CHILD LABOUR

Makena could not believe her good luck; she was now back in the comfort of her home. She was very happy to be back in school. She lay in bed thinking about the past two years of her life. Her life flashed through her mind like a video show of a frightening movie.

When they were walking home with her friend Lena, a car stopped beside them and a tough looking man called them by their names,’ Makena and Lena, come with me to the shop. I will buy you soda and cakes then take you home,’

The children looked at each other. Then Makena said,’ sorry we can’t come with you. We do not know you.’ The man got very angry. He got out of the car, grabbed Makena by the hand and pushed her into the car. Lena managed to escape. Then the man sped away. He threatened to kill Makena if she continued shouting for help.

After what seemed like a whole day’s journey, the car stopped and the man ordered Makena out of the car. He grabbed her hand and led her to a one roomed house. He handed her over to an equally frightening woman.

‘You will look after my children and the house when l go to work,’ the woman said. She was too young, too tired and in shock to understand that was the beginning of her life as a child laborer.

She wanted to run away and go back to her home but all she could see were miles and miles of green tea plants.

Later that year, Makena’s employer got a baby and had to stay at home to nurse the baby.

She started working on the plantation and would buy her food with the wages she was being paid.’

She was shocked to find many other children picking tea together with grown –up laborers.

The children were paid very meager wages although they worked from seven o’clock in the morning to six o’clock in the evening. They only got seventy shillings a day of their labor. She took the money she was paid to her employer. No one seemed to notice that the children were exploited. So please we are very angry about what is going on in our country, the government should take  action to stop this behavior.

Obedience pays

Every kid in my neighborhood waited for it with anticipation. It show cased in our neighborhood every 17th day of the month.

The following day, kids told and retold tales of the event with great excitement of what had transpired the previous night and anyone who was not there watched from the sidelines.

During this time, I felt terribly left out as my parents had restricted me from attending such events saying they were risky. The event was a film, which we fondly referred to as ‘cinema ya kitambaa ‘which show case in my neighborhood for free. Well, l could not see anything wrong with it or the kids who  attended the free movie.

In fact, it seemed to make their lives more lively. l felt that my parents restrained me from living life fully. So, I made a vow to myself that l would not miss the next one.

The next one was on a Saturday and l thought of the perfect excuse I could tell my parents. Sunday school practice gladly, my parents granted me permission and l was out of the door before they even inquired when I’ll be back.

Usually, the screening was put out in an open field behind some factory, l waited and waited, and it was not until darkness set in and the film crew started setting up the stage.

By now, my teeth rattled as cold chill bit at my bear arms and legs.

I had thought dry the time it was getting dark, l would be back now and my parent s would not know where I was.  However, l would not let my friends know. l was afraid of getting home late so l, pretended to be excited too.

Hi! Children keen chine,’’ said a voice from the speaker.

All  seemed well when the white cloth swayed in the wind and the film crackled to life. As soon as the film started, a scary animal   roared on the screen roaring loudly, and l cringed. Several kids seating next to me started screaming, it must have been their first time too.

Loud grumbling followed from the back,’’ WATOTO WAENDE NYUMBANI’’ an angry man shouted from the back.

Moments later, l heard a something whizz by my ear followed by a spotting sound and a certain strong smell of something rotten. Before l could figure out where the ‘missile’ had come from, several landed on my back.

They were rotten eggs, AMINI stamped following as we scampered for safety, into the darkness, falling in ditches l arrived home, hurt, with one shoe and stinking body.

My parents punished me heavily, I was beaten up thoroughly for lying and staying out late.

Police harassment

We are tired of the police, harassment from them is the order of the day, when will this come to an end?

People are no longer free to go about their business’ be it during the day or even at night, our brothers and sisters are being arrested for no reason, when will this stop? The government has not provided jobs, the little these youths earn out of hustling, is being taken away from them by police in the name of bribery.

How does the police expect these youths to survive? For how long will this injustice go on? When will the poor get justice in this society? The underage girls and boys have not been spared either, when will this stop?

My brother was killed by the police, he was neither a thief nor a suspect by the time of his death. When we questioned the police why they killed him, the answer was,”mistaken identity,” that’s all.

Does it mean, not all animals are equal, there are those who are important than others?



 

My Life

My name is Judith Anyango, I was born in the year 1996 in Kisumu, Nyanza province.

I  am an orphan and lives with my sister in Huruma estate. Even though I do not have my parents, I am so proud of myself as a girl because God created me for a purpose.

In life I have faced so many challenges but I have never given up because I have a brighter future ahead of me. God has given me a wonderful gift that I will always thank Him for. And that gift is life. The lord has been with me in my times of sorrow and even of joy.

Life is a wonderful gift from the lord and no one is allowed to destroy it.

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