- My wheelchair has a back compartment that acts as a mobile stall.
- I can walk without it but it is a much more efficient means of transport than my feet!
- I sell sweets, chewing gum, biscuits, juice and airtime. My customers are the passers-by.
- Because I’m located next to the main stage, most of them are people living in the estate, as their faces have become familiar.
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My name is Teddy Waweru. I am 29 years old. I was born with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects muscle tone, my ability to move my limbs in a coordinated, purposeful way and my speech.
I grew up at the Mother Teresa Children’s Home in Huruma. I just found myself here as a young boy. It is a big, happy family and I know no other way of living than in the company of great family and friends at the home. Because of my age, I’m now housed at the Missionaries of Charity Home of Peace in Ngumba estate.
My day starts early. I wake up at 6am, take a shower and dress up. At 7am, I head to the dining hall for breakfast and do my chores thereafter. After my chores, I go back to my room in the dormitory and prepare myself to leave for work by 9am. I get onto my wheelchair and cycle up to the roadside, just near the matatu stage in Ngumba estate.
I FEEL ENCOURAGED WHEN PEOPLE SAY HELLO
My wheelchair has a back compartment that acts as a mobile stall. I can walk without it with the support of a walking stick but it is a much more efficient means of transport than my feet! I open it and arrange my wares. I sell sweets, chewing gum, biscuits, juice and airtime. My customers are the passers-by. Because I’m located next to the main stage, most of them are people living in the estate, as their faces have become familiar. This has seen me make friends with some of them who stop by with a smile to say hello, or just wave at me as they pass by. This encourages me that people recognise me and what I am doing.
Cerebral palsy has meant that my right side, both the leg and the hand, are affected as the hand is powerless and cannot be utilised, while the leg is very weak. I’ve learned to make the most use of my left hand and leg.
EDUCATION I studied at Joy Town Primary School in Thika and sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in 2006. I then pursued a certificate course in knitting at the Variety Village Training Centre in Thika. This was between 2007 and 2008; and I learned how to sew sweaters using a knitting machine. But I have never practiced the craft, as I didn’t get the opportunity for employment, but it is something that I could have perfected in life.
STARTED A BUSINESS