Our young boy comes from one the most horrific backgrounds you could imagine, and the biggest miracle is that he survived the sadistic abuse that he lived through.
He was the second born of 4 children. He had a very gentle loving Mama and his tortured face softens when he remembers tiny bits about his Mama. He says she loved him and he thinks he was maybe 3 years old when she died, following the birth of his baby sister.
He remembers that his father loved his brother but not our young boy. He knows that the father used to drink and beat his beloved Mama.
Days after his baby sister was born, the lights went out for our baby boy when he mother passed away. He remembers the loss so clearly. Only days after that his baby sister joined his Mama with the angels.
He wonders if he was to blame for both their deaths. He and his two brothers were moved into the house of their Grandmother and the darkness hit them with the same force as the fists and sticks wielded by his Grandmother and her partner.
During the following years of horror this baby boy and his older brother lived through the long, painful death of his baby brother. He remembers his brothers pain and his own anger that no-one did anything to help save him. He says they sat and cried – something he really struggles with today. Don’t cry – do something is his belief!
So, the two brothers were alone in a place of horror – beaten and tortured until they nearly died- literally. When his Grandparents were too exhausted to beat them, they would call the Uncles or the police to take over. He was a baby, beaten and hoping to die.
It is no shock that this beautiful baby boy took his life into his own hands and blocked out the pain of the beatings. He refused to show pain. He refused to show fear. He simply started into the faces of the most sadistic adults you could imagine. Whatever they did he put a mask on his face and took it. That stays with him today – when life is too much he places a mask on his face and switches all feelings off.
At five years old he could take no more and left for the streets of Nakuru – a long long walk for anyone but a tiny, half-starved baby with no shoes and ripped clothes – the walk to freedom was so harsh. The walk to the freedom of the streets of Nakuru.
The streets where this beautiful baby boy learnt to hustle and sell whatever he had just to live. Where his infectious smile was not seen, only the face of an angry hurt baby with eyes that burnt through from the hardened heart that continued to beat in his tortured body. He wore his battle scars on his body and hid the traumatised soul with a fierce look. How did he survive so many years with no-one to care in any way shape of form for him? He was a baby. He learnt to fight hard and needed no-one
Several times Our young boy was ’rounded up’ from the streets; he spent time in children’s prisons; time in orphanages where they tried to beat the devil out of him – no surprise that he ran away back to the violence and safety of sleeping in doorways, feeding from the rotten foods that were riddle with maggots and mould.
He survived. He didn’t cry. He took all his beatings and fear with a hardened face. He worked hard in small jobs and became a leader in the hierarchy of town and I believe he would have died on the streets if he hadn’t come to Rafiki Mwema / Play Kenya.
This young man had dreams but he didn’t know how to get them. He had a heart that beat with anger and yet hid a heart of love and kindness. Could anyone reach this baby boy who for 9 long years battled living in town. No love just fears: No kindness just violence. How could he escape the demons in his heart? Could he ever feel loved?
So what happened to our brave damaged baby boy after spending nine long years living on the streets paved with fear and violence? Many times, because he was so small, such a baby, he was ‘round up’ and taken to police stations, where he was severely beaten; he was taken to charities who wanted to rehabilitate him, so sent him back to his sadistic family where he had to continue to run; or he was taken off the streets to be used as slave labour. Not once did anyone see the young man he was to become. Everyone wanted to change him rather than loving the beautiful soul this young man tried so hard to hide.
My very own life changed when I came face to face with this boy when he was around seven years old. My heart stopped beating and the sun shone in my heart. This angry, aggressive dirty little boy brought the universe screaming to a halt. His defiant damaged face masked in anger, his voice full of years of abuse; His words said go – his heart screamed LOOK AT ME! So, I looked. And I loved. Behind his eyes, the pain and fear of years of abuse and torture spoke to my heart. He had to be helped before the anger killed him.
It took several years before he was safe in our therapeutic home, but he didn’t feel safe. He felt trapped and tricked. For years he came to our football project. He ate our food and brought his drug of choice to throw our rules in our face. But he came. He grew hardened and even more angry, but still his small frame seemed to stand head and shoulders above his bigger brothers. He had something warrior like about him. He needed love.
When we opened the doors to our first therapeutic house our manager tried to refuse to take this young boy as he was a boy with a reputation for being difficult – really difficult. But we had known him, and I needed to know him more. I was like a moth round the flame of his life. Captivated and held.
I would so love to tell you that a month later all was good, and we were building a therapeutic relationship and helping him move forwards. Not so – he fought every single connection with me. He trusted no-one. He fought tooth and nail for what he believed in. He was a warrior and a leader and I was not welcomed in his gang!
But that has all changed. The magic of love, acceptance and kindness has seeped into his damaged soul. It has taken years but now, this island of fear and loathing is able to reach out sometimes for help; he is loving funny and kind; he is smart and is amazing at his chosen career path. His dream is to be the best Papa on the planet and raise strong children. He will do that.
He wants to be a leader in his chosen path; he is gifted; determined and has talent that oozes out of him. He will be amazing
But more, so very much more than that, he knows he is loved and can give love in return. His past is his history; his future his own to make.
In my life I will always be in debt to this amazing young man. He teaches me about life on a daily basis. He tells me when I am wrong – one day he might tell me when I am right too
He lights up a room with his humour and shuts down a room with his anger. He is still on a pathway of change but he has love holding his hand now.
If you met him you would get why he is so loved
He simply is the heartbeat of this family and we love him so very very much
Thank you for helping us to give this young man a future