Felix Joel is 26 years old, but he has played the patriarch role for his family for so many years that he is at his tail end. In an exclusive interview,the small scale trader from Kisumu’s Manyatta estate revealed that he became a father figure at a very young age.
According to him, he has three younger brothers who were left in his care after his father’s demise in 2007.
“I was in Class 7 when I started taking care of them through the business of mali mali because my mom is jobless,” he said.
He added that his own education ground to a halt in 2017 while he was still in his first year at Masinde Muliro University where he was studying Animal Science.
Ventured into business full-time
Joel reiterated that after putting his own education aside, he got into a full-time business and started a stall in Migori which has been helping him pay his siblings’ bills.
“I also had a contract to supply beans to one of the schools but it ended when students were sent home last year due to COVID-19. I haven’t been able to get it again,” he explained. Given that he is the family’s only breadwinner, Joel laments that his visits to the Constituency Development Fund offices and Ward representative have not borne fruit.
Joel’s younger brother 17-year-old Morgan is expected to join Kenyatta University on October 4 for a course in Agricultural Education and Extension. Pushed to the wall and with no hope in sight, he made the difficult decision to walk around with a banner announcing his intention to sell his kidney for his sibling’s education.
“I have bigger problems that I can’t even start saying now. My dad was polygamous so as we speak we don’t even live at home, but that’s another story altogether,” he concluded.
As of the time of filing the story, Joel was yet to receive any financial support nor an offer, but he is hopeful that his message will reach a well-wisher.