I have walked into town late in the night more than once from the office. The first spot is always just before the entrance to central park on Kenyatta Avenue. It’s always a young girl, probably 5 or 6 years old. Her mother, guardian or boss is usually seated on one of the kanjo benches, somewhere in the dark but you can often see her silhouette. On some days, the young girl is in the company of a boy around the same age. I have heard the woman scold her that she is not persuasive enough. At one point I saw her pinch her because she didn’t look remorseful enough. The idea was for her to cry because then she would get money easily.
The times I have been called ‘aunty smart’ in town have got me wondering if my cousins have been repopulating the CBD. Young boys and girls. I should say baby boys and girls in tow at midnight convinced they are finding their daily bread. This my friend, this is how we raise our own prostitutes and thieves. I have always had a problem in giving beggars money in town, for I know it only takes one person giving for them to come back the next day. As long as one person is willing to give, they will always be there. This is how I view it. If everyone refused to give, every single person, for a day, then two, then a week then two weeks trust me no one will come to the street the third week to confirm if people are giving again. The need for that food they claim they don’t have will make them hustle for something. They will not sit aside and wait for death instead.
At 5 a young girl knows to get money all they have to do is stretch out their hand and it will be given. Some are taken to random parties by their parents and encouraged to dance for people. And no, it’s not the dancing you used to do in Sunday school. These girls twerk and shake their non-existent booty. Then money is thrown at them. At age 10, they still enjoy the luxury. At 14, if a girl stretches out their hand and someone asks for something in return, she figures it’s not that bad. By the time she’s 17, she has slept with a million men, made a ton of money that she can’t account for but she is seriously broke. Congratulations world, you have just made a prostitute.
At 5 a young boy stretches out his arm and gets money. At 10, he gets fries and a million questions about school and his grades. At 14, he gets a slap. He doesn’t understand why since it has always worked before. He feels like you awe him something. A couple more slaps here and there, then he decides not to ask anymore. It’s time to take. After all you owe him. Congratulations world, here is your new thief.
I am not saying that all the kids fit in this box, I am sure some get out to become established and successful people in our society. But I believe it all comes down to exposure. What are you exposed to? Do you believe you can do better? Do you see things you want and work towards them without taking shortcuts? As cruel as this might sound, before you hand him/her that 10 bob, ask yourself if you’ll be the one to sleep with her when you are 50 for 500 or if he will be the one to jack your car.
This is just a rant of an insomniac. I am honestly trying to sleep. I promise.