts.

We’re very much unhappy with the way the government has been silent on the matter despite the numerous reports we filed,” said Ms Sada.

The situation is similar in Kwasasi Village in Hindi, Lamu West, where the family of 42-year-old Ali Bunu is yet to come to terms with his mysterious disappearance five years ago.

The father of nine and who owned an estate in Kwasasi Village was said to have been picked up at his farm by unknown people in State-owned police and military vehicles on the night of April 8, 2016.

Mr Ali Bunu, 42, who went missing in April 2016.

Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

During the incident, Mr Bunu’s house and livestock were torched by the ”officers” before he was whisked away with his four workers and a nephew to an unknown destination on that night.

All except Bunu were the next day dumped in the bush near the Bar’goni military camp from where they found their way back home.

Relatives of Mr Bunu believe the State is better placed to answer their questions since the vehicles that picked up their kin bore government number plates.

“My brother’s children are suffering. Their education has been very stressful. Even processing their ID cards has been a problem, all because their father is absent. The piece of land that our brother owns at Kwasasi in Hindi has partially been grabbed since the owner is not around. The government should help us find our brother so that we can be at peace as a family,” said Mrs Hafswa Bunu, a sister.

In Witu town, another family is in agony over the disappearance of 32-year-old Mohamed Abdalla Ali.

Mr Mohamed Abdalla Ali, 32, a resident of Witu in Lamu West who went missing on June 14, 2018.

Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

Mr Ali went missing on the night of June 14, 2018.

He had accompanied his friends to watch a Fifa World Cup tournament in one of the hotels in Witu.

The last born in a family of five had completed his Form Four at Witu Secondary and was yet to join college.

His father Abdalla Basalama is a retired Administration Police Senior Sergeant.

Ali’s eldest sister Amina Abdalla says that for all that time, they have searched for Ali without success.

“We’ve visited all police stations but we haven’t traced Ali. We’re appealing to the police and any other security agencies to help my family track down the whereabouts of Ali whether alive or dead,” said Ms Amina.

The family of 43-year-old Mohamed Avukame Haroun is also yet to come to terms with his mysterious disappearance on August 23, 2017.

Mr Mohamed, a Malindi-based businessman who also deals in property management and land, was taken away by men in a black vehicle (a Toyota Prado) to an unknown destination.

His elder brother, Bwanaheri Avukame Haroun, says the father of two was bundled into the car by two armed men who accosted him within Mombasa High Court precincts.

Mr Mohamed Avukame Haroun, 43, who went missing on August 23, 2017.

Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

Mr Bwanaheri insists that those who took away his brother are police officers since they had handcuffs and were armed with guns.

“His phone has been off since then. The State is aware of the whereabouts of my brother. Let the government assist us in tracing the whereabouts of my brother. His family is suffering,” said Mr Bwanaheri.

At Mpeketoni in Lamu West, the family of 35-year-old Osman Abdi is also in the dark after the man went missing just days after the June 15, 2014, Mpeketoni attacks.

Mr Abdi, a milk vendor, is said to have been arrested by police.

In a recent interview with the Nation, Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia asked families whose kinsmen had disappeared to come out and record statements with police and his office for action.

“These people might have crossed into Somalia. So there is a need for families to come out and report such cases to authorities for action,” said Mr Macharia.

In 2018, Haki Africa Organisation listed Lamu as among leading counties in the Coast region with many cases of mysteriously missing persons.

Various activists and religious leaders in the county and across the Coast region have on various occasions pleaded with the State to help the affected families find them.

by nationafrica

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Health

Nairobi woman hopes to give birth, leave bedsitter 4 years after husband kicked her out

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Gasherry Bendito has always been on the move. Her life revolves around thinking of the next step.

Nairobi woman hopes to give birth, leave bedsitter 4 years after husband kicked her out

Gasherry and her mother. Photo: Gasherry Bendito
Source: Facebook

As she plots about her next move, the beauty gets caught up in wishful thinking and dreaming of a more permanent way to live.

Four years ago, the struggling woman was kicked out of her marital home by the man she gave her heart and soul to.

When married, Gasherry could not bear children and that drove her partner insane. So, he saw it fit to get rid of her.

That meant she had to recalibrate and start from square A. This squeezed her between a rock and a hard place.

In just four years, the lady’s life proved to be a living hell as she struggled to find a decent job and a place to lay her head.

Nairobi woman hopes to give birth, leave bedsitter 4 years after husband kicked her out

The lady’s tiny room. Photo: Gasherry Bendito
Source: Facebook

“From losing my job, to being thrown out, to becoming a domestic worker, to being hosted by a colleague, and finally living in a hostel,” she narrated in a Facebook post sighted by TUKO.co.ke.

All along, Gasherry held onto unused baby clothes she had bought in the past as she waited for the fruit of the womb.

While crushing at her tiny bedsitter sufficiently decorated with a small bed, the hopeful woman still believed that one day she will get to hold her own bundle of joy.

Nairobi woman hopes to give birth, leave bedsitter 4 years after husband kicked her out

Gasherry could not have kids and that irked her estranged husband. Photo: Gasherry Bendito
Source: Facebook

The netizen told social media users she has been unable to get rid of the infant clothes because at the back of her mind, motherhood is her biggest goal in life.

“I have this bag full of baby clothes from 2014 when I was getting ready to have a baby. Almost seven years down the line and I am still holding on to it. I move with it everywhere I go,” she added.

Nairobi woman hopes to give birth, leave bedsitter 4 years after husband kicked her out

She has stored baby clothes for seven years. Photo: Gasherry Bendito
Source: Facebook

In other related news, a woman left many in tears after disclosing the pain she has been through for lack of children in her marriage.

The lady, identified as Margaret Wanjiru, opened up about her torturous 25 years journey on Monday, April 27.

Speaking to Kikuyu Diaspora TV, Wanjiru revealed life was not easy for her even in the first years of her marriage.

According to her, she married the love of her life in 1993 after two years of dating and after a few years in marriage without a child, her mother-in-law started insulting and mistreating her.

“I met the love of my life and after dating for two years, we moved in together in 1993 and this is when things started going south. At home, everyone was on our case since we did not have a child. Fights from my mother-in-law became intense. There is no pain like being married and you have money but no child,” she said.

by Tuko

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Entertainment

‘I have no access to you,’ Frankie pens emotional letter to son, says he’s barred from seeing his kids

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Fitness coach Frankie Kiarie has penned a touching letter to his firstborn son Lexi with Maureen Waititu.

The father of two showered his son with love and narrating how he brought so much joy to his life.

To My Son,

When you came into this world, you brought a love so pure I had never before experienced. When you spoke your first word, walked your first steps, I became your biggest fan. With every milestone you reached, I reveled in joy. You taught me the meaning of love — true, unconditional love.

As you continue to grow, you will live your own life. You will have times of happiness and times of disappointment. You will fall in love, and you will have your heart broken. Life has its ups and downs and is not always fair, but I know your strength and resilience will see you through.

May you always know your worth and how incredibly precious you are! As your Papa, it is my privilege to impart these important truths to you.

Frankie went ahead to reveal that he hasn’t seen his kids for a while now because he has no access to them.

‘Since I have no access to you, I’ll pass these words on and hope they find you. Be true to yourself always. Live your own dreams. Don’t take life so seriously. And, last but certainly not least, Know that I love you and will always be there for you. No matter what, I’ve got your back. You are my son and always will be. Happy Birthday Lexi,’ he wrote.

A few weeks ago, Mpasho.co.ke reached out to Maureen Waititu to respond to claims that she had barred Frankie from seeing their kids she denied.

‘I HAVE NOT BARRED HIM [FRANKIE] FROM SEEING HIS KIDS.  MY LAWYER CONTACTED HIM THROUGH A LETTER FOR A ROUND TABLE MEDIATION TO COME UP WITH A STRUCTURE AND ORDER ON HOW TO RAISE THE KIDS BUT HE MADE IT VERY CLEAR HE HAS NO OBLIGATION TO RESPOND TO THAT.’ she said.

By Mpasho.co.ke

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