‘Cursed’ schoolgirl who sleeps at father’s doorsteps
A Standard 5 girl from Marura Primary School in Nairobi’s Kariobagi North estate has been fending for herself for the past three years after her grandmother and father threw her out their house.
The young girl spends most nights on the doorsteps of what used to be her home, while her other siblings enjoy the warmth and comfort of what she wishes she had.
The girl has two brothers and a sister but she is the only one who is always locked out.
They live with their father, but their grandmother, who also lives nearby, manages the affairs of the house, according to neighbours. Everyday, the grandmother ensures that the other three children have eaten well and gone to bed.
The girl’s reclusive father is said to own three matatus on the Kayole route. Nothing is known about the whereabouts of his wife. Every evening, he steps over his daughter who sleeps on the doorsteps as he enters the house.
The young girl is never fed by the family and relies on the generosity of neighbours and well wishers
Mr David Wanyoike, a neighbor who is also the National Youth Council representative in Kariobangi, told Nairobi News that the girl has been sleeping on the doorsteps since he moved to the apartments in 2012.
He said that he has reported the matter at the Kariobangi police station several times, and only recently was he given OB No. 38/10/8/2015.
We reached the investigating officer who confirmed that the matter had been reported to them by several good Samaritans and that the grandmother was once arrested, but released, after she promised not to mistreat her grandchild.
“We cannot go to the house at night because the gate is always closed and if there are no witnesses or anyone to open the gate, there is nothing much we can do,” said the police officer, who cannot be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
But according to Mr Wanyoike, after the grandmother was released, she only housed the girl for a night and kicked her out the following day.
When Mr Wanyoike spoke to the other children and inquired why their sister was always being locked out, they told him that they were under strict orders not to open the door for her.
Wanyoike says: “I have tried my best to feed her whenever I can. During the night she covers herself with the doormats of her neighbours and whenever anyone tries to give her blankets the grandmother hurls insults and threatens them”.
The girl doesn’t know who her mother is.
Mr Wanyoike also said that at the moment the girl is ailing; her skin color has started to change and her cough is getting worse.
He points out that recently, the girl had told a neighbour that she has been contemplating throwing herself from the sixth floor of the building and end her suffering.
We tried to reach the school headteacher but all our calls went unanswered.
We talked to one of the teachers but she declined to comment on the issue, only saying that she was not the right person to talk to because she was not her class teacher.
She later called and told us to talk to the school counselor because the matter was reported to her office.
When we reached the counselor she said: “Yes, it’s was true that the matter was reported to my office.”
She said she could not talk on the phone and asked us to schedule a face to face meeting.
From the brief exchange with the counselor, she confirmed that the young girl was taken there, but they couldn’t find any of her close relatives. While still trying to find someone who can take care of her, the girl’s grandmother came and took her away.
SIBLINGS IN PRIVATE SCHOOL
No one knows the reason the girl has always been locked out of the house for that long, because according to the neighbors, the other siblings attend private schools. The girl was only recently transferred to Marura Primary School.
Her brothers and sister all have bicycles yet the only thing she has are her school uniforms.
There are no toilets outside the building and once the gate is locked she has nowhere to go for calls of nature.
A neighbour recounted an incident where the grandmother had found out that the girl had been using her name to get milk and bread on credit from the local shop during the holidays. The results were not pleasing. The girl was clobbered.