The Kibra I Knew; the book Juma would love to publish

Ahmed Juma. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo.

Ahmed Juma, starts us off with how challenging his life was in a community where discipline was instilled to every child.

But he feels this often went overboard.

Juma paints a picture of a young boy being denied the privileges that other children around him seem to be enjoying.

This is shown through his grandfather wondering why he was always made to wake up at dawn while the rest of the children were still tucked in their blankets.

A picture is shown of how he would fetch meals for the family daily.

Although it is a culture to have a wonderful time when guests or neighbors visit, his was different especially when their immediate neighbor would visit during evenings and would cane him mercilessly in the full glare of his parents.

The beatings affected him as a child psychologically contributing to a moment where he sought help far and beyond.

He ended up at Chemorgong hills, in Eldama Ravine, wishing for an end to his mystery.

His prayers wentyonder. His aunt would be disgusted by what she witnessed, cutting her visit short and asking Ahmed to pack his belongings and off they went. His parents gave no chase or excuses, neither did he think twice.

His `Dua` would land him in the vast Kibra community. Being a fast learner and social child, he lived it up to enjoy his growth under the community that was fashioned with culture, religion and style of earning a living.

He creates a picture of the villages that existed in Kibra; how they lived, their leaders, business persons, what they sold and also the post-colonial drama that always lingered around.

He tells of the prohibited areas in the land of Kibra, the schools and the barracks lifestyles. Though his community was hardworking, illicit brewing was part of the hustle, and the ever-unending chase with the authorities. 

When he was brought up in Kibra in the 1960s and 1970s, the people lived as one in their respective villages. It was big, the shambas were well kept and communities grew their traditional crops.

The area had plenty of trees and people lived harmoniously. Life was good and easy and entertaining.

Ahmed was born in EldamaRavine and schooled in Langata Primary School in Nairobi from 1963 to 1969 from class one to seven.

He then joined Jamhuri High School from 1970 to 1973. He later studies sales and marketing and worked with Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) from the 1980s till his retirement. He married Zalika Ahmed, a beautiful charming generous religious and humble woman and were blessed with children and grandchildren.

He has always created a culture of reading, and was inspired to write about his life in Kibra thus the title,The Kibra I knew. He started writing it on 8th February 2020. He says that he was motivated after he read The Cruel Burden, by OkothGoma.

He also elaborates the Islam religion that dominated in Kibra, his Madrass life and the various ceremonies.

He also narrates the outstanding unity evident among the Nubian community of Kibra.

Although Ahmed got an opportunity to be free and had a chance to a new lease in life, he also did not manage to get a scholarship to study abroad.

Many young people at the time got chance to proceed to the United States of America, Dubai, Egypt and beyond, for studies.

This was done to create civilization and influence whenever the students came back, to give the service to the country using the knowledge they had acquired. Many who got this opportunity from his locality were girls.

Ahmed is a Nubian Elder whose opinion is sought for in The Nubian Community in Eldama Ravine.

He wears a strict character that has those around himdisplay high level discipline.

His values among them honesty, generosity and wisdom have made him a firm believer in the Islamic faith and upbringing.

He values education most and that is what he has given to his family.

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Janet Kiriswo is A Multi-lingual certified professional Journalist (English, Swahili and Native Kalenjin). Holder of a Bachelor`s degree in PR & Communication skills from Moi University, A Diploma in Mass Communication from The Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, (KIMC), with over 15 years active experience in the media industry. She thrives in covering stories matters that touches on Business, Health, community, Culture and Traditional issues and progress, Politics, Interviews and leaderships among others. She poses other skills in Public Relationship, Communication consultant, Radio presentation, broadcasting, visual feature stories, video/voice recording and editing among others. She strongly believes in changing the world through Communication.


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