I had seven hours to wait until my bus departed, so I wandered around the city. Kisumu is full of markets and has a large central park. After a while I found an interesting pick-up basketball game sat down in the park to watch. Duncan and Alfred saw an mzungu sitting there and ventured over. They were dressed well spoke eloquently. They seemed different from the other street boys. We sat together for two hours while they told me their stories. Duncan even wrote his down for me. It goes like this:
“I was born in the year 1989. I was born out of wedlock while my mum was a school going girl. I grew up as a young boy under the care of my beloved grandmum in Siaya until it reached a time when I had to start my primary education. I learned up to class six and my mum came and took me to Nairobi where I met a man whom my mum forced me to call ‘dad.’ Surely he wasn’t my dad because every time he would beat me and tell me that [since he was with my mom, he could also do anything he wanted to me.]
Unfortunately, when I reached standard seven, my beloved mum died in a road accident. It was painful, but God relieved me from the pain. During my last primary year, my dad (the man) got drunk, beat me, and sent me to my grandmum. There I did my primary exams.
Come my Form One year in Secondary School, my dad died and I was totally rejected by the rest of my family and relatives. I went to the streets. Life in the streets is worse than any other life.”
Duncan and Alfred both scored in the top levels nationally on their primary school exams. They would be valedictorians in most Kenyan schools. Each is 17 years old and hopes one day to get off the streets and go back to class. If anyone is interested in helping with a school sponsorship, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org