MUI HUWA MWEMA: Ex-convict’s mission to reform Majengo youth.


To many people, the mention of the name Majengo Estate sends chills into their spine, considering the criminal narrative associated with the area.

But one group of youth in the area is out to correct that narrative by working towards reforming fellow youth from crime and driving them into productive endeavours.

Led by Swahib Mohammed, an ex-convict who spent 18 years behind bars, Thika Empowerment Group (TEG) is now drawing youth from various estates around Thika to endeavour in clean up exercises and unclogging of drainage in a bid to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, the group has attracted 62 youth drawn from Majengo, Starehe, Jamhuri, Ofafa and Biafra estates and has started a voluntary clean up programme in Majengo.

“I spent 18 years behind bars and I wouldn't wish any of my fellow youth to experience what I did in jail. My mission is to help these youth reform and start doing something productive with their lives,” explains Swahib.

He says that his main objective is to see people live in peace and save the youth from getting into trouble with the law.

“Very many youth here have died while so young either through drugs or being shot dead while engaging in crime. We want to change that,” he says.

His colleague John Kariuki aka "RIO" blames most incidences of crime to joblessness and hopelessness among the youth.

“At the moment, we are volunteering to clean the estates for free to show those around us that, if supported, we can do something productive, especially now that we are faced with COVID-19 pandemic,” adds Rio.

He adds that they survive through small tokens gotten from well-wishers who appreciate their work, most of which goes to buying protective gear and tools that they use to work with.

“We are in dire shortage of tools and equipment. We also do not have enough protective gear but we believe that once the society embraces our idea, they will agree to contribute some little amount of money monthly to enable us sustain the project,” he says.

TEG was formed last year in November (2019) and has been very instrumental in discouraging idleness and crime among the youth in these estates.

Today marks their 26th day since the embarked on a mission to clean up the estates in the fight against coronavirus.

They plan to commercialise their volunteerism after COVID-19 with a view to creating some employment to these youth and drawing them away from crime and drugs.

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