Growing up in a rural area was not an easy easy thing.Being in the farm the whole day was a ritual. Any one who could cultivate faster than others was a role model.
I can`t exactly remember how I found myself in the city but within my first few days some faces became familiar and i could spot them everyday, like one person I noticed was this young girl along Moi Avenue who used to beg. I would say by then she was less than ten and I think she was what dog lovers call cute. Many women would say she was adorable.
She would follow strangers; hold their hands until they gave her something. Sometimes she used to hold my arm and follow for some minutes.
Six years later the girl has grown and today I would say she is around 16 years old. She doesn’t look cute any more because her face, has scars, I imagine that is what a cat fight does to someone’s face. Today she can’t hold a mans hand and follow him because I guess she now understands there is something called gender and its not proper.
Every time I see her I have a wish, I wish that I can borrow her time and talk to her. I would like to hear her story. Even if I always see her at night, her eyes seem to have seen more than any middle class 30 year old has. The streets has taught her, beaten her and destroyed her face too.
Despite seeing her often, my wish is yet to be true because I have fears. I hear there are cartels that control the city and they decide who begs where. I also understand that her mother is somewhere watching what she is doing or who she is talking to. Strangers might also wonder why am so interested in this 14 years old.
I also fear that she hates individuals like me; who think that listening to other people’s stories and telling them to bigger audiences is a way of serving humanity.
I might sound judgmental but I know that there are people who take advantage of such kids to make money. Those who are exploited know it and they do not want to tell their stories anymore unless they are paid.
I feel a shamed that I have never done anything to help this girl who has spent more than six years in the streets of Nairobi. I am guilty of watching her once cute face turn ugly. I agree am a coward that all I have done is write about her with hope that all the monies set aside by our government for her and those like her will be used for the intended purpose.
I hope those who embezzle money meant for the street family will imagine this girl who used to be as cute as a puppy would have her face saved if she was removed from the street early enough.
I don’t want to imagine what she goes through everyday while her peers are warm in bed. The shame of following strangers with hope they will give her a coin while her age mates are doing homework.
I hate looking at her face because I think she might have self-esteem issues because her once cute face is now in ruins.
I prefer remembering that small girl I used to see years ago, but the bad part is, I always meet her. I hope she won’t get into drugs if she is not already in and hope those who are courageous than me will save her from destruction.
I hope one day she will tell me her story without fear that the cartel is watching and she will be punished. I see her ending her story and I will just say that, “this is our story” because I could have saved you. Forgive me I was a just normal Kenyan who hoped government would do something. I thought I was so insignificant to change your life but am gland you made it.Follow us on: