October 24, 2018

”We are the dictators of our own lives. We’ve killed our past and we are busy killing our future”. Those are the words that I read from The late Francis Imbuga’s book Betrayal In The City.

On 23rd October 2018, Primary School Pupils, Secondary School Students and members of the community took to the streets of Mathare Slum up to the Parliament buildings as they protested of being denied access for the playing ground.

The population of people living in Mathare Slum is increasing day by day. Mathare being the 2nd largest slum in Kenya after Kibera Slum, is said to have a population of over Five Hundred Thousand(500000) People living in the informal settlement.

Despite the heavy rains, the peaceful demonstrators said “Enough Is Enough”

Nairobi Senator Johnston Sakaja together with Senator Abshiro Halake addressing people of Mathare at the Senate building in Nairobi. Photo by: Richard Chapia.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports Rashid Echesa addressing the crowd outside his office. Photo by: Richard Chapia

Students together with members of the community from Mathare heading to town on foot holding a banner. Photo by: Richard Chapia

“They’ve always wanted us to pay Five Thousand (Ksh 5000) Shillings so we can access the playing field. Mathare Depot field has produced so many great talents, For example one of our own has played for Harambee Stars, others are in Kenya Defence Forces and Police Service. If this playing ground is out of bound to all of us,  where will this younng growing children go? All we want is our Senator Sakaja, Woman Rep Passaris, Governor Sonko, Mathare Mp Wakili and all MCA’s in the six wards of Mathare Constituency to help us”,  Said former Mlango Kubwa MCA aspirant Paul Maina.

The demonstrators also went to the office of the Cabinet Secretary for sports Hon Rashid Echesa who in turn addressed them after receiving a petition. “Hata kama uwanja ni wa serikali, nyinyi ndiyo serikali na tutashughulikia iyo mambo” ( “Even if the playing ground belongs to the government, you the people are the government and we shall deal with that issue”).

Also speaking at the Senate Building in Nairobi after receiving the petition, Nairobi Senator Johnston Sakaja together with Senator Abshiro Halake said that “A lasting solution would be found and that there is no way the future generation will die of crime because they can’t explore their talents”.

Now that the C.S for Sports Hon Rashid Echesa and Senators Johnston Sakaja and Abshiro Halake have received the petition concerning the playing ground, Do you think a lasting solution would be found?

I conclude by saying: The struggles we endure today, will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.


Reported by: Richard Chapia

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