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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Diaspora Stories: My Childhood Memories By Kawira Njeru

Diaspora Stories: My Childhood Memories By Kawira Njeru-VIDEO
Diaspora Stories: My Childhood Memories By Kawira Njeru

Mountain Top, a poem from the book Coming Home, was performed by the Meru Teachers College Students in the Music and Drama Festivals in Kenya 2012 and won an award at the national level in the category Education. This education film was shot on location at Ruguta village, Chuka, Meru,

By Kawira Njeru

Kawira Njeru was born at Ruguta village near Chuka, Kenya. She grew to love literature and poetry by the fire in her home while her mother cooked and told stories.

Kawira lives in Germany, an active member of Discover e.V, a Charitable Organization based in Winnenden, Germany , whose core values are to help people discover the resources for health and healing in their community and their environment and to help individuals discover their skills and abilities beyond what is usually recognized by themselves or others.

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Diaspora Stories: My Childhood Memories By Kawira Njeru-VIDEO

Diaspora Stories: My Childhood Memories By Kawira Njeru-VIDEO

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About Kawira Njeru

Growing up in a small remote village by the foothills of Mt.Kenya, I had known the only games we had played as children. We would make dolls from red earth, kneading the soil mixed with water and firewood ash to make little dolls, insects, animals, and play houses. We created things that were known to us, things we had seen and experienced.

Later we joined the only primary school in the village for our elementary education. I can clearly see my first day in school, wearing a school uniform; light blue cotton blouse under a sky blue khaki tunic and bare feet.

We attended assembly and I fell in step guided by my elder sister and standing in rows per class. We all stood very still and straight as the head teacher gave a speech of welcome and disciplinary outline for the new school year.

After about 20 minutes or so all others were released for their lessons in classes and the new school kids were asked to stay behind.

First, we were instructed to stand up very straight and lift up our right hand directly over the right ear and touch the left ear over the head, this meant if one could touch the left ear, he or she was old enough for school and those who did not pass this were immediately sent off back home accompanied by their elder siblings or neighbours´ older children.

Those who qualified were further instructed to write on the bare ground with fingers, thus testing our knowledge of the alphabet and numbers.

I qualified and was then handed a book and a pencil and was led to my first class. I would be in this school for five years before my family transferred me to a boarding primary school; this was very expensive and many families could not afford but my mother worked endlessly and tirelessly in the coffee and tea farms to provide for the school fees.

Back home during the school holidays, we continued to live a normal village life; playing, singing and dancing with other children, our mothers telling us stories around the evening fire while the meal cooked to keep us awake and to pass on knowledge of our traditions and culture, a practice from many generations.

They were very careful to instill in us the importance of our traditions, the respect for the older people; proper language, good manners, kindness, the value of community and of course the consequences for those who disobeyed: Curses would follow them all their life.

It was passed on in a nice way though and even though curses were dreaded; it was made clear that this befell those who openly chose the wrong path.

After primary school education I qualified for a national high school, a great success then for a village girl.

I was filled with pride and confidence as I walked around the village and all would openly and sometimes secretly talk about my great success; it was not in bad faith, everyone celebrated with me and my family and I became a good example and role- model not only for my immediate village but other neighbouring villages as well.

My good report went down in many records especially in the locations and divisions and even in the entire District.

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