Kenya's No 1 GhettoRadio

I Escaped Lynching, Koch’s Reformed Criminal Recounts

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Nairobi informal settlements for decades have been synonymous to crime and pollution. Korogocho being the third largest on the eastern fringes of Nairobi with population of over 250,000 residents has not been spared.

Maurice alias Lovesh grew up in Korogocho, his parents passed on when he was barely 9 years, he had to drop out off school to fend for himself.

“I grew up in Korogocho, since childhood with my parents until I was nine years. Living in Korogocho was not easy ,I had to drop out of school to look for what I needed,” Maurice said.

Struck by the wrath of unemployment, Maurice had to do menial jobs within the neighbourhood, but when he realised that the jobs were not paying off, he was lured into crime by his teenage peers as a quick way to supplement what luck could be giving him.

“The peanuts I got from the jobs was very little, survival became tough, friends gave me the alternative to join the blood thirsty criminal gangs, we snatching phone and other valuables to sell to get money,” he further stated.

Lovesh now a father one recounts being jailed at 10 years and escaped lynching together with his peers by a whisker nearly a decade ago when they in robbery and mugging missing.

” I was jailed when I was ten years old, but what I remember most is the day I was almost lynched, we were four the two died, but me and another friend escaped the angry mob. That’s the day I purposed to reform,” Maurice recounts.

However Maurice admits that his broken past nevertheless offered him free tutorials on reinvention and self-discovery, attributes that aided his quest to transform his immediate habitation from crime, by engaging his peers in talks and working as garbage collectors to earn a living.
The self-professed reformist further told Ghetto Radio that he has fully disengaged from criminal activities with his friend Amin Noor and they are working on a mission to improve the ecological health of Korogocho slums where he has lived for more than two decades.

“We participate in cleanup activities and planting of trees as part of restoration. Together with his friend Amin Noor with whom they preach peace to fellow youth to shun crime, he says crime dose not pay off, it cuts life short,” he advised.

The latest security trends in Nairobi have caught the attention of security agents,with many incidents of robberies and muggings being reported.

Maurice’s clarion call to the youths is that life gives a second chance to repurpose and live responsibly.

By Rodgers Oduor

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