NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11 – Kasule sits on his old small sofa, he places his feet on the table and pulls a tray with his bead work closer to him.
Very keenly, he picks the usual sewing needle and a white thread, he puts the thread through the eye of the needle using his right big toe as the left big toe holds the needle firmly, he pulls the thread through the eye, cuts it when he has the right size, then ties a strong knot using his two big toes.
This, he does within a split of a second.
He then leans forward to take a closer look at the work of his feet. One by one he carefully sifts through grains of coloured beads, watching closely he picks small beads matching them uniformly with other coloured beads.
Kasule is very fast as he fills the needle with the beads and pushes them to the thread using his toes.
This is what Kasule does to make neat Maasai bangles and necklaces.
For him, he has perfected his work and does it passionately.
“I love my work very much, this is what I do every day, I enjoy it, it is also my source of income,” he says.
He writes using his right foot.
His beautiful designs of unique cards with threaded pictures of animals, flowers and other items representing different themes are artistically displayed on his small table.
It is very hard to make a choice of which cards to buy because they are all amazingly cute!
“The only problem is that I have a very small market because I mostly sell them from my house and around this small town (Uthiru). I sell the necklaces and the cards for Sh100, of course I don’t make a lot of money, but the little I get is good enough,” he says.
Kasule should – as is often seen – be out on the streets begging for money. But he has chosen to use what God gave him to make a living.
He was born 24 years ago without hands. His parents dumped him in a hospital immediately after birth.
“My parents abandoned me when they discovered I did not have hands, they left me in the hospital. I was named Solomon Kasule. My parents were never there to even give me a name. I stayed there for one year,” he says.
“I then joined Dagoretti Children’s Home which takes care of abandoned or orphaned children,” he adds.
But as fate would have it, Kasule is now a total man, probably a man who if his parents saw today would be ashamed of their cruel, selfish deed.
Orphaned and disabled, young Kasule has lived to conquer his daily challenges.
“While at the centre, I learned different skills, I learnt how to design, draw and bead using my feet and I also have a diploma in Art and Design” he explains.
Kasule lives with his foster father Michael Mbue in Uthiru town.
“I met my father when I was 8 years old. His son was my close friend, he invited me to visit him, I visited him severally and our friendship blossomed. He introduced me to his family,” he says.
Mr Mbue says: “Kasule is different, he is very hardworking and he never asks for any financial support. He is my son and I love him, and he will remain my son.”
“I will give him a piece of land he can build when he wants,” he says with a warm smile on his face.
Mr Mbue is not one of those rich people in Kenya.
He is not even in the middle class category, but he has squeezed his needs to fit Kasule in his family.
Like any other dad, Mr Mbue has another reason to smile. This is because Kasule has found his better half, 23-year-old Salome Njoki.
“I and Njoki met at the centre, we were very good friends during our childhood, at thirteen our friendship was very strong, sadly we parted ways after I went to school to do my diploma,” he recounts.
As if meant for each other they coincidentally met again in Uthiru.
“We rekindled our friendship, in January this year I asked Njoki if she could be my girlfriend, I was very scared, I expected her to say no because I was used to being rejected by girls,” he says.
“Sometimes I met girls, who liked me, but their parents would question me wondering how I would take care of them without hands. Some said I was marrying to make their daughters my slave,” he says sadly remembering the harsh times.
But Kasule was determined to marry despite many failed attempts to meet a girl.
“I love Kasule very much, we have grown up together and we know what problems mean, we have been through tough times, Kasule’s disability is not inability, he does what any other man can do, I feel he is a full man and I know he loves me,” Njoki says this passionately.
In a unique wedding attended by hundreds of people, Njoki and Kasule exchanged their vows.
But what is even more striking is where Kasule’s wedding ring was put.
To the amazement of everyone, Kasule sat on a chair, picked a wedding ring using his right foot, and carefully pushed it in Njoki’s left ring finger.
“Kasule has no hands, where will his wedding ring be put?” This is a question that many people were asking.
People tried to get as tall as they could to get a closer look at the beautiful couple waiting for the moment that would answer their curiosity.
Njoki put the wedding ring on Kasule’s left 4th toe. Ululations and screams of joy rent the air as the pastor pronounced Mr and Mrs Solomon Kasule husband and wife.
Song and dance marked the big celebration attended by family, friends and even strangers.