INJUSTICE NOT CHARITY
Trey Songz is a big deal so I’m made to understand but when I first saw him at the Coke Studio during the press conference, were it not for the hysterical buzz around him, I would have mistaken him for one of those broke ass niggas from BuruBuru who keep licking their lips to look sexy as they fake it in the hopes of making it. Yes, he was just ordinary and his riding a jav,even though meant to be PR, suited him perfect for if he was Kenyan, he would most likely be a Swaleh hanging haphazardly on those Rongai mats with a bottle full of punch peeping from his faded rugged jeans back pocket. His simplicity made it hard for an award winning story. Until he went philanthropic. Heart and ego stuff is good, better than any pimped matatu and so I choose to now dance around his wallet hoping to bring out an important aspect that most of you might have missed while either going ham on the pretty boy or re falling in love with his charm.
It should not have taken Trey for the street child conversation to arise. These children are slowly becoming a republic of their own and while we have all chosen to turn a blind eye to the rising numbers, save for the few occasions when we need to pamper our egos and show the world that we are good people, more and more kids are taking this as cue to join the streets. So many groups have now taken it up to feed the street children and many celebrities have been seen to push initiatives and drives to not only feed but also ensure the street kids are comfortable. It is at this point I will try to sanitise my raw thoughts and hope to God that the message still remains clear.
While it is a noble thing to actually notice these children and want to help in our little ways, we now need to break away from the mediocre thinking of looking at street life as unfortunate and charity case and address it as the injustice that it is. Most of the children living in the streets of Nairobi and around the country are between the ages of 5-16years and are not in the streets out of choice. If only Trey concentrated more on the spirit filled eyes rather than the empty cup, he would have made a bigger difference to that child, by ensuring this spirit is not extinguished by the harsh streets. This an assumption most of us go by, that what they need most is a coin. These children have stories, and heart breaking stories at that but because of life’s happenings they found themselves stuck in a rut having to settle for that 50$ dream as compared to that of leaving the streets.
Trey did his part and we commend him for that. He is a superstar and he would have chosen to ignore that little child, but he didn’t. The ball rolls back to our court, instead of back and forth arguments on whether Trey Songs was right in posting his wallet endeavors on social media, why don’t we take this opportunity and have a conversation on where we lost it to have our children languishing in poverty and wasting away on the street corridors? When did it become socially acceptable for a child to come latch at your trouser sleeves in the biting cold with the hopes of securing a meal for the day? Why are we taking blankets and meals for them on the streets? Why they there in the first place and do we even care? Do we have a functional government? Trey songz is now back to his hustle, do we also go back to ours like nothing happened? You do not need to have a 50$ bill, just a willing heart,a listening ear and an informed voice to speak out on behalf of that child who given a chance could thrive like any of us.
AUTHOR: NJOKI GACHANJA