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Daily Nation : January 27th 2014
2 coverstory El Molo lad focused on making life better for his community DAILY NATION Monday January 27, 2014 BY ALLAN OLINGO firstname.lastname@example.org I like science because it makes me curious about life. We are taught about things I can only dream of I t was American poet and social activist Langston Hughes who once said, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken- winged bird that cannot fly.” And dreaming is what Fabiano Lewa, 12, does most of the time. He dreams that one day he will be able to explore the world outside his lakeside Elmolo village in Loiyangalani on the southeastern shore of Lake Turkana. Fabiano is the second last born son of “Captain” Charles Guya, the patriarch of the El Molo community. Fabiano lives with his parents at their El Molo village, together with his three older siblings, (a brother and two sisters) and a younger brother. As his father leads the rest of the group towards the lake for a boat ride, I pull Fabiano aside for a chat. But before we begin talking, he lets loose his little puppy, which dashes off towards the lake for a drink. From the way its lapping up the water, it needed it. But it is understandable because the temperature has soared to 45 degrees. We find an old, abandoned boat by the lakes shore and sit inside. “So, what is life here like?” I ask, to Although he has had little exposure to the world outside his El Molo village, Fabian Lewa, 12, has a good grasp of the problems affecting his resourcepoor El Molo community and is focusing on his education so that he can become a doctor and help them improve their lives some day break the ice. “Life is great down here. I come home for the weekend then go back to school on Sunday. I attend El Molo Boarding Primary School, where I have been sponsored. I walk several kilometres every Sunday to school, and back on Friday,” Fabiano responds in Swahili, pointing out the direction of his school. “And how are you doing in school? “I am performing well. I am now in Standard Eight. Last year, I managed 349 marks and I am sure I will excel in my final exams this year. I want to pass and go to the university to study medicine. I want to come back here and help my relatives. As you can see, we depend on the only clinic in town (Loiyangalani), which is about six kilometres away,” he explains. Fabiano sayshis best subject is science, because he finda it fascinating GROUP EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Joseph Odindo GROUP MANAGING EDITOR: Mutuma Mathiu FEATURES EDITOR: Bernard Mwinzi REVISE EDITOR: Mary Wasike SUB-EDITOR: Naliaka Wafula PHOTO EDITOR: Joan Pereruan CHIEF GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Roger Mogusu GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: Nzisa Mulli, Andrew Anini, Dennis Makori, Alice Othieno, Michael Mosota, Ken Kusimba, Hassan Ibrahim, Benjamin Situma, Joy Abisagi, Virginia Borura, Teddy Murimi, Linus Ombette REPORTER: Joy Wanja COVER GRAPHIC AND CONCEPT: Hassan Ibrahim Mwera him, while maths provides the greatest challenge. “I like science because it makes me curious about life. We are taught about things that I can only dream of. I have lived by this lake all my life and I would like to see the things I read about in books,” he explains. “So, how was your journey from Nairobi?” he suddenly asks, staring at my phone. Gruelling journey I take my time explaining the gruelling 600 kilometres I had to cover to meet him at his rural home. I tell him how smooth the ride was till Laisamis, after which I had to endure a torturou,s 275-kilometre rough road that cuts through South Horr to Loiyangalani. From the way he’s looking at me, he doesn’t seem to understand me. “How come you’re saying it was tough when I see the people in the lorries and Land Cruisers smiling when they pass by?” he asks, obviously puzzled by my explanation. I mull over the question, trying to find a simple way to answer it. But before I can answer, he decides to tell me of a trip he made last year. It is clear from his excitement that it was a rare treat whose effects will last a long time. “I rode in a vehicle for the first time in December last year. I loved it,” he says, beaming, and goes on to explain that his maiden journey took him to North Horr, where he had accompanied his father on a peace meeting. “How was it?” I ask him. “It was fun. I really enjoyed it. It was on a lorry and I got a chance to stand on the upper deck since the lower deck was carrying animals and goods being transported to Nairobi. It was interesting feeling it move. I wished it were a Land Cruiser because then I would have had a chance to sit. Before that, I had only seen the vehicles that bring tourists to our village and the lorries that bring goods to town. I had touched them and taken a peek inside, but I had never ridden in one,” he explains. “So that’s the farthest you have gone outside your village?” is published every week by Nation Media Group Limited. It is distributed free with every Daily Nation. Unsolicited manuscripts, artwork, transparencies are submitted at the sender’s risk. While every care will be taken on receipt of such material, the Nation Media Group Limited cannot accept responsibility for accidental loss or damage. ©Nation Media Group Limited, 2009. All rights reserved. MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION A section of El Molo Village on the shores of Lake Turkana: the inhabitants rely on the saline lake for food and water, which has led to health problems.
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