Tuesday, 24 August 2004

The tale of a young vagabond

Gome writes:

He was giving the ladies at the door a tough time when I arrived for church service early last Sunday morning. His shirt was a cake of blood and food crumbs, evidence that he had been in skirmishes as well as picking in bins. His hair was crumpled and his skin as grey as ash. It was apparent he was sleeping in trenches or on burnt out heaps of ashes. I looked at him and though he recognised me he simply ignored me, insisting he wanted to go inside the church hall so he could pray to God, but the ladies stood their ground for he was in a bad state. I tried to reason with him but he turned a deaf ear on me. Only after protracted persuations did he give up. I had managed to promise him my used clothes and tackies if he could in turn wash up. So that was the deal to be honoured this Thursday.

His name is Chileshe, another young, promising and intelligent boy who was with us a few years ago. He had aspired to be a pilot and had worked hard in school work at our make shift school. Seeing that his dreams could not be fulfilled due to lack of support to further his school career as well as meet personal and educational needs, he had drifted into the canyon that most boys his age did, the era of cheap drugs and living an outlaw's life. Unfortunately, Chileshe became insane and is now a vagabond, call it a tramp, at his age. I weep at the early demise of another innocent child.