Here’s the story of how Benjamin Katana dropped out of school to become a breadwinner
When I started telling you the stories of Kenyans who don’t exist despite the fact that you see them every day as you walk and drive around, I started with this blogpost in which there was a story of Katana, a 21 year old farm hand, who is married to a 19 year old girl and they have a four year old child. Here he is now, telling his own story in a series on the Wakenya Youtube channel that is produced by Oliver Kagwe of the Thellesi Trust. The Thellesi Trust is the non-profit arm of the communications agency, Thellesi Co.
Unfortunately, in Kilifi county as with many other counties in Kenya, Benjamin’s is not a unique story. It is common for girls and boys here to become sexually active by the age of 11. By many accounts that I have heard so far, that door is opened by the lack of such basics as sanitary towels and food. To get these basic necessities, the girls reach out to older boys, many of whom dropped out of school for lack of fees and are now working as farm hands or unlicensed boda-boda (motorbike taxi) operators – and are therefore liquid. The amounts in question here are in the ranges of Kshs 20 to Kshs 100 (USD 20 cents to 1 dollar).
Also read: These are ways to make people count
It can be demoralising to watch this video and listen to these stories. But do. Leave me a comment on what you feel.