VIDEO:Morris the “Talented homeless boy” back on streets
NAIROBI: It appears that Morris, the street boy who amazed Kenya with his mastery of English and spoke of opportunity is back on the streets.
Appearing on a video shared on Facebook, he said that he and his friends (15 boys) ran away from the Gachie home in which they were being housed because they were being caned and “can’t stay there”.
He claimed that a lady at the house where they had been housed for less than a month caned them. He pointed to one of his friends and said that they “were all hurt because he had slept outside on Wednesday” and pulled his sleeve to show an injury he claims to have received after the beating. He then said in the same breath that “she is caning us thoroughly ati because of a book.”
Morris appeared to be intoxicated while giving the story, saying “I have been hearing rumours that ‘Morris has been taken by Mike Sonko’, and that I’m living in a big house,a good, ventilated house but we will not go back to Gachie.”
Morris appeared with three boys in the video and appeared to be their leader, asking each of them in turn if they would go back, and each responded that they would not.
The boys’ education had been catered by Joe Karuiki, a businessman who offered to be a sponsor for all the 30 boys at the home. In the video, Morris said that they wanted to go back to school but that they were uncomfortable living in Gachie. The sponsorship was to fully cover their fees, uniforms, books and transport.
As if posing a challenge to anyone watching the video, he spoke of himself in second person, saying, “This is the Morris you were seeing meeting the Chief Justice, but I wonder why Morris is now rumouring (roaming) on the streets. Whereas Morris was the same Morris who talked about opportunity.”
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga had met him in his chambers after he expressed his desire to become a lawyer and offered him the opportunity to be an intern at the Supreme Court during school holidays. He also gave him a copy of the Kenyan constitution.
Homeless of Nairobi had on Thursday put up a Facebook update stating that they were experiencing a challenge of “run-away kids”.
The page stated that the boys tended to run away every other Friday but always found their way back, stating that these were the trials of running a home. The update read, in part: “We are trying not to formally institutionalize these kids but instead build a family for and around them. However, sometimes it becomes difficult. Especially since families have rules and regulations that need to be followed for the collective good….if the boys break the rules, they need to be disciplined. …we are trying to create the best environment for these kids to grow up in. However, they are used to their freedom and sometimes the overpowering taste of freedom cannot be overcome.”
Morris had whipped up a media frenzy and appeared on several media stations, speaking of opportunity for street children and of his dreams. When a media crew took him back home, the people they found rejected him, saying that he ran away from home and from school. His father, who is said to be a drunkard, told the crew that he should go back from wherever he came.
Through the status update, the charity organization asked anyone who saw the boys to encourage them to go back.