Text: Victor Oduor (Organizations Coordinator of KiberaAID)
Photo: Brian Otieno (Chairman of KiberaAID)
Having grown up in Kibera we’ve been through all but I still hold my head up still chasing my dream. What hurts most is the fact that we never learn. I started seeing young boys being beaten to death by mob justice when I was only eleven. Then, we were just kids playing together with no solid idea of what really was happening. We would corp with the scenes which we always saw during the mob justice and one thing we learnt is that it was not a good scene to be involved and I thought that could be enough to learn from. Life continues and suddenly people changed, the way we used to play football together ceased and we started focusing on our future. Few made it but most gave up very early leading to insecurity in a place we’ve always called home. Young boys are being killed everyday and we never learn the lessons still. What I’ve seen over the time has not pleased me and I’m saddened because we don’t want to change, the only thing we can do is write RIP when we’ve lost someone who could have been a productive citizen. I’m always wondering when are these youths going to learn and suddenly change. Organizations are everywhere in Kibera with aims of engaging youths in their noble cause activities but none would buy that. Talented youths are involving themselves in criminal activities because of failure of some of these organizations to deliver their promises. The unemployment is real and the population pressure is real and I’m wondering how long are we going to continue losing this gifted souls? It’s high time the youths start changing their mindset and stop seeing death as swag . It has become very serious when we lose over three boys in a week and all are below twenty years and the cause is always one – gunshots or mob justice. Is there a better way we can contain this incidences? The government has brought a lot of programs going on and I think we should involve ourselves more into this projects because going by this estimation we only need less than ten years and my age mates will no longer be here. It’s high time we start being good friends who tell the truth to their friends , there’s no need of keeping bad company just because you want to prove yourself superior than the other. If we continue involving ourselves into this criminal acts then there’s no future ahead. Let’s not rely on football alone for prosperity – we should involve ourselves in income generating activities, let’s stop using this shortcuts which are only leading us to the graveyard. Sweat is sweet, but someone else’s sweat is bitter.
Photo: The Kenya – Uganda railway, a route so synonymous with idle youths – always sitting by the railside brazenly waiting for the target to mug. Photo|Bryan Jaybee, KiberaStories