Damaris Kangai.

Damaris Kangai

My name is Damaris kangai. I was born in 2004. I was born and brought up in a polygamous family, where my father had two wives. My mother was the first wife. My mother had four sons and I was the only daughter. Unfortunately we lost one brother when he was given poisoned food by our stepmother. I was young by then to understand what was going on though I came to learn about that later.

Our step mother had so much influence upon my father that she made our father hate us all. That did not bother my mother since she had indulged into drinking alcohol due to stress and frustration from our father. Eventually the step mother vacated our compound with my dad and left us alone.

My mother regardless of the hard life we faced, she made sure we attended school. All my three brothers were in upper primary and I was in nursery school, and therefore I was the only one who used to come back from school at noon. One day i came home as usual from school expecting to meet my mother at home and have lunch. On that fateful day I met my mother lying on the floor and tried to wake her up but she could not wake up. With my little knowledge I thought my mother is asleep and slept besides her hoping she will wake up and serve me food. It was not until my brothers came home that I came to learn that my mother was dead. It was alleged that our step mother had poisoned her because she was seen in the compound in pretext that she had come for her belongings that she had left behind.

The area chief confirmed that my mother was dead she was taken to the morgue. Just a few days before our mother was buried we were attacked by unknown people at night and they
beat us mercilessly and every one ran their own way to unknown destination and on that night I slept at a neighbor’s house who advised me to follow my father who was staying in a rental house with his wife. They welcomed me well but little did I know they intended to use me as a house help when I come from school. Being at nursery school I was only 6 years old, I could not differentiate an enemy and a friend.

The good welcome did not last long before I was introduced to hard work of washing my father and step mother cloths on weekends, and fetch fire wood and water, that was my assignment that I was to perform with no fail. I never resisted my chores and took them with passion. I had only one school uniform and no shoes but it did not bother me. By the time I joined class one my step mother started to introduce me on how to cook, the step made me very happy since I knew I will not feel hungry again since I will be able to have food.

Soonest I knew how to cook basic simple food, I was the one assigned to do the cooking and if the food was not enough I was the one to go to sleep with no food . Soon she started beating me for simple mistake and one day the food got burnt and she stuck me with a knife on the shoulder like she wanted to kill me. I still have that scar with me which reminds me dark days in my life. Since that day life started changing to worse. She could even beat me out of nothing to relief her hunger of fun.

I pleaded with my father to help me since I was really getting terrible beatings but he could only tell me it was because I was not following instructions from my step mother. At these point is when I realized her children were treated in a special way.We were in the same school but they had a couple of uniform each and shoes which I did not have. When they prepared a special meal like meat I was sent to collect firewood so that they can have an opportunity to eat in my absence.

These made me miss my family so much, someone to share my pain with. I wished I knew where my brothers had gone to and why they didn’t search me where I had gone. My brothers would defend me whenever I was at risk from bullies but my current family encouraged bullies to mock and beat me. I felt very useless and unloved.

One morning we woke up to go to school my step mother’s children had tea and bread but I was told that I would eat mine when I came back from school. They all laughed at me as i agreed. One of the older daughter who was by then in class 5 told me to leave their home and follow my brother,` These is not your family’. That morning I made up my mind that I had to go and look for my brothers. I left home before them and went straight to a nearby town to look for them. I did not recognize a single face that I could recall during my mother’s time. I kept on asking people if they had seen my brothers and no one bothered to answer me may be because they did not recognize me either. I met one teenage girl who advised me to check in a big town called maua may be they are working there. The girl was so good to me that she told me to her accompany her to maua since she was working there. It took us a while before we arrived in maua town. I spent best part of the day going round in town looking for my lovely brothers to rescue me from my miserable life.

I realized the night was about to fall but I could neither recall the route we came nor the name of the place I came from. These marked the start of my street life. That night I slept on a shop corridor which was infested with mosquitos and drunk guys, luckily the shop had a watch man who shared with me the food he had that night when I narrated to him that I was looking for my brothers and I got lost in the town. I then fell asleep and by the time I woke up in the morning the guard had already left.

Getting used to street life was very hard, my cloths got worn out and I could wear any cloths that I would find dumped in a dumping site. I made new friends who were street girls like me, we could make a group in searching food and begging money to buy food. We faced many challenges at night worse being attached by drunkards or older street boys, but as a group we were able to manage ways of defending ourselves. At one point my legs started swelling worsened with time to appoint I could not even work but just sit in one position begging food or money. I was able to get a shelter form one family which the mother of the house had promised to take me to hospital. After two days in their house, they family was attacked by thieves and wife and husband were killed. Their children were grown up and had left the compound, when the police come to investigate I was taken to the police station together with house help to make a statement of the incidence.

After my statement I was taken to a children office, I was interrogated for several hours, after several questions I was taken to a Nyambene children home. Here I met so may girls and boys which I almost mistook with a school. That how i was rescued. thank you Miriam for making my life a reality.

You can do anything to raise money.

Donate now