This Man, The Baton

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He remembers his mother’s lover. Not the unique features of his face but his presence, or rather, his moment of impending absence. At 6-years, he didn’t know what a lover was. All he knew was this man whom he and his sister called Uncle. This man, who had lived next door to them in the tea plantations where they grew up, was frequently over. Uncle was frequently over because his father never was. His father was never over because he died before he was born, in the second trimester. To mean, he was born in mourning. But worse than being born in mourning, he would soon discover, was to be born in poverty. 

 

When they buried his mom and the crowd was dispersing, he remembers clinging onto his mother’s lover, because he didn’t want to remain alone in the village, he wanted to go back with him to the tea plantations in Kericho. But Uncle couldn’t go back with him. He was not his son, not his kith or kin. Uncle was just a tea picker who had fallen in love with another tea picker, who was now dead and buried. That’s all he remembers of his mother’s funeral; him crying as his mother’s lover left him behind to live with his grandmother in a rural village called Wamba. 

 

I knew you’d ask – Wamba Village is in Bondo and Bondo in Siaya County. Siaya County is not Kisumu. Kisumu is a city with roundabouts and all. Wamba village has no roundabouts. It’s a small village that overlooks Lake Victoria. 

 

In his grandmother’s modest boma were three houses; the one room main house where granny slept with her younger sister Mercy, the small kitchen which was a hen’s pen at night and lastly the one room house where he and six male cousins slept; cousins he had just met who belonged either to dead aunts or uncles he had never met or aunts and uncles who had dumped their children there. These houses had mud walls, iron-sheet roofs and floors made from cow dung. 

 

They had very little. They walked barefoot. They fished for their food in the lake. Chicken was a delicacy, a preserve for important visitors. He learnt how to row a boat by the time he was seven years and they would row into the lake to fetch drinking water daily. They bathed by the shore and dried by the shore. They did dishes by the shore, washed clothes by the shore. (Not that there was much to wash.) 

 

“I owned one pair of khaki shorts and three shirts, one of which included my school shirt.” They called these shorts, Ojebo. It was a special pair of shorts sewn through the dexterity of his grandmother, with the sole objective of outliving the owner and quite possibly the planet earth and all its inhabitants. It was made from this very tough khaki that could withstand rain, sun, lightning, earthquakes, a nuclear attack and a knife stab. Because these were the only shorts he owned, every three days he would wash it by the lake by laying it on a stone and scrubbing it with a swatch of nylon and a slice of bar soap, then leave it to dry by the shore as he and his friends went into the lake – naked – to fish or fetch drinking water. They’d be gone for a few hours and when they’d return, he would find his shorts there, on the stone, because you never stole someone’s Ojebo. That was the lowest of lows. You could steal someone’s goat but you never stole his Ojebo because then you stripped him of any decency, you left him naked, literally but also figuratively. Because the Ojebo was heavy duty, it would take ages to dry, so he would hang around the shore, waiting for it to dry.  The Ojebo never waited for you, you waited for the Ojebo. And it took its sweet time. Time, as a commodity, was in abundance in the village. Nobody rushed anywhere. There was no massive dream to chase, no deadlines to meet, no proverbial time ticking on your dreams.

 

For the whole of his primary school life he wore that one Ojebo, changing the three shirts occasionally. Barefoot, he walked daily to his primary school – Wambasa Primary School. It had less than 150 students and sisal plants as a fence. Goats roamed about inside the compound. Although the motto was somewhat cliché – Forward Ever, Backward Never – they had some very dedicated teachers; teachers who, unfortunately, had shown up for that dogfight with a cock. 

 

You might not have heard of Wambasa Primary but it’s the school Prophet Owuor attended, a fact which could mean a lot or could mean nothing. Fees was one thousand Kenya shillings a term – that is, two doubles of Oban whisky. Many defaulted and were often sent home. His grandmother was struggling with all these grandchildren and so the responsibility of going to school lay squarely on you. But since school is based on the dream of a brighter future and in his village dreams rarely rose beyond the earth, most dropped out of school. He stayed on because he was smart and books “agreed with him.” So to pay the fees, he would go into the forest to fetch logs then sell them in the nearby Usenge beach for the fishermen to fry the fish with. A batch of twelve pieces tied together called “Wich” went for 10 bob. To fetch this firewood sometimes he had to venture into the forest belonging to the government of Kenya and the wardens would grab him and beat him up. Raising the one thousand shillings was always an uphill task.

 

KCPE results came out when he was bobbing on a boat, shooting the breeze with his friends. He was told he was the top student in his school- 332/500 marks. He broke the news to his grandmother that evening as she sat outside the kitchen, by the three-stone stove. She was blowing the fire. She sat up and looked at him, her eyes watery from the smoke and asked, “Is that a good thing?”

 

“It is,” he said. 

 

“Does it mean they will call you to secondary?”

 

“Yes. But we need twenty thousand shillings for fees.” [Per year] 

 

Eii yawa, nyakwara,” she sighed. She said it was impossible. There was no way they could raise that kind of money. Her whole life she had never held twenty thousand shillings in her hands at a go. Plus there were his cousins and sister to feed. [His sister was later to get married across the lake to a man who owned a motorbike ]

 

At this point being a top student lit a small “what if” in him. A little spark of hope. Something so weak you could blow it off with a sneeze. But it was there; the what if. What if there was actually a chance he could go beyond life in this village? What if a miracle could happen and he could be like those people in Bondo town who rode motorcycles and wore ties? But when nobody else has ever gone to secondary school in your family lineage, when dreaming means going to the moon in a Maruti, you don’t dare stand in that sinking sand of hope. In his village nobody dared to dream big. “You can only dream if you have a way out. We had no way out, so dreaming meant disappointments.”

 

So he carried this little hope in his pocket, a little secret, a rare coin with no value but one that represented something bigger. 

 

He continued with his hustle of playing hide and seek with wardens in the forest, selling firewood, fishing and waiting for his damn Ojebo to dry. One day his primary school teacher sent for him and told him that they had a small miracle; KCDF, (Kenya Community Development Foundation) in conjunction with Chandaria Foundation was offering twenty thousand shillings to sponsor the top student. So he joined Got Abiero Secondary School, quite a distance from his village. Fees was eighteen thousand shillings a year. The extra two thousand shillings he used to buy his uniform. 

 

For the first time he owned a pair of shoes and socks. “It was so difficult adjusting to wearing shoes after walking barefoot all my life. It felt strange, awkward. Sometimes I’d remove the shoes and walk carrying them.” He lived in a small house with a friend who was a shamba boy and caretaker for a man who lived and worked in Nairobi. When you are disadvantaged, you make friends who can help you, so he made friends with the headmaster, Humphrey Opondo, but also with his wife  Jane Opondo who worked in the school. She would give me handouts; a hundred shillings here, or two hundred there, dried maize, millet. “They were very kind people, they helped me a great deal.”

 

His expectations of life then was to take a day at a time. To see what this education might bring. “I was afraid to expect too much from life because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I was just happy that God had gotten me to where I was. That someone was kind enough to pay my fees, people who didn’t know me.”  

 

KCDF paid for his entire secondary education and he emerged the best student at Got Abiero High School scoring a B plain. How he wished his grandmother – now dead two years –  would have been there to see it. For the first time he thought he had a shot at life. That perhaps things could be different. That maybe he could be something more than someone who sold firewood. He started thinking about possibilities. How things had changed overnight! 

 

When applying for university, he had used his primary school post box; 54 Usenge. When his calling letter from Egerton University came, it was mailed there. He heard the news about his university admission when he was in the forest, three days later. A boy he ran into in the woods told him that he had heard his name announced in their primary school assembly. “He told me that everybody cheered.” I was the first person in my whole village to ever be called to university. I was scared. Scared because I knew I was going to be hurt by my success, hurt because I was too poor to afford university.” University wasn’t for them. It was a heavy word on the tongue. 

 

By this time he had moved out of his grandmother’s boma into a small rental house by the lake, going for three hundred shillings a month. He was struggling to pay rent. “How was I going to afford sixty thousand shillings in university fees?!”

 

These immense possibilities paralysed him. The astronomical figures made him curl into a ball at night. Plus where the hell was Egerton University anyway? He had never left his village. The furthest he had been was Bondo town, not even Kisumu. He had heard of Nakuru and Nairobi, but they were just names like Songdo-dong in South Korea or Kortrijk in Belgium. No way you imagine you will ever visit these cities. Someone told him to seek help from the government. So he started knocking on doors, hat in hand; local MCA, local MP, the church. 

 

“I was an undesirable sight. If I showed up in your office, you’d have to open all the windows. My clothes were old and tattered. I looked really miserable. I was always so scared to knock on the doors to look for money and was ready to be chased away. Had that happened, I wouldn’t have been shocked. What actually shocked me was when someone even gave me an audience given the way I looked.” Those visits came up short all the time. 

 

He then decided that he was going to come and try to get admission even just to say that one day he stepped into a university compound. Just for the record. He had no suitcase to pack because you don’t carry mangoes in a suitcase. You only own a suitcase if you own clothes. He had a few old clothes, so he printed out all his documents, put them into a polythene bag and set off to the bus stage with the one thousand shillings his teacher – Eric Ogwambo – had given him. Bus fare to Nakuru was seven hundred shillings, but he met a guy he had been in school with, who got him in the bus for five hundred shillings on condition that he would have to give up his seat when necessary. 

 

So, for the first time he got onto a bus and for the first time left Nyanza and saw Kisumu through the windows of the bus, a loud bustling metropolis with honking cars and brazen bodaboda chaps. He stared out the window the whole ride, looking at a country he didn’t know whizz by and got to Nakuru at 2pm. He found his way to Egerton University. He had never seen anything like it before. How beautiful and green everything was, green hills rolled into greener ones. Self-assured university students roamed about in white sneakers looking studious and important. Everybody looked so clean. And the girls. My God. The girls! How does one even speak to a girl like that? What do they eat? If they touched you, would you still have a heartbeat? 

 

“I was very intimidated. I felt like a lost animal that had wandered into that compound because everybody looked so clean. I mean, even at their dirtiest I didn’t think they would look like me. I was afraid to ask someone for directions, so I asked someone who was trimming the hedges because he looked like the least likely person to judge me.” 

 

He registered but skipped the payment section and when he was done in the evening, he faced a conundrum; money to get back. He had also forgotten that he was hungry. He only had four hundred shillings left. He roamed around the grounds in his sandals, searching for faces, hoping to see one with kindness. He saw one eventually, and narrated his predicament to him. The chap took him to his mate in the hostel called Mike who loaned him three hundred shillings and off he was on the night bus. 

 

Back in the village, every lead went cold. The MCA, the MP, everything. Classes started. Weeks fell off the calendar. He thought, “What was I thinking?! There was no way I – a village boy – would ever join the university.” What nerve did he have to want more for himself? He admonished himself. He deserved the heartbreak, he told himself. So he went back to what he knew; fishing and selling firewood. More weeks passed.

 

Back in Nairobi I took the elevator to the fourth floor of Morningside Office Park on Ngong road and waited for a briefing meeting at KCDF’s small meeting room. For the past year I had been commissioned to interview and write stories for KCDF’s beneficiaries. So this was just another routine briefing. 

 

Natasha, a petite lady with quick steps and an unexpected smile slid into the meeting room. She’s the communications officer at KCDF. She asked me if I would like something to drink and I said, “Sure, black tea, no sugar.” Natasha came back moments later with white coffee and sugar. I said, “Oh my, Natasha, I never imagined anyone could botch up an order of black tea with no sugar.” She laughed and said, “I swear, I thought you said coffee!” The communications manager, Melvin, walked in as we went back and forth about what I said or what she heard. I have always written his name as Melvine with an ‘e’. One day he told me, “Biko, my wife always asks me ‘But why does that Biko fella write your name with an ‘e’?’ I keep forgetting to ask you. Do you mind not including the ‘e’ to my name?” Of course I don’t mind dropping the ‘e’ – anything for peace in Melvin’s household. What’s an ‘e’ between friends?  

 

So no more ‘e’ in Melvin. Bad, bad ‘e’. 

 

They briefed me on this assignment to Nyanza to interview more beneficiaries. This time round, we would go with a camera crew to record the interview. 

 

Back in the village this boy was told to avail himself for the interviews at some local community trust offices by 10am. This posed a predicament; he didn’t have nice clothes worthy of sitting in front of a camera of “people from Nairobi.” His high school shoes had fallen apart but he had these old, tattered bathroom slippers, which he quickly mended with a wire. He then got some mismatched buttons and patched together his only tattered shirt. He would wear his faded brown trousers whose hems were undone at the bottom. The zipper was spoilt so he sewed it shut the next morning after wearing it. 

 

The next day he was a bag of nerves.  

 

He got there over an hour early because he didn’t want to walk in and draw attention to himself. The other beneficiaries streamed in just before 10am, mostly confident girls who were now in universities. He sat alone under a tree with all his dog-eared papers from primary school. We drove in and set up after some small talk with guys from the trust. I started the interviews. 

 

He was third and after he was mic-ed and when the camera guy said, “Recording,” I asked him to introduce himself. He said in a whisper, “My name is Kennedy Olwana.” 

 

He couldn’t even look into the lens or at me. As he spoke, I looked at the state of his clothes, how they seemed to fall off his body. A scarecrow could have outdressed him. I saw how he instinctively tucked his feet and those tattered bathroom sandals under his chair from embarrassment. His feet looked like tree stumps. He acted like he wasn’t worthy of being before us. The sound guy kept saying, “Please speak a little louder.” But he couldn’t because he wasn’t used to anybody listening to him. He wasn’t used to many people seeking his opinion. He looked scared. His self esteem was so low it could preserve blood platelets. He felt unworthy, looked unworthy and looked like he couldn’t wait to go back where he “belonged.” He broke my heart. I thought, shit, how low can a human being, an orphan, sink? What kind of cards are these this boy was dealt?!

 

After the interview I called him aside and we chatted; I asked him where he lived, who with, how he was surviving, who his relatives were, what his dreams were. He said he really wanted to join the university but he couldn’t afford it and he had reached the end of his rope; nobody to turn to for help, no relatives, no friends. He had pretty much given up. He didn’t have a phone so I wrote my number on a piece of paper and told him to send me any number I could reach him on. I then gave him a thousand shillings.

 

I thought about him the whole way to Nairobi and many days after. I’d get my bill in a restaurant and think, here I am eating food worth this much and that boy is stranded. Unbeknownst to me, he misplaced that slip of paper with my number and so I waited for him to text or call until two weeks later when I reached out to one of the teachers in the school, who tracked him down. At some point I thought to myself; what am I ever going to do with my life if I don’t help this boy? What, buy another car? Buy my children more shoes that they don’t need while that boy walks in those tattered sandals? My conscience stalked me. I felt selfish and undeserving. 

 

Long story short, I said I’d help him if it’s the last thing I do. So I took over his welfare. A week later he joined the university to study Bachelor of Animal Health Management – Veterinary Medical and Surgery. This was in 2015. I got him a small phone to stay in touch, and bought him clothes because you know how university is. Then I called a contact at HELB and asked for a special favour, you know, see if they can look into his application. They said, “I can’t do much, but I will try to work the system.”

 

This was in 2015. 

 

I wrote his story HERE  ( http://bit.ly/2WZVAdR ) and soon afterwards a reader -Deborah Mate – touched by his story, emailed me and said, “I want that boy to come visit me and my family – I have four kids. My family will host him over the next holidays.” I met Deborah to make sure she wasn’t in the organ business. So Ken came to Nairobi for the first time, to their home in One RedHill, a gated community, the very leafy suburbs. 

 

“It was like nothing I imagined. The house was so beautiful. I saw a gas cooker for the first time, how you could light it without a matchstick! I didn’t even want to touch it,” he says. “They had a fridge, a big television and nice beds. They were so kind to me. So so kind to me, a stranger.” Most impressive to him was the idea of a family, a unit. “I had never had a family before and living with them just opened my world drastically to the possibility of having my own family. It really changed me and my idea of a family.” 

 

One day Deborah’s husband, Sammy, told him to get in the car, they were going for a long drive just the two of them. They took a long drive around Nairobi while Sammy gave him a pep talk about life. “What I remember most about that conversation was Sammy telling me that although I was in that situation, an orphan and disadvantaged – it didn’t matter any more, my circumstance. What mattered was what I would become, not what I was then. He told me never to feel sorry for myself and that sometimes doors open in the darkest of corners and that I needed to be positive that things would change. He spoke to me like I was a peer, like we were two men talking. I was so touched by that conversation and although to him it was just a conversation, to me it was inspiring. He might never know what that drive did to my life. I felt like I could change my life. That it was possible to be like him one day and have my own family. He is such a good man.” 

 

Wavi came through. He got a student loan. 

 

I then called the two Powerpuff Ladies of Java House. They are the gatekeepers, they run shit there. I told them the story of this boy and they held their chins sadly as I narrated this tale. When I was done, they were almost in tears. I asked them if they could allow this boy to work at Java, any job at all, to earn a little money for upkeep. They gave him a job as a steward in Nakuru. I told him, “Ken, now you have a fishing rod, now fend for yourself and only let me know when you are completely stuck.” 

 

“A steward at Java cleans dishes in the kitchen. While some might have found it difficult or beneath them, I was just thrilled to get a job in a restaurant. And don’t forget that my previous job was walking barefoot in the forest looking for firewood. Cleaning dishes was so easy.”

 

He cleaned the dishes until you could use them as a mirror to shave. He cleaned dishes at Java for a year after which he was promoted to be a barista. “I didn’t know what a barista was. I didn’t know what coffee was. But then I was trained to make coffee, something I had never tasted in my life!” It’s at Java that his life took a turn. It’s also at Java that he first interacted with his first mzungu. (A big thing for him). And it’s in Java that he met chaps who held his hand even when they didn’t have to. 

 

“You know, when you are in the village you are told how Kikuyus are thieves because you have never met any. There is a gentleman called James Njuguna, one of the baristas I worked with at Java. Njuguna [He since got a job in Qatar] taught me everything I know about coffee. He didn’t look down upon me as this shady Luo boy from the village. He treated me like I was his brother and was very patient with me even when I wasn’t learning fast because I was also afraid. Most people would have given up on me but he didn’t. He was a very nice guy, very nice. I was so surprised that this Kikuyu guy was not anything we thought Kikuyus to be in the village. In fact, I learnt that we are the same save for our names.”

 

He’s also deeply indebted to one of the Java managers, Kevin Ogola, who was always very understanding of his school schedule, guiding him and giving him advice beyond just work. “I don’t see Kevin as my boss but as a mentor. Someone I can talk to when I have a problem.” 

 

The biggest thing about working at Java is how interactions with customers has built his confidence. He loves it when a customer – a coffee lover – walks in and asks specifically for Ken to make his coffee. Someone knows his name. Someone chooses him. Suddenly he’s somebody who can contribute. His speciality is Malindi Macchiato. He makes a mean-ass Malindi Macchiato now, a boy from Usigu, Siaya. 

 

He was in Nairobi this past weekend. He is a far cry from the boy I met four years ago; he dresses well, he walks with head high, he’s confident, he laughs easily, he makes eye-contact. He graduates in a few months, after he goes for his attachment. When he is done with university, he intends to settle back in the village. “I want to go back and help someone because I have been very lucky.”  

 

I have been lucky to know him and been very proud to see him turn into this man. On behalf of Ken I want to thank everybody mentioned in this story for seeing this boy cross the rubicon of poverty, for changing his destiny and the destiny of his children. There is a video of Tyler Perry’s speech at the BET Awards doing the rounds, about helping someone cross the road, about knowing that there are people whose lives are tied to your dreams, so you should own your shit. 

 

I love that speech. I mumble it in my sleep. I taste it on my tongue.

 

The people mentioned in this story for me show that it doesn’t take much to help someone cross the road. It illustrates how the power of small acts of kindness from normal people can change a life and destiny. Because that’s all it takes; a word, the equivalent of a bottle of whisky or a plate of mushroom chicken, your time, mentorship. 

 

Out there are many Kens waiting to cross the road, hordes of them, standing barefoot, with not a chance in their hearts. Some will never cross, but others will. If you give them a hand.

 

 

 

 

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253 Comments
      1. I read somewhere that ” you have not lived until you help someone in a way that can’t be replayed”. That’s kindness at its best.
        You indeed are a blessed man!

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      1. Biko this affirmed what I always suspected, you are a good person. Yes I will purpose to help someone or some people to the best of my ability cross the road..

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    1. Got me into tears! Very inspiring, am a changes person will look out for a person cross the road who needs a hand. Good job.

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    1. This story has touched me in a way I can’t explain. It has reminded me I have a responsibility to the success I have achieved in my life. I have to make that success count to all the girls and boys who are living life wondering if their lives are only made up of a single story.

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      1. This is so amazing and very inspiring. I was also a KCDF beneficiary, i relate to this on almost all levels. Giving back and helping those in need is the rent we pay for our stay here on earth, and we do so not because we’re rich but because we know how it feels to be in want. Great work manze am so touched. God bless you!

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    2. Heeeh…okay, I have never shed tears like this in a PSV. Started reading this yesterday night but I dozed off then decided to finish reading it leo. This story resonates with my own – raised by a single mum, being sent home for school fees my entire 8-4-4, I was that boy who was a laughing stalk in our small kijiji in Mombasa, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming big. I met people along the way that believed in me a great deal, people that gave me a hand, they opened up their homes for me to be able to experience what I was unable to – most importantly “family love” from people who are not even related to you. I somewhat feel the pain that Ken went through.
      Great piece Biko, It has ignited a spark that has always been in me to help someone be better.
      Thanks for sharing this.

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  1. Biko, you are God’s instrument in this world. What you did for Ken is incredible. I pray that you continue using your pen to inspire others.

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      1. Quite inspirational , my tears flowed throughout the write up. You’ve ignited in me the fire to light up someone’s world. Keep up the good work!

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      2. A beautiful ending to a beautiful and moving Story….. It has reminded me that being kind and compassionate is what I should aspire to be everyday.

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        1. Thanks for the story. This has been the last push that I needed to put into action my desires to help the needy. Asante

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      3. Inspiring story n yes the Tyler Perry speech has me hooked to.”If I talked to the girls would I still have a heartbeat

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        1. Very tough and touching.Thank every body who took even the little effort to see this man thru.May Good God bless you.

    1. Ohh, I started crying in the second paragraph,
      but then going to the moon in a Maruti and “Sometimes I’d remove the shoes and walk carrying them.” am laughing.

      Okay, this story is sad but ends so well, thanks to Debby & Sammy Mate from my church, MHC, am so touched.
      All the best to Ken, the future is sooo bright you might need them shades, God didn’t bring you this far just to for this far.. Thanks Biko for highlighting his story before.
      Lastly, may I (we) know a Ken and touch their heart the way (however simple) God would help me (us) to.

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          1. Personally know madam Jane Opondo and the hubby and they are still doing the great work in their respective schools..

            Great people with immense amount of love.

            wishing him well in all his endeavours.

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    2. Wow!!!!God bless you Biko..God bless everyone who played and is still playing a part in this boy’s life

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    3. Biko there is hope for a hopeless situation. Thank you for the inspiration, for a moment there is had lost hope

    1. I remember the original story!! The part that stuck with me was where you wrote that poverty has a smell. I will never forget that. I am glad it all turned out well for him!!

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  2. This is solid. Thanks Mr Forehead. Tugged at the strings and i commit to helping someone (maybe even two someones) cross the road. Donge?

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  3. Aii Biko!!!! Sasa nitaambia watu nini kwa ofisi? Mwanaume mzima ako na ndevu ana lia na kuvuruta kamasi?
    this story hit just the right spot. so heart rending yet just as heart warming with all the right ingredients to keep you warm and mushy all week!
    God bless you Biko and all the Lollipop dudes and dudettes mentioned in this story!

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    1. There is a video of Tyler Perry’s speech at the BET Awards doing the rounds, about helping someone cross the road, about knowing that there are people whose lives are tied to your dreams, so you should own your shit.

      Send the lift down people most times it does not cost much or anything at all, but it does wonders for those you help.

  4. Biko – please keep me posted.
    When he graduates, I’ll ask a few vets to hire him.
    And maybe we can set up a clinic for him back home.

    It’s ambitious, but I can try.

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  5. Very inspiring story I remember the original story when you describe him and it was sad how poverty made him have a new colour (dirty brown). Today I’m touched to see he turned his life around through the help of well-wishers. God bless you Biko.

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    1. A good story with so much emotions. Thanks for transforming him. We all should learn from this. A little help goes a looong long way

  6. That story made me shed tears.
    Thanks Biko and everyone who go out of their way to touch someones life.
    May the good Lord bless you

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  7. Aye!!! This story was worth the wait…I reside in Nakuru and right now i am more than hyped to walk in at Java and ask for Ken’s Malindi Macchiato .

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  8. Biko, this past few days you have been cutting alot of Onions. God bless him abundantly. God bless you so much. God bless this blog. Inspirations I get everyday. I know one day I will be able to be a better version of myself. God bless you

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  9. …there are people whose lives are tied to your dreams, so you should own your shit.”

    That is a statement I will remember for the rest of my life; because in many versions of it, I have tried to live it. I have seen it been practiced, I understand.

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  10. In A world (More like In a Kenya) where we are always bombarded with one scandal after the other or one sad state of affairs after another, this indeed is a breath of fresh air.. That a human being can rise above and go out of their way to help another is simply a gift from heaven… God bless all the good Samaritans out there and most importantly, they that lifted up Ken and gave him wings to fly…

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  11. Ken’s story got me so emotional! See what poverty can do to someone’s self esteem and confidence.
    Thank you Biko for this great read and may we all be challenged to help a Ken cross a road or even jump a puddle.

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  12. Biko, you have a way with phrases, ‘His self esteem was so low it could preserve blood platelets’, this was a particularly good one. In reading this story, I have seen words and phrases that can assist me describe the part of my life that I call survival mode. I too did not allow myself to hope, in fact I described myself as a cautious optimist and a realist. I didn’t allow myself to dream much beyond the tedium of my life back then.

    I too have listened to Tyler’s speech and it’s inspiring. As a beneficiary of the kindness of strangers, I can attest that small and big actions matter, what we do to others changes lives, as long as we always lead with kindness. May God bless you Biko and all who were part of Kens journey. Come to think of it, you are our own Brandon Stanton!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Biko, you are good man. Congratulations to Ken.
      Was beginning to get all teary then I read how every one back in the village thought all Kikuyu’s were thieves… I’ve chekad so loudly and at a doctor’s waiting room.
      Everyone now is looking at me like I’m cray,cray!

      3
  13. In his village nobody dared to dream big. “You can only dream if you have a way out. We had no way out, so dreaming meant disappointments.”

    This. Its so easy to take things for granted. Like dreaming big. We are the “dreams are valid” generation and to think that some cannot dream because there is no way out……..

    Thanks Biko, thank you so much for this story and for the exhortation to help someone cross the road.

    7
  14. If only we could stop in our rush to get more and help a brother to make a step or two, then will we find true satisfaction.

    4
    1. I am literally crying. Thank God niko na homa so my office mate think it’s just the homa.
      Those small deeds that change lives.

      6
    2. Thank you Biko for being this young man’s torch and may your children always walk in favour because of this seed you plant.

      1
  15. I read the whole piece with tears in my eyes.There’s still the good ones left.Such an inspiring story.I read this somewhere ‘What sunshine is to a sunflower,a smile is to humanity’.I had to comment on this one,nice one Biko

    2
  16. That question, “What do you have in your hand?” comes to mind after reading this story. We all have something in our hand, not only to fend for ourselves, but also to lend a helping hand to others. To help one person cross the road. Bless your heart Biko.

    6
      1. Speaking of which, might there be a kind person willing to donate a laptop, whether used or otherwise to someone in need. My niece really needs one for her programming attachment after she lost hers in a mugging incident

  17. This read has got me all teary eyes… how we take so many things for granted. May God help us to extend a hand of help with love no matter the relation, that random acts of love maybe invoked in us.

    4
  18. When i started reading this story i was tearing, then somewhere in the middle i was laughing (Just how Biko can paraphrase something into a comic) then afterwards it was inspiration time. I have had a lot of things to say as i read the story, at some point i thought i was reading one of those old African novels, but then i am lost for words to say but only it doesn’t take a lot to help someone cross the road.

    1
  19. Congratulations Ken, and thank you Biko for allowing us to see that there’s indeed a lot of good in this world, and that there’s unlimited possibilities if only we can hold each other’s hand, help each other ‘cross’, and together make this world an even greater place. God bless all of you that held Ken’s hand, and all those that have held other ‘Kens’ hands. May God repay you mightily, and to the rest who need someone to hold their hands, May God lead us to you. Amen

    2
  20. An amazing story, it’s time we ask ourselves how we can help the disadvantaged without parading their pictures online. We all know someone who would appreciate if we held their hands; but no, our love for medium rare steak won’t let us. Do your part, it’s better than the tithe we take to church.

    5
  21. “It was a special pair of shorts sewn through the dexterity of his grandmother, with the sole objective of outliving the owner and quite possibly the planet earth and all its inhabitants.” I laughed when I read this joke, then tears, and more tears as I read through. Thank you for the story and what you did for Ken.

    4
  22. Eish Biko, si you’re well connected. You got this kid a job, student loans, a family who could house him. I’ve got social anxiety, so I don’t like ‘networking’ but maybe now I’ll try a little – build myself a group of good reliable people .

    6
    1. Kadonye you should read the blog where Biko worked incognito as a barista in Java. Then you’ll know where some of his connections came from. If anything that story, done in two parts was so hilarious you’ll be crying with laughter.
      As for HELB, the first story where we encounter Ken was a piece that Biko did to get Kenyans to pay back their HELB loans.

      Kadonye don’t underestimate yourself, you, right here right now have a network that can do amazing things if you reach out to them.

      Search for 9hours a waiter. Cheka uanguke. You are welcome.
      Hapa we are die hard Biko fans.

  23. ‘Out there are many Kens waiting to cross the road, hordes of them, standing barefoot, with not a chance in their hearts. Some will never cross, but others will. If you give them a hand.’ So touching, if everyone did what you (Biko) and others mentioned in this story did, this world would be heaven on earth. God bless you Biko for helping Ken cross the road

    3
  24. I was rushing somewhere till Bikozulu popped in my mail,Am late and my head is spinning, i have no words but i do know that the hearts and hands that bleeds for the poor will never lack.

    1
  25. “He didn’t want to walk in and draw attention to himself”…Stopped there and sighed (didn’t cry because Men are wired to hold their things together). This story is just sad and beautiful at the same time,props to Kenya Community Development Foundation for giving Ken some hope ,Overwhelming support from different strangers….and another thing ,elected leaders are TRASH ,not even one could come through for this boy.

    8
  26. I have not finished this piece today because it’s breaking me apart. I’ve literally cried. I had to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. How can I have many nice clothes and a fellow human being like me is in a hopeless state? What am I doing to help someone in a desolate situation? I’m broken but beyond that, I need to go the extra mile and lend a helping hand

    12
  27. You gave him wings to fly and walked the full length with him. God bless you. God bless him. May he be a blessing to many others.

    1
  28. Very inspiring this article, i know debby and sammy mate and they trully are a great couple God bless them. Biko you did something wonderful baraka nyingi kwako.

    3
  29. Ken, may your star keep shinning always!

    Awesome read, inspired to hold someone’s hand for them to cross to the other side.

    3
  30. people at work think i am made of stone. Someone is almost calling HR after seeing my eyes water. Be very blessed Biko.

    4
  31. Dang!
    So now how do I explain crying at my desk over lunch?

    But I couldn’t be more inspired!
    I commit to help someone cross their road too. I’ve been thinking about it for a while but this was the sign I needed.

    Bless you Biko and everyone else who helped Ken cross his road.

  32. For the whole of his primary school life he wore that one Ojebo, changing the three shirts occasionally. Barefoot, he walked daily to his primary school – Wambasa Primary School. It had less than 150 students and sisal plants as a fence. Goats roamed about inside the compound. Although the motto was somewhat cliché – Forward Ever, Backward Never – they had some very dedicated teachers; teachers who, unfortunately, had shown up for that dogfight with a cock.

    And the Motto crowns the story,”forward ever backward never.”

    4
  33. Waah! I’m moved, I’m touched, I’m in tears. But most importantly I’m challenged to lend someone a hand, and help them cross the road. I promise to, in my own little way.. Thanks Biko.

    1
    1. My lawyer friend Kimani Ng’ang’a cried while reading this.I had to go through what makes the ever happy lad sad and lost in thoughts.
      Ken served my coffee.Like Kimani am lost in thoughts.Just passed it to the next person who thinks this must be sad.

      1
  34. Reading this, trying to hide tears but my nose is betraying me. I wish one day to help someone, change a life give an helping hand to someone in need. God bless you Biko

    2
  35. …knowing that there are people whose lives are tied to your dreams, so you should own your shit…..God grant us the wisdom to be the best versions of who created us to be

    Nice read as always Mr Biko!

    3
  36. “They had a fridge, a big television and nice beds. They were so kind to me. So so kind to me, a stranger.” This statement made me burst into tears. Success in your future endeavors Ken. Spread the kindness. I will too. God bless you so much Biko and everyone who touched Ken’s life.

    1
  37. I’m tears, I’m glad he got a saviour, thank you Biko on behalf of humanity!

    I can’t stop thinking of his sister Mercy, I wish she too persevered… How is she? Early marriages/pregnancies are the devil for the girl child especially in poverty stricken families.

    Wishing Ken best of luck.

    1
  38. You have me balancing tears lately. This story is beautiful. I will use it everytime I want to complain and it will inspire me to help someone cross the road. All the best to Ken.

    1
  39. Machozi and makamasi mixed. Thank God mine is a lone office. Sammy and Debby Mate are my friends of over 2 decades. I dont know that i can ever write enough to talk about these two. My children are also their children and so are many others. I met Ken in their home, those early days. I praise God for this outcome. May the Lord bless the whole village of Kenyans that have helped KEn.

    2
  40. Today l have cried when reading this post.God bless you Biko.Keep helping the disadvantaged your true reward is in heaven.

  41. I am in tears. Thank You for writing this story. Sometimes it stories like this that remind us that we are human and that our little way open dreams that we don’t think are dreams. Thank You Bikozulu

    2
    1. Such a beautiful ending to this story. I remember reading his story when you first wrote it. I am in tears, joyful tears. I am happy for him. For being so brave. For rising above all the challenges. For all those who held out their hand, God bless you. May his future be brighter beyond anything he ever imagined.

  42. Read this story and I could relate with my own personal story. Bikozulu, how I wish you also write mine here. I was also raised in slums. Did my K.C.P.E passed and lacked school fees, the first shot: was the top boy in Korogocho slums. I had to repeat but later in the year, passed again. This time I was fortunate to be helped by Wings To Fly. Hiw I wish all of us could help and change lives out there.

    8
  43. I remember that post about him, how you even told the camera guy to stop recording see if he will be more at ease, am happy he’s life changed for the better.
    We for sure rise by lifting others

    1
    1. And how he was caught fetching firewood and was tied on a tree inside that forest. That story was so heartbreaking I can’t read it again. Ken’s journey has been sad. But it gets better.

  44. This made me so sad, a 6 year old having to go through this…
    “he remembers clinging onto his mother’s lover, because he didn’t want to remain alone in the village, he wanted to go back with him to the tea plantations in Kericho. But Uncle couldn’t go back with him. He was not his son, not his kith or kin. Uncle was just a tea picker who had fallen in love with another tea picker, who was now dead and buried. That’s all he remembers of his mother’s funeral; him crying as his mother’s lover left him behind to live with his grandmother in a rural village called Wamba. “…………….so heart breaking

  45. I wish by then I read your articles Biko because he would have a home then at Egerton, That one big forest where my mum has picked up a fair share of stranded kids who come to report and set them off even if with a meal for the night. I remain proud of her and if this story if anything to go by I have fully understood how and why to own my own shit. Lately you have also been cutting onions. Unasoma post mbele ya watu unaaibika tu.

    1
  46. Eish Biko – tear jerker this one. Lakini …………..leafy suburbs? Si umeongeza chumvi? We just don’t cut our trees here. We still pray for the young man even though he is away from us. Carry on!

    16
    1. Am so proud of u, you have no idea how happy you made that boy. Am so glad you’re family, I know you firsthand. May your cups never run dry. May God bless your hustles n your entire generation. Thank you for being such a great inspiration n for restoring humanity. What a time to be Alive!

      3
  47. “At some point I thought to myself; what am I ever going to do with my life if I don’t help this boy? What, buy another car? Buy my children more shoes that they don’t need while that boy walks in those tattered sandals?”

    This made me feel ashamed! Oooh Lord!

  48. “There is a video of Tyler Perry’s speech at the BET Awards doing the rounds, about helping someone cross the road, about knowing that there are people whose lives are tied to your dreams, so you should own your shit.”
    *shivers* Starting to own my shit. Let me not disappoint any set on my path to help.

    2
  49. This and Jadudi’s story, bless you Biko.

    We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.~ Mother Teresa

    1
  50. I love that this kijana’s soul has been untouched by the ‘me, myself and I’ syndrome that grips people who’ve found their way to the hectic and unforgiving urban life in the city. He still wants to go back to the village and help someone else cross the road. Kudos mara kumi!

    2
  51. There is hope as long as you are alive and remain positive. Thanks for penning down this very inspiring story and thank you for showing up for Ken!

  52. I remember reading the story then, how time flows, tap a finger and you are in 2019 already!
    Take home: It only takes a hand, just one hand to light the candle of the other. However, the we are always inspired by a story as long as it stays fresh until we move on to the next inspiring story, otherwise everything else remains there, in that story for the next reader who hasn’t read it yet to be inspired and wait for the next story like everyone else.

  53. “There are people whose lives are tied up to our dreams, so you should own your shit.” I never thought of it this way with the acquaintances that we make.
    I’m speechless.
    Biko man. God bless you and may His countenance continue to shine upon your life.
    Congratulations Ken. Bigger stuff awaits you.

  54. This man, The Baton is a powerful narrative that speaks to how despair, determination and resilience met with the kindness of strangers can help many “Kens” cross the road. Biko, your dexterity is storytelling is a priceless skill. Please keep them coming.

    1
  55. Very touching and inspiring story.
    You don’t have to have alot to touch somebody’s life and make a difference.
    God bless everyone who gave Ken a fighting chance!

  56. Congratulations Ken! And the Lord bless you Biko, for such acts of kindness and for challenging the rest of us to be better humans, and to appreciate our lot in life.

    1
  57. I share the same story as ken, soon I will give you my story and I will link you up to someone who has put me and many guys where we are now. Thanks alot for coming through for the guy, you’re one of the great men in this world!

    1
  58. God bless you Biko. I remember Ken’s story. Thanks for following up on him and ensuring he gets a fishing rod. Many people only give fish once and vanish for good.

  59. Maybe we can all pull together.. Set up a gig where we identify various ‘Kens’ and see them through school and mentorship. We’d have a greater impact that way…

    4
  60. Meeeen, Biko aki some of these stories should have a disclaimer. Thanks to you and Ken for making me cry shamelessly in the office.
    Thank God for hope…..the one thing that without life looses meaning. For hope begets Faith, and faith as small as a mustard seed moves mountains.

    2
  61. Biko may your cup never be empty.. Gods blessing to come your way and all the people mentioned above
    I have cried and cried. And looked at my life and meen I am soo sooo blessed. Ken may your future shine.
    Yours is a testimony that we serve a living God.

    2
  62. Well done Biko. You will go to heaven.

    This story summarizes the biggest commitment of my life. If I do nothing else here, I will change the trajectory of a person’s life, several people’s lives, totally and completely. I can’t tell you the joy, and sometimes the tears that it has brought me. I don’t know that we can do anything more meaningful than to touch another’s life deeply.

    1
  63. Wow wow! Am speechless. Been tearing. The things we take for granted aki. God bless the work of your hands Biko.

  64. Look at how you transformed somebody’s life by following your heart! God bless you Biko.

    Lesson! I should help someone cross the road.

  65. Thank you, Biko… For the life you touched, and the lives he will touch, and every life that will be touched for you touched this one… I will stop with the touching now.

  66. Biko thanks for giving Ken an opportunity Barikiwa sana. Can’t wait to read what next big thing will happen in ken”s life..

  67. This is a beautiful story.A story of resilience like that of the proverbial cockroach.Surely there will always be a room for one more person.Let’s reach out and help someone lead a better life.

  68. I marvel at such impacts, stories, name it – pure legacy is in the people we meet, lift and let them step on our shoulders to get to where they rightfully belong. To mentorship! Biko, one day I hope to meet this guy! (you) Baraka

  69. I read. I cried. I prayed. And thanked God. And prayed again for my two kids. And I have promised myself I also have to help someone cross the road.

  70. A beautiful ending to a beautiful and moving Story….. It has reminded me that kindness and compassion should be what I aspire to be everyday.

  71. I’m not a die hard Christian. I believe and value humanity more than religion. Biko, you are not
    only telling inspirational stories. You are touching and changing more lives out here. May you live long to see through the lives of Ken and every one that you uplifted with your little act of kindness

    3
  72. I remember Ken’s story very well. I remember everything you wrote in that article when you asked us HELB beneficiaries to pay HELB so that others too can get helped. Biko, that was so kind of you. May you be blessed. To you Ken, Wuod Dala, the future is bright.

    1
    1. Wow Debby, Sammy. May u never lack that was so kind of you. Am so glad I know u at a personal level. Thank you for making the world a better place for our family and even strangers. Real is rare, you are a gem. May God bless your endeavors. I wish Ken the very best the world could offer. BIKO you’re such a great inspiration, May God bless you for touching n changing lives. This was a mind-blowing piece. Got me tearing. What a time to be Alive!

      1
  73. Wow!!’ This just made my day, couldn’t come at a better time, I just shed a tear reading this and am humbled beyond words, God bless

  74. Religion goes beyond our prayer its the actions we take to make the lives or others better.i salute you Biko for being the light bearer at the end of the tunnel for this boy

    1
  75. Wow..thanks Biko,such a powerful story.I am too because someone held my hand,I too decided to hold the hands of others,it’s been satisfying and life changing.Its do-able and you don’t need to be rich or wealthy,just a willing heart,ready to give and change the lives of others.God bless.

    1
  76. Great story. Many lessons to learn from it. God bless you Biko for helping Ken cross the road.
    Best wishes to Kennedy Olwana in all your undertakings. A great future awaits you.

  77. Who is chopping onions here? This story has made me cry and nudged something in me. Thanks Biko for not walking away. You touched his life and that of his future generations plus all who he will help because of your kindness. You’ve caused a ripple that will turn into a tide. God bless you.

  78. Wow! This is such a beautiful and emotional story. I swear I wanted to skip to the end first like we do with novels, just so I can find out if he really did excel. Kudos to the kind people who helped this young man.

  79. Thought this sounded familiar. Am so happy Ken has com this far,this taught me yo appreciate the little I have. Such stories restore humanity.

    1. Kale I wrote a long comment that was eaten in the blogsphere… Twice!!

      Now I have have left is to say; THIS STORY BANANGE!!!!!!

      It wrung my heart so…. A little more than Drunk did. Educating me, shaming me, challenging me….

      Keep Writing Biko!!
      One day I will sit in your Master’s Writing Class 🙂

  80. My heart just marveled at this particular article. I totally relate to this story from the beginning to the end. A little kindness here and there is my cup of tea. Truly God’s masterpiece I thank God for you and my special friend Eric who recommended your blog to me.

  81. Congratulations Ken.
    A well deserved achievement by the man from the village. Indeed deep. Biko there’s a place for you in heaven.
    This was a call to action. Clear that…. You never lack by giving.
    The ojebo would withstand the nuclear attacks….

  82. This is amazing! Most young people give up in life because no one believes in them or gives them an opportunity to thrive! I like the helping someone ‘cross the road bit’…It is all some need…Being pointed to the right direction. Bravo Biko!

  83. am so happy for Ken, iting’o obambo malo, dana would have been so proud of your success. thank you for good work, and thanks to Biko for being and agent of change, and to everyone else for time, attention and opportunity provided. Wich en wich

  84. Hahaaha did I read Songdo dong in S.Korea? Well that’s my City and yes – you have fans in Songdo Korea. Reading every new post is the highlight of my Thursdays here in this far Eastern land.

    1
  85. I teared up reading this. Imagining how i was angry with my mum first time going to College because we had to carry along another kid who needed to report to a school nearby . I thought this is my day i don’t want to share it. Yet Ken reported to Egerton knowing he may never get a chance to school there. The things we take for granted though. Bless you and all the people who came through for him.

  86. May God Bless everyone who has a kind heart, who can reach out to that needy person, that person who can deny himself or herself something to put a smile on a needy person’s face. You have a special place in heaven

  87. Its time i realize that my dream is someone else’s bridge so I better go for it.. Thank you Biko you’re a true inspiration.

  88. “sometimes doors open in the darkest of corners” I cannot stop crying, I will not stop crying, I want to be that soul that touches another soul with the little that i have. Thank you Biko for touching our lives too in your own special way

  89. I know the gentleman Ken, one Friday morning in 2017 he introduced me to a Malindi Macchiato at Java Shell Westlands. Tired of the usual Cappuccino, I asked the barrister what coffee he would recommend. Every Friday morning Ken would make the best coffee, no one made it like him, the cinammon, the syrup to top it off… The coffee got more interesting as you went down the cup. This was the hallmark of my Friday mornings. Then one Friday morning, he was no longer there, I asked where he had gone and they told me he had been moved to another Java. Long story short the Malindi Macchiato has never been the same. Thank You Biko for the inspiring story.

    2
  90. What I consider little, to someone, it may be a big thing. Thank you Biko for this wonderful piece and helping a soul. It’s the little things we can do that make a big difference.

  91. This I keep re-reading and realize many with opportunities waste them but when someone who knows the value of every opportunity gets it…s/he stays focused. Thanks Biko for being a door opener for Ken and thanks Ken for not getting distracted but staying the course, yours is a study on resilience

  92. I’ve never had someone help me cross the road but some words and acts made me cross it, this story has taken me places including bondo which I thought was in kisumu

  93. You don’t have to be Wealthy to make an impact on someone’s life. About knowing that there are people whose lives are tied to your dreams, so you should own your shit.

  94. Wow! I love reading stuff like this. Biko you are a good man and may God always bless you! In a world where you ca be anything, be kind!!

  95. This is a mirror image of my life path. Thank you Biko for highlighting this. My life’s purpose is to put a smile & hope on someone’s face.

  96. The interview part of this story broke my heart. Ken registering for a university knowing very well he’d never attend.
    Biko you kill me.
    And to think of the numerous pairs of jeans I own and a boy is stuck with a pair of khaki pants for years.
    If I’m going to continue on in this world I have to give back for my life to be meaningful.
    To Biko and all the people who have extended their hands to Ken, may God bless you abundantly.
    “Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” —Sally Koch.

  97. I have been fighting tears just to get to the end of this story. Surely, be kind to everyone. Thanks Biko & all who held his hand to get to today.

  98. This is the most beautiful and inspiring story ever. I kept on crying throughout. May the Lord be with him. And it has inspired me to do something.

  99. Great job Biko! To the loyal supporters of this blog, how does one contact Biko? The ‘contact’ icon has been down for some time.

  100. This has really tocuhed me,

    I dint have much bt i would love to donate kshs 2k every month to send one of those little kids ti shool.

    Any idea howni can go about this?

    Regards

    Rhoda

  101. touched.. i actually cried… waaaoh. some people have bigger problems than me. and here i am being a spoilt brat

  102. Great story…it motivates to help others who will in turn help others and eventually make the world a better place…I would like to meet the guy or better still his contact for me to reach out to him…Love is the only think we can share and spread.

  103. I was in Java this week and he served me coffee. He looked familiar and I was wondering where I saw him until I remembered…ah Bikozulu.
    God bless and increase you Biko for what you are doing

  104. Wow, this is such a positive vybe & inspiring to know liitle deeds, a kindred heart, networks can change a well deserved individual whose desperately in need.
    Big up Biko.

  105. God bless you Biko and all other people in Ken’s story for identifying a need and bridging the gap.
    I am most touches by the delivery of Sammy’s talk during the drive…. He spoke to me like I was a peer, like we were two men talking… Truly effective. A lot of times it feels like I am over here and you are somewhere below in such conversations.

  106. I teared up. Sometimes all you need is the right person to hear the story. Pass the baton!! Even if it’s just repeating the story to the next person.

  107. This is a beautifully written story. Vivid descriptions always steal my heart and it’s the reason i keep coming back here for more. Keep up the good work, Biko!

  108. Emotional the entire story since I can relate…My prayer is God to keep blessing us so that we can be a blessing to each other. Of course intentionally without expectations.
    Thank you for the Story Biko and May the Lord Keep and Bless the families and their offsprings.

  109. Hi Biko,
    This story has really touched me. There’s this young boy with shinny eyes on Lang’ata Rd selling njugu at night at Carnivore Junction. I got the mother’s phone number. I tried to do something but I’m scared. We can discuss.
    Your stories are great.
    Regards,

  110. I am inspired to do the same for someone who is underprivileged, it doesn’t take too much to be human and show compassion

  111. This story brought out the full emotional me. Indeed, small acts of kindness go such a long way, sometimes you can’t even imagine the effect of what your seemingly small action did until someone says it. And it’s easy to be this person, all we need is to be empathetic, care for the next human we encounter, and not just have love in our hearts but in our actions too. May God always provide us the grace.

  112. Oh my, just dropped a tear on this. But hey, the ending is beautiful, I smiled. God blesses other people through our hands, so helping someone cross that rough road, means God is working on your and their life.

  113. “I thought about him the whole way to Nairobi and many days after. I’d get my bill in a restaurant and think, here I am eating food worth this much and that boy is stranded. Unbeknownst to me,”

    I felt like screaming from here to the end of the story. It melted my heart.

    If my daughter and I got over all the suffering, I believe everyone will, somehow, if they do not give up.