This is Kingstone. Out of 35 kids, he is the youngest, living at the centre my mum manages, in Ngong, Kenya (20km southwest of central Nairobi). He’s a special young man, with a bottomless pit for a stomach, and a friendly attitude. It is almost impossible to keep him clean for more than 5 minutes, but that’s how young boys are meant to be.
Despite being only 6 years old, Kingstone has had a rough life already. Growing up in a small village “compound” populated by uncles with an excessive appreciation of alcohol and women, he saw far too much, and was severely malnourished (bloated stomach, depressed skull even), which may explain why he eats and eats and eats. Seriously, in 3 months, I have only heard the words “I’m full” come out of his mouth once. He also shows a skewed sense of ‘acceptable’ practices with girls, and has been in trouble numerous times at school for trying to get girls to take of their underwear during naptime.
Unfortunately, stories like this abound at the centre. After all, that’s why the kids are at the centre, not at home. Still, the kids generally have a positive attitude towards life, after all, they are the lucky ones. And Kingstone has no shortage of older kids to help him come out of his shell.
I should feel bad for saying it, but Kingstone is definitely one of my favourite kids at the centre. Possibly number one. He’s hilarious to be around, and his constant demands for me to throw him in the air give me a decent upper body workout (The boy is a tank). As such, and as the result of an idea I was given after the Christmas Slaughter, I plan to, from time to time, post photos of this eager young man, as part of a series I’m calling “Kingstone Gets Curious”.