September 25, 2021
A Kenyan boy's passion for education is ushering in a new revolution in his life as well-wishers come to his rescue. The life-changing experience was triggered by viral photos of him doing homework on the streets.
Salim Khamisi, a grade 6 pupil of Jola Urabi primary school, Shanzu Mtwapa, Kenya, has been making headlines since he was captured studying along the roadside.
A good Samaritan, Emmanuel Mbaji, first outed the boy's story after discovering him utilizing the street lights for his school work.
Touched by the boy's determination to get the work done against all odds, Mbaji took photos of him and shared them on Facebook. He also made a point to speak with Khamisi, who explained he had to make do with the street lights as his residence was out of power.
Explaining further, the boy said their power supply was cut off due to his poor parent's inability to pay the tokens as they lived from hand to mouth.
After narrating the boy's story, Mbaji shared a string of photos showing the sixth-grader leaning underneath the street lights by a roadside as he focused on the homework before him.
He seemed undeterred by the cloud of darkness surrounding him in the lonely night as he strived to complete the task before him, clad in only a striped singlet and shorts. Mbaji explained:
"I saw a zeal, I saw a great person [in] him. Can we help this brain?"
Several individuals and organizations have responded to Mbaji's call for assistance on behalf of the passionate youngster.
In an updated post, Mbaji extended gratitude to those who have responded so far with donations to help Khamisi rectify his home lighting issues to avail him of a better study environment.
Among those the Facebooker acknowledged were Rayoh Mombasa Car Dealers, Hon. Beatrice Enachi, Diana Chitsaka Mwangala, Hon. Alinur Mohammed and several media channels.
While these donations would undoubtedly change Khamisi's life, many netizens have called out some of the contributors for using the little boy's plight for political gains.
Kenyan political figure, Hon, Alinur Mohammed, one of the contributors, took to the platform to announce his team successfully located the boy. They donated foodstuffs to the family and paid three months' worth of tokens.
However, many believed the politician could do more than offer temporary relief to the boy and his unemployed parents. A contribution like awarding him a scholarship to fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot would be considered a more sustainable offer.
"Empowering people works better than handouts! Teach me to fish and I'd be able to buy my own bread. Don't give me fish… Yaye!!!"
Comments also poured in on Mbaji's page, with many commending him for bringing the young lad's blight to the public and garnering support. A comment read:
"It started as a joke, and now Salim is smiling. Congratulations Emmanuel Mbaji Mruu for the first post and all those who came out to aid this."
These good deeds towards a boy in need, however little, would undoubtedly go a long way in improving the living conditions of Khamisi and his family.