Struggling to be Stephene Oduor [Steve Banner]

On any ordinary day I would wake up at around 6.30am. big and ready to face the day, and that’s when I get to recall what I would love to be in life. for this was speciffically what motivated me to wake up in the morning and face the day.

Which reminds me, ten years ago I sat in a form three class with very little hopes of becoming the computer technician, video editor and web desiggner I had longed to be, one may ask, “why were my hopes little?”, well, it was in that year, which was 2000 to be speciffic, that I had missed mid-term exams for all the terms due to late payment of school fees of which my relatively poor parents were struggling hard to raise. a year earlier, in form two, I had missed all the lessons and sat for the end-year exams blindly, but still managed to be above average, It was this that was contributing to my hopes diminishing day by day.

But the last nail fell on my dreams casket in september of the year when I was  tottally unable to go back to school due to lack of school fees. I remember shedding tears for almost a month, but even though the tears stopped flowing, I would still grief everytime I heard of an opportunity that requiered one with a form 4 certificate or a university degree.

I eventually got over these and started looking for petty jobs that would help me support my mum and siblings. I secured a job as a shopkeeper which ran breifly and closed, thats when I moved to train as a barber at a friends barber shop.

It was not an easy road as the sin’ger san’g. I had the pressure to learn the job as fast as possible so as to be in a position to help my mum through income.

Over this period I developed interest in art and music , I would draw and do calligraff but I lacked the formal training and time  to go for this since I was struggling to get some money.

I would go to the barber shop during the day and either draw or write music in the evenings at home.

It was untill 8 years later when I saved enough to record my first song at a cost of sh.2000 but the song never made it past my residential house for me and my friends were he only ones listening to it.

I eventually gave up on that and went back to being a barber after moving from my hometown Ukwala to Kibera slums in Nairobi, where I came to stay with friends, who as I came later to learn, were engaging in petty crimes in the slums to survive. I remember this one incident during a village inspection in soweto, Kibera when I was mistaken for a thief and almost beaten to death, a police officer came to my rescue.

This incident got me scared and I cut off friendship with these boys and went to live in my step-sister’s place at Olympic, Kibera. where I got another job at a salon and barber shop, It was from here that I learnt much of the salon work, but I was still unable to go for a hairdressing course to attain acertificate since this too required money and I couldn’t save for the less I earned went to everyday survival.

Then a chapter in life turned, When one monday morning, just like an angle sent from heaven, afriend came to talk to me about a video project that was to be started, to train youths on video production and collect information in our community. I saw this as an opportunity to revive my dreams of bieng a video editor, and be able to tell stories through video.

I fell for it instantly, without any computer knowledge, I did my best to learn as much as I possibly can. after sometime I was effectively able to put together a video using the Flipshare and the Windows movie maker, all my hopes was to finally do something that would earn me a certificate to prove I’m able to do it. I was also having the hope of using this to furnish my musical talent and skills.

It’s over a year and eight months now and writting this blog, I’m gradually driffting back to that hopless situation, reasons being that I’m not yet able to get a formal training on anything I’m currently, that is hairdressing and Video editting. I still long to hold a certifying document to prove that I’m experrienced on this or that, and I’m able to do this or that, despite being able to edit more that 70 videos currently on youtube, putting together 4 songs that haven’t got any far and working in 3 different salons in Kibera.

Colleges the offer courses in webdesigning and Video editting look for a KCSE certificate with a minimum grade of C. Which to me only revives the bitter memories of when I had to drop out of school.

All who get to hear of everything I do, get’s to imagine how learned I must be, But the truth is that, no employer would pay u well when u can’t prove to them that you are  up to the required level of education, let alone being certified to do a particular kind of Job.

But, the writter once said that there is always someone to stand on your side, to always help you make it happen, I strongly believe this and that’s why I hope to write the next blogg proudly telling you that I now have a certificate in hairdressing, or a certificate in video editting.

And can finally make up to the starndard videos that can bring a large positive impact without having to worry over anything.

My dream will have finally come true, and I’ll have gotten rid of the sad memories of having to drop out of school, or my dad passing on and leaving no one to support us educationally, or reading about a particular opportunity that I believe i can handle and then being locked out for lack of a certificate to prove myself. I will finally be the first among our siblings to be certified on a course and revive my mother’s lost hopes in us

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