Dreams of Hollywood Live Amid Political Riots, Poverty and AIDS

Now that a new government has been sworn in, Mwai hopes the tensions will subside, but many of the hundreds of people still in the camp have no home to go back to. They are waiting for promised compensation that will most likely never come. Mwai spends a good deal of time with the young boys whose parents were killed during the clashes. He says their stories are like something from a horror film that you can't believe would happen in real life, but did. He worries about the psychological trauma for these youngsters who live clustered in one tent. Mwai is trying to instil in the children some of the things he was taught, such as folding your clothes, cleaning your teeth, being polite. At 21, he is a volunteer surrogate dad to these orphans in a country where family means everything.

There is no idle time in Mwai's day. No trips to the mall or hanging out. When he has to go anywhere it is by crowded vans or on foot or on a bodaboda, a bicycle taxi. He does occasionally visit the nearby national park where tourists from all over the world come to see the famous flamingo flocks or to spot rhinos and giraffes. He understands that tourism is important for the economy.

Mwai has never left Kenya. He has no passport and has never been on an airplane. But his dream is to go to Hollywood and train as an actor. America means power to him. He thinks that Americans don't understand Africa, that they come only to see "the baboons" and that Americans look down on Africans, but he quickly adds that he has met some nice Americans too. He is proud to think that Barack Obama, who is of Kenyan ancestry, could be the next president of the United States.

But no matter how famous this 21-year-old might become, how much of this world becomes his, Mwai will always return to the place and family he loves. "I am proud to be a Kenyan. I love Kenya."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4694151. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4694151. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4694151. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4694151. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4694151. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4694151. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4694151. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4694151. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4694151.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...