Most people wish to grow up in a family setting with parents or guardians to take care of you.
Although some are born into families that support them until they’re old enough to cater for themselves, there are those who don’t enjoy these benefits. Some are forced into the streets while still young where they grow up not knowing about their origin.
What are the reasons why many end up being street kids?
Peer pressure, poor parenting, and running away, passing on of parents, discrimination or being seen as an outcast, poverty, being chased away and others do it out of their own wish.
Kids who end up in the streets sometimes resort to robbery, drug abuse and in the end, some of them are killed while others get rescued by good Samaritans.
Well, in the local showbiz industry we have several celebrities who grew up in the streets and we’re proud of them for transforming into great people in the society.
From multi-talented singer Guardian Angel to Radio Jambo’s Annita Raey, meet the celebrities who tasted the hard and bad street life.
The gospel singer whose songs are currently topping the music charts grew up in the streets. In past interviews, Guardian has always narrated his past sad life experience and how he ventured into music to inspire the youth.
“We happened to have gotten to a place where it was a bit hard for us to hold on because my mother had lost her job and life was just hard and me being that kajamaa who doesn’t want to look at his mother go through some stuff so that life goes on and couldn’t just watch so I decided to go my way and let my mum figure her way out. I got arrested when I was in the streets. I was on the streets and I think the President at that time said the streets should be cleared. So I was among those who were cleared from the streets.”
His mother died when he was young, and was forced to the streets where growing up was tough. He later went to ABC orphanage in Mathare slums and from there, he was nurtured into the man he is today.
The radio Jambo presenter, now a mother of two, is never afraid of sharing details of her past. She’s been through a lot and just like some, her life hasn’t been a smooth path. Annita went to the streets when she was 13-years-old.
“I was so rebellious because I was raised by a very harsh mother. I started running away from home at a very tender age of 13 years and started living in the streets. I lived in the streets of Nairobi with the worst people in the society. Those were my friends. They used to treat me like I am the baby in their crew. You are the one who carried the drugs for them,” she narrated.
“Then one day I was coming in with one of them, so we are at Moi Avenue, then someone hit me from the back, nkafikiri ni mwizi and I was like, anataka nini. I fell down and became unconscious. I did not have money but anyway I had drugs with me. They dragged us towards Jevanjee. They were two guys and both were from my tribe, I understood all what they were planning for me. So they raped me and that was the worst thing in my life.”
‘I was raped at the age of 13 and tried committing suicide 5 times,’ Radio Jambo’s Annitah Raey speaks out
Terence was brought up in a family of three, with him being the last born. The siblings and their uncles grew up in Mathare slum in the house of his grandmother. He said;
MY PARENT DIED WHEN I WAS NINE YEARS OLD, AND THE SAME YEAR, I STARTED SMOKING. I QUIT SMOKING A YEAR AGO.
Growing up, Terence thought of how he could walk out and go look for food because there was little in the granny’s house.
“That is how I became a street kid for seven years,” he said. “At only nine, I started using drugs. I was a chokora but at least I knew how to speak English.”
Terence would also fake disability so he could get pity from people. He said;
I SOLD SCRAP METALS AS WELL AND I BECAME A THUG. I WOULD SNATCH BAGS FROM PEOPLE AND STEAL SIDE MIRRORS ZA GARI ZA WATU.
The Tanzanian gospel artiste also went through hell while growing up. He stayed in the streets depending on borrowing and searching bins for food as it is a norm by street urchins.
“I was a street kid for 8 years, My father had always wanted me to pursue another career and not music. Nia yake ilikua niwe laywer kama yeye. Issue za familia ndio zilichangia niwe street child. Nmashukuru Mungu kwa sababu malengo yangu yalitimia na bado yanaendelea kutimia. Nilikiwa street niliandika nikiwa kwa situation ngumu wimbo unaitwa ‘Juu ya mataifa yote’ huo wakati nilikua bado naenda kanisani.”
The controversial gospel singer spent most of his time on the streets. And just like street urchins, he ate from the bins.
In past interviews, Ringtone has always narrated that his mother dumped him at the doorstep of a bar in Nairobi’s Tom Mboya Street and left him at the mercy of the streets of Nairobi.
His uncle later found him and sent him to the village to stay with his grandmother who later passed away, leaving him once again at the mercy of the world.
He was forced to flee to the streets where he did everything urchins do because his family had allegedly rejected him until when he was rescued by a good Samaritan.
The late flamboyant gospel singer also tasted the rough life of the streets.
In past interviews, Papa Dennis revealed that his parents passed away when he was very young and in Class 8, leaving behind three children. With no one to support or care for them, Denno had to turn to the streets to fend for himself and his siblings.
“I’ve been through a lot, and growing up an orphan really takes a toll on you. It affected me after primary school seeing other kids go to high school while I couldn’t. It hurt a lot. So I started taking on menial jobs to survive.”
He was later rescued by Sadat Muhindi, the CEO of Maliza Umaskini foundation that helps the needy and nurtures talent. Papa Dennis celebrated his birthday yesterday.