Dennis and the Darkened Room…

DSC00699Average life expectancy in Kibera is around 35 years (sources vary); some 20 years below the rest of Kenya. A brain tumour with little respect for wealth or location and in a particularly cruel twist of fate snatched the life of Dennis’s sister at the tender age of 12. Dennis, who is not much older is grappling with his loss and at the same time provides stability and an income. He copes with a tenacity and wisdom of someone twice his age.

A visit to his home, deep within the Kianda district of Kibera was the minimum. The steep narrow dark alleyways that provide route to the tin and mud shack was alive with torrid waste; exacerbated by the recent heavy rains. Entering the tiny home, I respectfully left my sodden shoes at the cloth door and was greeted by the extended family, a makeshift hair saloon mid braid, and a live charcoal burner; all in a two metre square.

Seated like royalty and implored to “say something” is a recipe for internal terror and a mouth disconnect. Eternal silence was broken by my disparate words. Dennis thanked us for our time; his sister still had to be returned to his rural home for burial…





These writings are penned whilst in the field working with our friends who live and work in Kibera and it is hoped that they bring insight, understanding and a provocation that the status-quo is unacceptable. Please feel free to unsubscribe or share as appropriate. Any opinions implied or expressed are my own and names may have been changed for the sake of privacy.        Dave Boni.

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