The Sad Story Of Shattered Dreams Of A Kenyan Youth


I always dreamt of being a re-known journalist, an award-winning journo, a distinguished member of the fourth estate. I wanted make my parents proud of their son, the only one with a Bachelor’s degree in a family of six boys, three sisters and two late siblings who never made it, to make it eleven, a full soccer team. Don’t mistake my father of being polygamous, we were all born of one mother, and most probably one father.

Overcoming hardships had become a norm for me in life, hence growing in donated clothes, which under normal circumstances were oversize, never perturbed me. My days were never complete without being laughed at by my peers, either on my  face or behind my back. Teachers were never left alone in this game, as they called me good for nothing parasite. In fact, I almost owned the name.

Due to my funny mode of dressing, untidy clothes and bare feet I owned a dozen mocking nicknames from classmates, especially those from ‘royal’ families. I could not respond since they would ‘sue’ me to the teacher on duty, a case I could not win even if I hired the late Mutula Kilonzo. The teacher would cane me mercilessly for offending the ‘good’ pupils.

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Being disciplined and a good performer won me sympathy from one teacher, who died during my fourth year of my primary studies. But what is the sympathy of one teacher against 17? Worst of it all, she dies when you need her most, in class four when you have commenced your upper primary studies.

Her death was like sunset to me. Though her husband(who taught in the same school) and children mocked me, she always encouraged me that one day things would be fine. She had a beautiful heart, and it seemed she is the only one who understood my world, or was it hell? I think it was hell, and you can imagine going through hell without having sinned.

The remaining teachers regarded pupils from poor backgrounds as robbers and thugs who are destined for nothing good. They say money cannot buy happiness, but families with money seemed to be happy, I don’t know whether they stole our happiness, if it’s true money cannot buy happiness. I still wonder to date.

I was in the class of the pioneers of new syllabus, and this scared me a lot. Was it designed for the children from rich families? This is because it talked of things I had never seen. Imagine being taught of parts of a car, yet my father never owned a bicycle, let alone a go-cart(a wooden one, not the modern ones). As at that time, I had no business knowing parts of a car, because even the headteacher never owned one. My business was to run away from poverty, not through get-away cars. I never even dreamt of becoming a mechanic, I regarded them a dirty. On top of it, my eldest brother had taken a course in vehicle mechanics and he never practiced it, wasn’t it a waste of money?

Fast forward to class eight, I hated the school and the teachers most when they gave me a letter calling me to do a driving and mechanic course, because they thought I could not afford high school fees. It was unfair. I deserved my genuine letter, and by all means I had to get it. I finally got it, through intervention. I would join form one. I was inspired for greatness, and I would go for it.

To be continued…

Written by an anonymous writer.

‘My Story’ is meant to help us tell the public about the difficult paths we took to actualise our dreams in life. You can tell us your story anonymously or openly by sending us an email through or reach us through Facebook or Twitter.

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