The 8 Days that Gave Me a Glimpse of Life Behind Bars: Exit Wounds

The 8 Days that Gave Me a Glimpse of Life Behind Bars: Exit Wounds

The Peugeot we were in hit Jogoo Road and made an illegal U-turn towards Bahati Estate. When I saw the estate fly by, I couldn’t help think about being taken to Kiambiu Slums or the Dandora dump site. So many things went through my mind.

None of those things was positive.

The strongest of these feelings was my urgent need to turn my life around. The valuable Bible lessons I had shared at Makongeni Police Station were still very fresh in my mind. I decided to keep my focus on what I possessed in my hands as opposed to lamenting on what I didn’t have.

It is strange that I had to get arrested for me to realize I had wasted my life lamenting about the education I didn’t have. I had also wasted my life lamenting about the lack of a father-figure. All this changed after I spent 8 days under police custody.

More baptism by fire

I watched as the car negotiated the roundabout near Mesora and knew we were headed to Buruburu Police Station. We arrived at 2:45 am. Nothing prepared me for what happened next. Hell broke loose the moment Mustapha and I entered our new cell.

I was still trying to get used to the poor lighting inside the cell when I fell strong and rough hands push against my chest. A stout 5’6” rough man pushed me to the wall while his accomplishes groped inside my jeans pockets.

It didn’t take them long to scoop the notes and coins I had stashed inside my small pocket. My throat hurt while my groin felt so painful I was doubling up. I don’t know how I got separated from Mustapha.

By the time Mustapha came, my money had gone and I couldn’t dare snitch. I did not know what would have happened in case the lights went out or I visited the toilet. I planned to lie low as an envelope.

Of course, this plan failed.

In the morning, my seventh day under police custody, a gentleman approached and asked to speak to me. He told me he was a Christian writer and that everything I was going through was God’s plan.

“You remember Joseph and how he suffered before God elevated him?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I replied, struggling to draw similarities between what Joseph had gong through and the seven days I had already spent under police custody.

“This is going to end well for you,” he added. “Just continue believing and trusting God.”

The 8 days that gave me a glimpse of life behind bars: Exit Wounds

restorative justice

He told me that Mustapha had told him that I am an aspiring writer. I learned how I could write and earn an income through writing. He also shared how I could improve the tuition I was conducting at Kumekucha.

The following day, I got released at 6 pm and walked home.

I later learned that there were two young men belonging to our jumuiya who had helped in my release. Their testimony and evidence that I wasn’t involved in any sort of crime got me free.

My freedom came at a hefty price because I soon discovered that no parent was willing to allow their children to come to the tuition. I nursed my pain by vowing to one day work with boys in juvenile prison.

To this date, I still draw strength from the 8 days I spent under police custody. The lessons I learned enables me to identify with the boys that Lifesong Kenya seeks to empower.

Most of the boys thirst for someone who believes in them and is willing to give them a second chance in life. It is not an easy task but I know that we are achieving our goal, one boy at a time.

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