Hands tucked together, taking strolls in the evening cozy breeze! Steps aligned in rhyme, surveying the horizon below. Mental apparatus supposedly running on a single bandwidth, reflected by echo’s of laughter’ even from the silliest of jokes. Check off at the library, it’s time to carry books home. Heads hooded on tables , assignment in progress.
The curtains fall on the mischief’ act and “who were you with?”, the familiar faces “J, K & S” At the pools deepest end and something tugs at your feet, a hasty retreat to the surface and “shit, it was you K.” And more often than not, the water fights that left every one with reddish eye-balls, and limbs too tired and lazy. Oh, the many faces at every phase and turn. Only the apparel’s kept changing but one constant remained, my HEART, my best friend never changing, continuously tagging and being tagged in silent telepathy.
So was there ever a one constant friend you can name without having to scuttle through the many phases and turns of life, if not your heart?
The dreamy train must have taken a suicidal cruise with windows all tinted to obscure images that could have betrayed the forward tempo, or so it seems for today arrived too soon!
Dreams of success, posh cars cruising fast and carefree on the first lane and having all the money beyond expense to share with the less fortunate.
The jet-lag must have set in from the long journey. Today my little daughter wants to be a doctor and the little boy wants to be a ‘super hero’ whatever that means to him now. In the meantime am held guilty of not saying what i think of it all as am held down in the crossroad of decision (should i tell or shouldn’t i?) for sooner or later along the ever continuous journey, the son will ultimately realize -albeit lately if he still remembers the dream, that there ain’t a thing of that sort.
Time flies, ever so fast, and here i am. The much vouched freedom ain’t free and each day i walk along a girded path with must do’s, to keep family and help the youngsters achieve their dreams!
Am i flying as ought? I may not know, in fact i only know am pressed from both see-able sides, but alas! Doesn’t that mean am doing good? Always wanted my name in print and i have just began and maybe, maybe i should stop here and press this once!!
It’s 10 o’clock Monday morning, scattered groups of children play about in the narrow alleys littered with garbage.
A few meters away, a private school housed in a rental house opens its gates to let its pupils play out in the open road-the only open continuous space between kiambiu slums and Eastleigh airbase fence.
The first group of children ought to be in school but lady luck has chosen to look the other way for the time being, and that is the scenario replicating itself here, there, whichever way you turn to look.
On the contrary, the second group of children who eventually make it to school do not have the necessary basic equipments for recreation not to mention the makeshift rental houses passing out as classrooms in over ten private schools and counting.
This is the mix within, it’s the slum life, the choices are few if any, in the meantime hope is awaited!
In my formative years growing up i had nurtured the dream of becoming a professional accredited writer, In fact to this day, running through the my mails are countless responses to inquiries i made, but that was never to be as the cost went way beyond my reach. Today as you read this you’ll remember am only trying to live my dream though not to the best of standards i had hoped for.
Every child is born unique with hopes and aspiration to live up to, some grandeur, some average but they all require help and guidance from quality institutions to mindful policy makers and stakeholders in order to develop their set talents to maturity.
But who will raise the thousands of children living in the slums as regards qualitative education and cognitive development so that they can confidently compete with their peers from the affluent homes?
“Article 53 of the Kenyan constitution thus summarizes education as a right in all public schools but does that imply all children of school going age within the slums can simply cross roads to adjacent neighborhoods and join classes at the available public schools? Yes and No.
Yes because it’s a constitution right of every child. No because the children will need the input of parent’s a majority of whom are living with less than $2 a day, barely enough to put a decent meal on the family table.
To enroll your child at a public school today we checked and found the basic list as below:
school uniform: $11.4,
School bag: $5.7,
Admission fee: $45.5.
It is no-wonder many children of school going age will still be seen loitering and playing about in the slums’ crevices while their peers take lessons albeit from an untrained teacher, in a not so formal set up.