Life is weird people; and what is more, is we all think it’s unfair. Even the Christian who believes in a just God is still faced with the dilemma of understanding why a merciful God would allow bad things to happen and especially to the good people and to people He claims to love. The atheist and scientist are thrown off guard in trying to prove theories and create solutions, but they never get to an ultimate point of gratification. Probably, this is the spice as well as the gall of life.
Imagine you are 19-years old but in class 8. You have lived more years backward. Does that make sense? Let me try to demystify it. You have lived for a decade doing nothing except fetching water, collecting firewood and doing house chores and then you have to start school, ten years later with kids who still have diapers on them. With kids who have to learn how to spell. It makes sense more to you than anyone else that time is an illusion; for so much has passed in its existence. You pass through life because that is what we all do; pass and then die; then people read our eulogies and say we passed away.
In this 10 years, you know only your father and your siblings. Your mother died long ago. You do not know how a mother cares for a child. The emotion doesn’t even ring in you; three, four years later when you have your first period; you handle it on your own. It’s not an exactly bad life as everyone in the village lie the same sought of life as you. It’s a small cocoon which you have managed to survive in. But then disaster strikes; and then you realize; misfortunes do not come singly but in a battalion.
One night after election results are announced, armed men hit your village. They are people you know; your neighbors. You play with their sisters, you fetch water at the river with their mothers, your father works at the same mine or construction site with them. But apparently today; you are no longer a community; today you are tribe A and tribe B. They harass you and torture you and then kidnap your father, and that is the last you see of him; it’s now almost ten years later and you do not know whether he is still dead or alive. Sometimes you think about him and it shivers you, your lips tremble and you get panic attacks…but you never cry; no you don’t cry…where do more tears come from after 10years? Post-election violence left you with nothing but bronchitis which worsened when you lived at the police station; the only place that was safe around you.
A small ray of light flickers when your aunt comes and picks you and your siblings and brings you to Nairobi, the big city. She seems kind, no, she is actually kind. We can just blame poverty at this point because finally, you have to sleep in a single room, which is a wooden shack with a mad flood and old roofs. It is not exactly the big city you have always perceived in your mind. The room is a six by six and you share it with your aunt and her family; a total of 18 and to sleep, you have to lay the mattress horizontally and you all have to sleep across it in order to fit. I will not reiterate that your aunt has his husband there. Yes, everything unfolds under your watch.
You start school at the nearby primary school and constantly you are position one. The teachers love you and you start thinking that probably one day you will get out of this poverty. You start crafting how you will be a doctor. You want to become a doctor because a while back they diagnosed you with polycystic kidney disease. It’s like two demons living in your body…one in your lungs and the other in your kidneys and they both have some collaboration to make your life miserable. Your life entails medicines and more medicines and you live with pain and nowadays you just consider it as that bad friend who is probably teaching you a lesson in life.
But there is still hope, a lot of hope, so you live and strive one day at a time; until someone decides to cut short that dream. Someone strips you off all your pride, dignity and everything that matters. Someone chooses to regard you not human but a sexual object; they rape you and defile you and threaten to end your life if you tell anyone. For days on end, you walk around wishing they actually killed you because you no longer understand life. So much has happened that life is not really worth living and now the doctor informs you that you have to live for two people; you and your expectant child.
There are just things in life we cannot explain and I’m tempted to veer off right now and talk about how unfair this situation is. But this is not a hypothetical story. It’s a true story of a girl I taught at Mathari Primary School in Mathare slums, Metrine Tamnai. She was my best student, had the best handwriting in my class and her compositions were more than admirable. She was neat and when you see her you cannot tell she is 19; you cannot tell that she was older than me; her teacher. You cannot tell that she has a kid; a son. You cannot tell that she is sick or that she lives in a house that is impoverished. At times, I wish she could look desecrated and defeated, probably, it would earn her help; but not Metrine. She is a fighter. She is the strongest person I have known my entire life. She deserves this chance and it behooves us to give it to her. We could talk more, but I just think today I will tell you that at least life has given you the fair chance to control some things; for others, they have no absolute chance of doing it. They have been left with one strength in them; the will to fight on.
Metrine’s condition has worsened. The polycystic infection is eating up her kidneys even faster; she needs your help. She is due to start her dialysis urgently and her dialysis kit costs Ksh 30,000. I would literally beg if I could, for you to help her for you to sacrifice just a bit of your money for this girl. She needs to fight for herself and her son and the many people she will treat in the future. It behooves us to make that step.
Her youtube video is here https://youtu.be/bTW1kOruLZs
And to contribute to help Metrine:
Go to MPESA, Select Lipa na M-PESA,
Enter Paybill No. 891300 Account Number 10893