May 16, 2013 Mad Hatter

Meet Frank, my Icon of Resilience

On Sunday I had the opportunity to share my story on KTN and the response has been overwhelming. What surprises me though, is the facts that people actually think my experiences are anything deplorable. There are thousands of young Kenyans who struggle through thick and thin.

Today let me introduce you to my Friend Frank. I met Frank when I visited a school in the interior Nairobi Slums. Frank was born in 1994 to a family of humble means. The father loaded trucks and the mother was a floor cleaner in the co-operative house.

In 1998, Terrorists bombed Nairobi and as you would guess, Frank’s mom was in the building, cleaning, and yes, she died. Frank was left with his two elder brothers and the father.

The income from the mother was the only thing that sustained their family. If you have ever been in the slums you know that loading garbage to trucks can only earn that much. At ten, the situation got desperate. The elder brother joined a gang in the slums and started robbing people.

It did not take long before the police place a bullet through his chest, and yes he died. Frank, his father and the second brother were now just alone. After clearing standard eight, the second brother also joined crime. The police started looking for him and knocked on their door. Fortunately the brother had been tipped and ran away. In Kenyan slums, a police knocking on your door means many things, but certainly it, may not mean that you will be arrested and arraigned in a court of law, that is a luxury the force rarely affords. A bullet is an easy option. The brother flew never to be seen

So Frank was left alone with the father. From twelve he would do the dishes, prepare the food if there was anything to prepare and go to school. He never played outdoors with his peers, always scared that the bullet that befell his brother might get him.

He did his KCPE and passed and joined high school with the help of an NG .But as most agencies, his post secondary was never secured. From a slum school, Frank scored a C+, that means he cannot gain government sponsorship to University.

I met Frank about three months ago, he still sits in the house, never moves out in fear of what may entice him, but always assured that tomorrow holds a promise for him. We tried applying to a certain college but failed and while I was becoming desperate the boy looked at me and said: It is okey, God has his plans for me.

Tell me why you should not keep hope if Frank did.
(Thanks Frank for allowing me to share your story)

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