DARK PAST

My mother introduced me to selling liquor — Kellen

She told her she had to sell liquor so she could save money to go to secondary school

In Summary

• She was sexually abused in the process of selling liquor and got pregnant

Kellen
Kellen
Image: COURTESY

Joyce Wanjiku, alias Kellen of Tahidi High, says her mother introduced her to selling illicit brew while still in primary school.

Speaking in a YouTube interview, Kellen said her mum told her she had to sell liquor so she could save money to go to secondary school.

 

"I had no option, I dug a hole in the house and that is where I could save my money," she recounted, adding that life at home was tough and she always looked forward to school days.

 
 

"I scored good marks in my CPE and got a letter to enrol to Alliance Girls but my mum could not afford," she said.

"I was enrolled in Loitoktok Secondary School as I sold alcohol."

Kellen said she was sexually abused in the process of selling liquor and got pregnant.

"It was traumatising and my mother refused to take the man responsible to court since he was a family friend (his mother was a nurse and was the once who helped my mum in giving birth to me)," she said.

"I took my child to the children's home I was in, but after one year, while in Form 3, I was not able to continue with education, and I was forced to take my child back."

Kellen's life took a turning point and she started using drugs just to be 'happy'. A life she was in for over 10 years.

"I started hawking in GPO and continued with my life and selling drugs there, until one time I was threatened by government officials," she said adding that her life again changed after she went to hide in Tanzania for six months.

 
 

In 2005, Kellen met Naomi Kamau, the director of Machachari, who introduced her to acting.

Kellen says being physically challenged, she went through so much rejection.

"We were rejected in all offices and nobody wanted to be associated with a disabled person," she said.

"Today, Kenya is changed and our voices are heard."