Kamana’s woes as a street kid

All children are born with equal rights. But during childhood, some end up going through hardships like denying chance to go to school.

All children are born with equal rights. But during childhood, some end up going through hardships like denying chance to go to school.

At Novotel Hotel Street, Eric Kamana, 13, tells a miserable life story of how his parents passed away had no hope of enjoying Christmas like other children.

He is nearly naked, poorly fed and always keeps his eyes open to any well wisher who can provide him at least a slice of bread or any coin at the main entrance of Novotel Hotel.

Taking Eric’s picture needed much attention as he looked at me approaching with a Digital Camera and started running a way.

“I can not come to you. Why do you want to take my picture?” he asked me as I planned another trick on how to talk to him.

Later on I came to give him five hundred francs and bread for lunch as he smiled to me and revealed any information that I wanted from him including many of his pictures that I took.

When I wanted to know how he enjoyed Christmas and New Year, he responded to me “Nohelise n’iki?” literally asking “What Christmas means.”

After explaining to him the meaning of Christmas, Eric laughed at me and said his life celebration is when he has secured a piece of daily bread.

“So Christmas goes with happiness. My happy day is when I get some money or what to eat from any one” he told.

About five years ago, the troubled young and handsome orphaned boy started living a street life in Kigali city mainly Novotel grounds.

“I like this street because the Hotel attendants are so kind. No one refuses to give me any thing when I beg and that’s why I can not leave this place” he said wearing a very broad smile.

Born to Dativah Mukakarangwa and John Bosco Munyemana, Eric lost parents during 1994 Genocide who by then lived in the Former Gitarama province currently Southern province when he was still an infant.

After the war, Eric and his Auntie moved to Kigali in search of their relatives who did not give them good hospitality. After facing mistreatments from the relatives, Eric decided to escape from home and started street life with other children living in the same. He normally carries mostly tourists’ luggage from the nearby Super markets to their residence.

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