On the 16th of June 1976, 10 000 South African students in Soweto marched peacefully in order to protest against inequality, racial injustice and the decree that Afrikaans alongside English was to be the medium of instruction in schools. This resulted in the use of violence by armed police which led to hundreds of children being massacred and thousands injured.
The African Union established 16 June as the Day of the African Child to commemorate those that lost their lives and to recognise the importance of providing quality education to all. This day raises awareness on the challenges young people in Africa are facing and how they are playing a role in overcoming these barriers in order to create peaceful, just, and sustainable futures.
The Day of the African Child also challenges the global community to address barriers to the empowerment of children in Africa and to share something special with a child in Africa.
Nyumbani has chosen to celebrate the Day of the African Child through capturing positives stories from our children on what it means to be an African child in Kenya, and how their cultures and communities have influenced who they are.
We hope that this will inspire the spirit of abundance for you to play a role in providing disadvantaged and underrepresented children an opportunity to shape the quality lives they deserve through education.
TO BE AKAMBA: By Carolyn Martha, Hotcourses Primary School student
What makes you proud to be Akamba?
I am proud to be akamba because of our Culture. Culture is people’s way of life. In our culture we believe in many things. We also make many materials and sell them to earn a living, for example weaving baskets, making calabashes, making spears. Visitors from all over the world like to visit us. They also want to learn more about our culture, making us feel proud of our culture.
Climatic conditions are favourable for certain fruits. In Makueni we are the best producers of oranges and mangos in the whole country. This has helped me to learn about how to take care of the environment through agriculture.
Our land is rich in minerals like coal. We also host the seven forks dam which generates power in the whole country and helps us get water and hydroelectric power. Visitors all over the world like to visit the Tana River project. This has helped shape me to learn more about water sources and how to conserve them.
We also host a mysterious rock called the Nzambani rock in Kitui county. We believe that if one goes around the rock 7 times, his or her gender can change. This has helped and shaped me to break monotony during my free time and improve our living standards.
What is something special that would you want the world to know about Akamba people?
We have heroes and heroines. These are Akamba people who are known for their long-distance trade and fought for independence.
Masaku is well known for well distance trade and fought for peace in Machakos county, he made Machakos a very big trading centre and he traded nuts, tobacco and beads Kisoi Munyao raised the Kenyan Flag immediately after independence in the years 1963 Paul Ngei fought for independence and protected his community.
This has helped and shaped me to develop skills like being a leader, patriotic and being a good Kenyan Citizen.
TO BE KENYAN: By John Mwanzi, Hotcourses Primary School student
What makes you proud to be Kenyan?
I am proud of being a Kenyan citizen because we do great in athletics. We have great athletes from our country like Eliud Kipchonge from the Kalenjin Tribe.
I also enjoy human rights and freedom as a Kenyan citizen such as:
· Equality before the law
· Fairness and justice
· Freedom of worship and speech
· Equal distribution of national resources
Being a Kenyan shapes me to be a disciplined, hardworking, honest, kind and respectful person.
What is something special that you would want the world to know about Kenya?
We have the Masai culture which keeps large herds of cattle. They get meat and milk from their cattle. They also sell the cattle to earn their day-to-day living.
In addition to that. In our country we practice national values like peace, love, honesty, hard work and unity.
Our land is also rich in tourist attraction sites like waterfalls, game parks, traditional dances, historical sites, and the sandy beaches along the coast.
Written by Zoe Kamangira