NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Six year old Emily Wanjiru stole President Uhuru Kenyatta’s heart with her poetic performance at the Sagana State Lodge as she decried the desolate conditions that she, her family and many other households in Gachororo Village in Juja call home.
A confident Emily recited her piece about the leaky roofs which during the rains deprive her and her family of sleep or a place to sit, often seeking refuge in a neighbour’s home or shielding themselves with umbrellas whilst in the house.
“I wake up in the morning and I am wet, the umbrella which my mother used to cover me as I slept fell over leaving me exposed to the rain water.”
“On the other hand, lucky children my age or even younger wake up dry and they have food to warm their tummies as they go to school. What makes me different?” Emily recited.
Emily’s 22-year-old mother Elizabeth Njoki who is a rehabilitated street urchin amidst tears narrated her heartbreaking story that saw little Emily come into the world.
“When I was 14 years my father died and his people seized the opportunity to throw my mother, brother and I out of our home. We went to our maternal grandmother’s home and settled there but things were hard and we barely had any food to eat and we did not go to school.”
“Life became too hard to bear and I decided to borrow money from a friend and travelled to Nairobi in search of a better life. Once here there was nobody willing to hire such a young girl as a house help.”
“With no luck at securing a domestic job I turned to the streets of Gikomba and they soon became my home. Two years later at 16, I fell pregnant from a fellow street boy but I did not know I was pregnant.”
“One night as we were roaming the streets as was norm I started feeling pain and was unable to walk. Thereafter I started bleeding and my fellow street boys and girls escaped leaving me next to a big truck. After a few hours of agony and pain I gave birth to Emily and by the grace of God the driver of the truck found me.”
“The truck driver took off his sweater and wrapped the baby in it and took me to Pumwani Hospital where I received medical attention.”
“After leaving the hospital with my baby I returned to the streets but my stay was short-lived as I opted to return to my mother where I was sure that my baby would at least survive better than in the streets,” she recalled.
Speaking as he presented little Emily and her family with donations from President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Head of Digital and Diaspora at State House Dennis Itumbi announced that Emily, her brother and cousin would receive scholarships up to university level.
Itumbi also presented the family with a new home which had adequately been furnished and stocked with food.