Ballet dancers in the Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya one of biggest slums in Africa. The ballerinas (ballerinos) are young students who study dance for fun, made possible through a program run by U.K.-based charity Anno’s Africa, which provides alternative arts education to over 800 children in Kenya. The classes are taught by Mike Wamaya previously worked as a dancer throughout Europe. His classes focus on both the physical and mental well-being, that promotes confidence-building. The children feel and see how much they can accomplish if someone gives them the chance, in turn improves their self-esteem and makes them stronger in their daily life.
Shortly after purchasing the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya, the owners learned that the only remaining Rothschild’s giraffes in the country were at risk, as their sole habitat was being subdivided into smallholdings. So they began a breeding program to reintroduce the Rothschild’s giraffe into the wild. Today, guests can enjoy visits from resident giraffes in search of a treat. By
Some schoolkids might be happy if their school were knocked down.
Not in Nairobi.
On May 15, a group of primary school students sat at desks in the center of a main road to block traffic. Along with their parents, they were protesting the demolition of their school, the Kenyatta Golf Course Academy, over the weekend.
According to a BBC article, the schoolchildren chanted: “We want our school, we need to study in school.”
The reason for the demolition was a bit hard to pin down. Foreign Policy writes: “It appears the school was destroyed without any prior warning to parents — who had already paid their children’s tuition for the year. The school was on land that belonged to a church, and the school was destroyed without warning on Saturday over a land dispute, though exact details of the dispute weren’t made immediately clear.”
“I woke up one day, unable to use my legs anymore. I was fine before that. For two years, I was unable to walk and needed constant care from my parents. During my disability, I overheard some female neighbours telling my mother, who is going to marry a ‘jiis’ girl (limper in Somali). Another day, I accidentally saw the word ‘jiista’ (the limper) as my contact name on one of my friend’s phone’s list. After a while, I recovered, and I had so much energy in me that I wanted it to channel into education. I asked my parents to enroll me back into school, but they kept telling me that I’m still ill and have to stay at home. I know they cared for me, but I needed to get out there, I still complied. Other people still kept telling me that I’m a girl and my place is at home. After a while, I got fed up with the constant morale killer statements and the harsh nicknames that they used to call me. I left home and moved to a different country to seek education. I came to Nairobi, enrolled into school and finished my education all the way to university level. Since I came here, I haven’t witnessed anyone calling me abusive nicknames or tried to kill my dreams. Thank God, I’m healthy now, and I can use my legs once again. I work for one of the best companies in Kenya, and I pay for my other siblings’ education as I’m their role model. One thing I can say is, that the road is long and bumpy, but please be steadfast, and you will succeed.”
“Subax ayaan soo toosay, mise maba socon karo. Lugahaygii imaba qaadi karaan, sida aan doonayo ma samaynayaan! Wixii intaa ka horeeyey waan caafimaad qabay. Mudo dhan laba sano iyo bar waxba ma qabsan karin. 24-saac waxaan ubaahnaa daryeelka waalidkay. Mudadii aan xanuunsanaa ee guriga aan joogay, ayaa marar kala duwan maqlay dumarka dariska oo hooyaday ku leh ‘yaa kaa guursanaya gabar jiis ah’. Maalin kale, gabar ayaa taleefon numbar-kayga ku qoratay ‘jiista’. Ayaan kadib, caafimaadkayga sidii hore waa kasoo roonaaday, waxaan go’aan ku gaaray in waxbarashadii dib aan ugu laabto. Waalidkay ayaan in badan ka codsaday in waxbarashadii dib la iigu celiyo, balse mar kasta waxay igu oran jireen, waad xanuunsanaysaa ee guriga iska joog. Dadka qaar, ayaa igu oran jiray ‘awalba gabar ayaad ahayde gurigaaga iska joog’. Markii danbe ee aan u adkaysan waayey niyad-jabka & naanaysyada ay iigu yeerayaan, ayaan go’aansaday in degmadii aan deganaa oo ku taal Soomaaliya aan isaga tago, waxbarashana u raadsado wadan kale. Waxaan imid magaalada Nairobi oo waxbarashadii aan ka sii watay ilaa heer jaamacad. Halkan kuma arag cid magac xun iigu yeedha ama igu tiraahda heerkaa ma gaari kartid iyo jiis ayaad tahay ee meel iska fariiso. Maanta waan caafimaad qabaa, Alxamdullilah, lugahayga ayaan ku socdaa, waxaana ushaqeeyaa shirkad oo ka mid ah kuwa ugu sumcada fiican dalkan. Waxaan dhinaca waxbarashada ka taageeraa walaalahay iga yar, una ahay tusaale. Sidoo kale, waxaan gabdhaha Soomaaliyeed ku dhiira-galiyaa muhiimada ay waxbarashadu leedahay. Wadadu weey dheer tahay, caqabadaha waa badan yihiin, laakiin guul baa u danbaysa.”
“It happened two years ago. I was 16 years old when I fell in love for the first time with someone who lived in the same city as I, and it was my most painful experience. He suggested that we enter into a secret marriage (qudbo sirro) as opposed to a traditional marriage so that we can become a family. I was a student that lived with her family. Because I was in love with him, I was willing to do anything just to be with him. The next day, he brought two witnesses, and we were legally though secretly married. We became a secret family and lived happily as one until I fell ill. I went to the doctor, and he told me that I was several weeks pregnant. Overjoyed, I immediately rang my husband and told him the news. He became angry and told me never to contact him again, that the child was not his and that if I ever told anyone about it, I’d be in trouble. Only God knows how I felt that day. My world came crashing down. For a year and a half, I lived in a hellish situation; of insecurity, intolerable anxiety, no money and other things that I can’t mention to you. Sometimes, out of desperation, I’d call him, sobbing like mad, begging him just to tell his family that the child is his, divorce me and that I will raise the child on my own. It felt like my words fell on deaf on ears. He never listened. I contacted his sisters, and they gave me the same treatment, telling me that their brother was already engaged and that they can’t destroy his future. My brothers eventually found out that I was pregnant. Out of anger, they threatened to kill me, so I fled. I escaped from home, from my stable existence and sought shelter at a city council. I was temporarily placed in a camp that helps discriminated women. They granted me permission to stay there until I give birth. After a while, my contractions started and I passed out. I awoke a day later in a hospital. The doctors and nurses told me that I gave birth to the most beautiful girl that they have ever seen. I was over the moon, but it was short-lived. An hour later, the same doctors told me that my daughter had breathing complications and died. I falsely assumed that my days of hardship and despair would be behind me until they told me that awful news. I’m still recovering now. Secret marriages have destroyed many lives.”
“Laba sano ka hor ayeey ahayd. Waxaan jiray 16 sano, markii jacaylkii iigu horeeyey, iiguna dhibaatada badnaa aan uqaaday inan aanu isku magaalo degenayn. Maalin ayuu iisoo jeediyey in aanu sameeno waxa loo yaqaan ‘Qudba siro’ (guurka sirta ah) oo aanu sidaas ku noqono qoys. Markaa, waxaan ahay ardayad la degan qoyskeeda. Jacaylka aan uqabo dartii, wax walba oo uu soo jeediyo waan ku raaci jiray. Sidoo kale arintii qudba-sirta. Maalintii ku xigtay ayuu la yimid laba wiil oo horay aan u arag. Wuxuu iisheegay in arintii guurka imika ay samaynayaan. Sidii ayaa xiriirkeenii usocday ilamaa aan xanuuno kala duwan isku arkay. Dhowr bil kadib ayaan Dhaqtarka utagay, waxaa la iga la iga eegay cuduro kala duwan. Cudur kasta waa la iga waayaa. Markii danbe ayaa uur la iga helay. Isla markii waxaan wacay inankii, waxaana usheegay in uur aan leeyahay. Si cadho ku jirto ayuu iiga codsaday in uusan doonayn in dib-danbe aan ula soo xiriiro, uurkana uusan shaqo ku lahayn, hadaan magaciisa sheegana ay dhibaabo iga soo gaarayso. Ilaah un ayaa og sida aan noqday maalintaas. Aduunkii oo idil ayaa igu rogmaday. Waxaa ii bilaabatay hal sano iyo badh dhibaato aduun ah ah. Amni daro, fakar, dhaqtar & dhaqaale la’aan iyo waliba duruufo kale oo halkan aan ku soo koobi karin. Marar badan ayaa, aniga oo ooynaya wacay inankii, kana codsaday, kaliya mar qudha ah uu familkayga uqirto in uurka isagu uu leeyahay, imikana uu i furo, anigana ilmahayga korsanayo. Mar walba canaan & cago juglayn ayaan kala kulmay. Waxaan sidoo kale, la xiriiray hablo walaalihii ah, bal in ay gabar ahaan iidareemaan, maciina aan uga helo, waxay igu wargaliyeen in walaalkood gabadh la yaqaan ay udoonan tahay, uuna dhawaan aqal galayo, sidaa daraadeedna aysan haybsan walaalkood. Ugu danbayntii waxaa uurkayga ka war helay, wiilal walaalahay ah. Waxay wacad ku mareen in naf danbe aysan igu sii jirayn. Si naftayda aan u badbaadiyo, waxaan ka cararay gurigii, waxaana isu dhiibay dowlada si naftayda loo badbaadiyo. Waxaan beegsaday xero loogu tala galay dumarka bulshada takoorto. Dhibaato iyo iska-dabacelis badan kadib, waa la ii ogolaaday in xerada aan joogo inta aan ka umulayo. Maalmo kadib ayaa fool iqabatay, waan miyir-gadoomay, maalin kadib, ayaa dhakhaatiirtii & kalkaaliyayaashii caafimaadka iisheegeen in gabar aad uqurux badan aan dhalay. Isla dhakhaatiirta ayaa saacado yar kadib igu wargeliyey in gabadhaydii uu naqasku ku dhagay ayna dhimatay. Wixii igu dhacay kadib, isma lahayn naxdin danbe ayaa dunida kuu harsan, laakiin naxdin weyn ayeey igu noqotay geeridii gabadhayda. Qudbo-siro waxay baabi’isay noole badan.”