Alex Maina Wachira
Its 10 o’clock on a Tuesday night, the usually crowded streets are less populated as most city residents
are in the comfort of their homes after a long day’s work, perhaps bonding with their children and to catch some rest prior to another busy day in the sun, Nairobi. As I “night crawl” in one of the serene city streets characterized by relatively Pricey coffee shops, ice cream parlors & fast food franchises,
not forgetting a world class 3D movie theatre often frequented by Nairobi’s middle and upper class, a young girl barely in her teens approaches me with a basket of packed groundnuts. “Boss, sponsor me” she solicits for me to make a purchase, adding that it will go a long way to make her family’s ends meet.
As soon as I begin to engage her in a deeper conversation as to why she is engaged in this trade as opposed to being at home, I am bombarded by group of her fellow friends in the same “business”.
Later, an older lady, I presume in her twenties joins in to make inquiries about the interaction and I discover she been watching us from the distance, I deem she must be the supervisor. I request for a photo with the group, of which the kids oblige with the exception of the adult. After a few pleasantries I left thinking about these kids and their plight. Being a dad, I think to myself, kids should be left to be kids, and not adults. There is a time for school & play, and a later day to earn wages, yet for now, their time is not yet. Let us end this forced labour, let us end modern day slavery!