Daniel Wambua Autobiography
I was born in 1997 in Kibwezi, one of the biggest and oldest slums in Kenya. It is in the eastern part of Kenya. Both my mother and father were happy for birth of their 4th child, another boy. When I was one year old we vacated to Juakali in Eldoret. Life improved because my father got a job. I joined St. Mary’s school in Eldoret.
After a year my father got a quarter acre of land and built a small house. My mother got a job as a nurse. We thus managed to pay all our debts, and continue with the construction of the house.
After attending to St. Mary school for a year we were transferred to another school. Every day I could wake up to a cup of tea with a piece of ugali left over from a previous supper meal, and then go to school at 7:00 in the morning. God favoured us because my parents bought a television and a small power generator and a big tank which boosted our family business. My mother could take the T.V. set to school for pupils to watch and pay 5 shillings per pupil.
My mother started doing video shows in the neighbouring schools. Mostly the video shows were all about education on HIV/AIDS, technological development, health education, drugs etc. Every child in Eldoret town knew her and loved her. You see my mother was a trained nurse but like thousands of other nurses she was not employed by the government so the video shows were held in the afternoon.
Occasionally, an NGO asked my mother to spray insecticide, germicides, in the infested slums and ghettos in Eldoret. She received an allowance for this. On top of this we sold tap water. Later, dad who was a staunch Christian stopped working and started to preach the gospel. He started a registered fellowship.
All these activities kept our family afloat there was no talk of lack although we were not rich. I went on with school and got good grades. I dreamt of being a doctor when I saw my mother caring for sick people. Sometimes I went to hospital with her by this time I was 11 years old and in grade 4. My parents loved each other very much. I enjoyed the good environment they created for us children. I’m second last, my sister Virginia is last born, being 3 years behind me, that was on the year 2007 – during general elections.
I was not aware of all the political mayhem, being planned in Kenya. My parents seemed pre-occupied with a lot of possibilities of changes in Kenya. The election ended peacefully. But all of a sudden, the results were rejected by the broad opposition. Soon after a lot of bickering by leaders, protests and demonstrators were held in all districts. Ethnicity became an issue. You should know my parents are from different tribes. My mother is a Kalenjin and my father is a Kamba. Kalenjins are known for un-dying anger when provoked. War broke out and people started disappointed.
Neighbours vanished but we did not know where to go. We could not go to mum’s parents since father was not a Kalenjin. On other hand dad’s tribe was 900 km away. There were not transport as everything even telephones shut down.
Our good peaceful neighbourhood became a ghost town. We huddled together in our small house. From last born Virginia, me, Benjamin, Fame, and first born Faith. My mother had been busy contributing to the population of the world! At that time I couldn’t love like now. We could die –be burnt in our house any time!. There were gun shots and screams at night. Flames on burning houses could be observed every night. Roads were blocked, shops closed, burnt, broken into, people killed.
My mother a brave woman approached the warriors outside at night and begged for our lives. She traded all our property for our escape. The warriors, strangers, escorted us through the night to a place. We had walked for 40 km on foot. Virginia, cried all the way. She was scared. Father kept reassuring us and praying all the time. I think it was his prayers that saved us. We ran in to our fellow displaced people in the morning. I was tired, hungry and cold.
Together in a big group of refugees(mostly old and children) left for Nakuru, almost 200 km away, through a hostile route again anytime could run in to fighters and kiss sweet life good bye. Am sure you don’t know the rest. We camped, cooked in the open until we covered 100 miles. My father left us and got a lift on a motor cycle to Nakuru. There we joined a church and made friends.
We later went to Nairobi. We used a lorry which transported all the refugees to Nairobi. In Nairobi another church took care of us, for three months. My family other refugees and my dad found us a place to live. He started praying and organising prayers with other ministers. He held crusades. All this time we were not attending school. One member of the fellowship who was a volunteer in a neighbouring school, brought my parents to the school , in December 2010. The school was Hamomi children centre. Benjamin, Virginia, and I joined the school in January 2011. I will sit for my final exams this year in November.