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I dodged bullets that killed all my friends

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Tell us about yourself. I grew up in Mumias and later moved to Siaya, where I spent the better part of my life. My parents separated after my father got a job in Kisumu and neglected us. My grandmother was also hostile to my mother and even branded my mother a witch. We got news months later that my father was getting married to another woman in a traditional wedding. My dad went back to the city with his new wife. We suffered a lot.

What happened next? I moved to Siaya, my maternal home and this is where my story in crime began. My mother got married to another man and had four other children.

Was this a relief to you? In the beginning yes, because my mother was happy. But eight years later, her husband died and the in-laws kicked her out with the children. So they all came back to Siaya at to my grandmother’s place. In 2006, my mum fell sick for a day and the following afternoon we came back from school for lunch to news she had died.

How about school? I passed my KCPE very well. Alliance was my school of choice but we couldn’t afford the fee, so I joined a district school. Luckily, they had a scholarship programme and I was a beneficiary. They’d pay three-quarters of my fee and my grandmother would pay the rest

How was your grandmother able to pay your fee? She used to brew busaa and chang’aa. That is how she fed and raised us.

What next after high school?

I went back to the village and got influenced by peer pressure.  We had all the time for disco matangas and nightclubs. I got into a group of eight. By then I had started taking alcohol since my grandmother used to brew it. I would steal some of it. The group introduced me to bhang and many other wayward things.

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What did you do after that?

My father came for me, so I moved to Nairobi. He feared that I would be murdered in the village considering my criminal record.

What did you do? I went looking for a job at a construction site. Then I met these guys who took me to their house and showed me the stuff they owned and asked if I needed the same things. They promised to show me how to get them. One night, they cornered an old man whom they were harassing. That’s when I realised they were robbers. They got me a house and I moved out of my father’s house.

What was your turning point? One night while we were setting out to rob, I sensed danger. I tried to warn my friends but they just thought I was scared. It turned out one of our gang members was working with the police as an informer. So as soon as we hijacked a car and stole the money and tried to take off, we heard shouts ordering us to stop. One of us fired at the police and who fired back. I saw my friends die. I don’t know what happened but I missed a bullet and managed to escape.

Where did you go?

I found myself in church and sat there the whole night. In the morning the usher asked me why I was not leaving. I just asked the usher to lead me to the pastor. I confessed to him that I was one of the people who was involved in a police shootout outside the church the other night, and I gave him my gun. He called was the OCS from Umoja. I thought the pastor had betrayed me.

What did the OCS do? He pitied me, he did not turn me in but promised to kill me with my gun if I went back to crime. That’s how we closed the case, it was a secret between the three of us.

What happened next? I was taken to shave my dreadlocks and I threw away my jewellery. I was prayed for and stayed with pastor for over a week. That’s how I devoted my life to serve Christ.

How was life in ministry? I was chosen to be the youth chairman. I live in and for Christ to date.

Any advice to the youth? Don’t do something just because someone else is doing it. Trust in God through whom everything is possible.

Interview by Standardmedia.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Lady recounts pain of learning her HIV positive status in front of her new boyfriend

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Being in a new relationship nowadays requires couples to know their status before engaging in sexual orientation. This is a healthy norm due to many diseases that come as a result of sexual intimacy.

Lady says she learnt of her HIV status on her visit to the health facility with her new boyfriend 10 years ago

Irene Waliula (pictured) has been battling with HIV/AIDS for the last 10 years. Photo: Irene Waliaula.
Source: Facebook

As the world celebrates HIV and AIDS Day, Irene Waliaula 28, narrated her 10-year journey battling with AIDs, disease that changed her to a toxic person.

Hell broke loose on her when she visited a Nairobi health facility together with her boyfriend to know their HIV status after getting into a new relationship.

She was diagnosed with the dreaded virus and was left heartbroken, dejected and distressed.

On two occasions, the then 18-year-old girl contemplated suicide.

Were it not for the intervention of an AIDS councillor who guided and assisted her to start seeing things positively, Irene said she would have taken her on life along the way since the temptation kept on knocking.

Though the journey has not been easy considering the costs of medication and sustaining a healthy diet, the mother of one said having a positive mind has helped her to overcome a lot of the challenges.

Lady says she learnt of her HIV status on her visit to the health facility with her new boyfriend 10 years ago

Irene Waliaula. Photo: Irene Waliaula.
Source: Facebook

She has been sensitising the society and especially the youth on HIV and AIDS prevention measures through her social media platforms and other avenues including, churches, seminars and town hall meetings.

“When you first contract this disease, you obviously need strong people around you. For my case, I did not have such people around me. It was only my mother who was there for me. Though she was shocked, she had to be strong for me.” She recalled.

Irene said even though she no longer stays with her baby daddy. Her life has really changed because she chose to have people with positive minds around her.

She advised those living with AIDs to always focus on the best thing that life has to offer because after all, everyone deserves to live.

by Tuko.co.le


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VIDEO: Kenyan Woman Narrates How She Was Detained in the US for over a Year After Traveling to Visit a Friend

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A Kenyan woman says that  she landed in jail after a friend invited her to visit the US.

Speaking in an interview with a local TV Station, the lady identified only as Grace said he left the country after obtaining a visitor’s visa from the American Embassy in Nairobi but trouble began shortly after she alighted the plane at an airport in Seattle, Washington, and was excited to visit the US as she thought the trip would open the door to greener pastures.

A single mother who separated from her husband, Grace says she was unexpectedly interrogated by airport authorities about the friend who invited her to the US.

Unfortunately, she could not give the relevant details about the friend which led officers to believe she was in the country illegally.

“I didn’t have enough details of the person who had invited me to America. On the other hand, the person who invited me didn’t also have my details,” said Grace.

As a result, she was arrested and incarcerated for more than a year before she was eventually deported to Kenya having being denied bond on several occasions.

Grace described spending time behind bars in a foreign country as traumatizing and the fact that she had left her kids back in Kenya exacerbated her suffering.

“Life was not easy for me knowing that I had left my children back in Kenya. Life of being detained is tough because you have no freedom and you are in a foreign country. Other people even committed suicide,” she recounted.

She added that she would not advise anyone to go and find greener pastures abroad.

 


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Entertainment

‘I thought she would marry ‘Jesus’ not a divorcee,’ Pastor Kanyari shades Betty Bayo

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Pastor Victor Kanyari has broken his silence after his ex-wife Gospel singer Betty Bayo got engaged during her 33rd birthday last week on Wednesday.

Sharing the news with her fans on social media, the Eleventh Hour crooner posted a cutout picture of her fiancé on one knee putting the engagement ring on her finger with the caption, ‘Taken’.

Speaking to Word Is, the controversial pastor said he is aware that the mother of his two children got engaged but was shocked to learn that the man she is currently dating is a divorcee.

“I thought she was going to marry ‘Jesus’ after all the hateful things she said about me,” he said.

“He is a man who left his family, a wife and two children somewhere. She did not look for Jesus, tell her to marry a ‘Jesus’ kind of a man so she can surprise us not a man who has been used somewhere.”

Kanyari hopes that his children will be well taken care of.

“I have given my children the best life and I promise to take them to the best schools in America. Now that there is another man in her life, I hope he will be chipping in.”

Betty is now planning for a grand wedding and Pastor Kanyari said he is invited.

“I can’t attend her wedding although I am invited. She should continue with her life.”

“I came before him and at least opened some way for him. He can continue with where I left although there were others before me.”

Asked how well he knows Betty’s new bae, Pastor Kanyari referred to him as a broke man.

“He is from Central Kenya, but can’t compete with my level. He is a hungry man, that is the best way I can describe him. I can buy them lunch only that they have not shown up.”

He continued and said that instead of attending to the wedding, he will offer to pay for their honeymoon.

“Hii ni mbio ya farasi na punda. I do not know why she has rushed things since I did not expect her to be with that kind of a man. I expected a different kind of man. I am cuter…”

On the other side, Kanyari says Betty is still his friend and they call each other.

“She calls me anytime she is in a problem or is stressed. I wish her well and we shall meet at the end of all these.”

Pastor Kanyari says he has no hurry in moving on.

Word Is reached out to Betty Bayo who asked us to do a congratulatory story first, which we did.

She then declined to speak anything concerning her engagement.

“I am not ready to speak about it now.”

by Mpasho.co.ke


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