Scared for my kids

November 04, 2016


Many mornings on my way to work I see a little boy, maybe about seven or eight years old, loitering along the exit off Dunrobin Avenue onto Red Hills Road.

While there, he peers into cars as if searching for an opportunity to grab something from your backseat if your windows are not up. Sometimes there are two other boys with him. I wonder why they are not in school. I also wonder who and where are their parents. It is not implausible to believe in a few years these boys will become thugs. They will be illiterate and without any specific skill that will enable them to find a job to fend for themselves.

I tried calling a particular agency for help but no one ever answers, so I am compelled to carry these boys in my thoughts at night, wondering how they are faring in the cold, dark world. I have two boys. And I know what it's like to be a parent. I know the challenges, the joys, the pitfalls, everything one can experience with two boys who are four and 15 respectively. So I understand these street boys' parents could be facing significant challenges caring for them. However, that cannot be an excuse for leaving them up to their own devices, and to the whim and fancies of dangerous predators.


Relevant agencies


Sometimes I feel like as a people we don't really care about these things anymore. These boys have been seen there for months and yet they are still there. Maybe someone has already alerted the relevant agencies and as you read this something is being done to address the situation. If that is the case then I would readily take back my words on this, but somehow I get the feeling I am not wrong. These days I feel like something is broken in this country. When I was growing up you only heard of men dying in confrontations. The only times you would hear of children dying would be in accidents.

These days there are stories of men cutting off heads of kids because they found out they were not their legitimate fathers, of kids being stabbed to death while being robbed, and kids being burnt to death in fires after being left alone at home. I am still trying to figure out when it became okay to kill kids. Sometimes when I am playing with my four-year-old, a chill runs down my spine when I consider that someone could actually think of beheading him for whatever reason. There are other times when my 15-year-old should be on his way home and I am afraid to call him because I fear someone could attack him and mortally wound him just to get his phone.

How can we continue to live in a country where these things have become part of the landscape and not want to do something about it? How can we sit by and have our kids running around on the street when they should be in school, killed by some raging madman, or for a mobile phone? Is this the kind of country we want to leave behind for our kids? But wait, forgive me. Maybe that is the plan. Killing our kids now guarantees that we have no future. Are we willing to sit idly by and allow that to happen?

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