Jafet Kisundi Mizigo
Meet 30 year old Jafet Mizigo, an enthusiastic student at our dressmaking class. At first, he seems like any other young man, and any other student in the class, maybe a little shyer than the rest, but on a glance, you realize that something is amiss. Well, Jafet is deaf, and only communicates through sign language. He was born in Migori district in Isbani and currently lives in Kibera with one of his sisters. His father passed away in 2011 and his mother lives back in Migori. He has six other siblings, 3 brothers and 3 other sisters besides the one he lives with.
Jafet sat for his KCPE back in 2007 and managed to get 200 marks, though he did not proceed with school, his dream did not end there. A few years later, a friend volunteered to teach him skills in mechanics and driving. He faithfully attended the mechanic training for one year during which he also went for driving classes for two months. But he could not follow the training to completion because of several challenges. First, he could not afford the driving test fees and other related requirements like payment for the drivers licence and photos. He also had to walk a long distance daily from his home to Kayole where he was being trained, and though at first he was enthusiastic, in time he could not sustain the daily exhaustion. It also happened that his relationship with the older sister he was living with then went sour and he had to go back upcountry for sometime.
After a while, one of his other sisters was willing to host him, in Kibera still. His niece, who was an old student of Bethel dressmaking class introduced him to us. Jafet was very excited on joining the class, and has shown great interest in learning. He is in his second year and so far, the teacher affirms that compared to other students who can hear, Jafet is extremely talented especially in the practical part of the class. He occasionally brings in worn out uniform and bags or other clothes from his niece for repair. Though he struggles slightly with the theory, the teacher is positive that Jafet will catch up, and has no doubt that he will pass the government trade test when he sits for it at the end of the year.
Jafet was at one time married to a beautiful lady. But as misfortune would have it, his wife was raped and because of the trauma, she separated from her husband. He now lives with his sister in kibera where they share one small room.
One of the challenges that Jafet currently faces, among others, is food. His sister so far being the breadwinner, sometimes refuses to give him food, and Jafet often goes hungry.
Upon completion of his training, Jafet's heart is set upon leaving Kibera and heading back to his rural home to put up a dressmaking shop. He cites that rent is cheaper and the rooms bigger, and that life is generally cheaper there. He hopes that when that time comes, he can get the necessary support to help him settle.
d not proceed with school, the one he lives with.y lives in Kibera with