In Summary
  • In 1976, he enrolled at the University of Nairobi at the college of adult education in Kikuyu campus to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in adult education.
  • Later in 1981, he enrolled at the Hull University in the UK where he studied a Master of Arts in organisation and management.
  • Over time, he also underwent specialised training in the use of social communications as a tool for promoting social development.

Peter Chege was 17 when he ran away from home after a disagreement with this father.

“That was in 1965. As a teenager from the village, I was looking forward to that comfortable city life, away from herding livestock and tilling the farms in Kianyingi, Murang'a County.”

Life in the city was good for a short while but little did he know what fate had in store for him.

"I had never seen so many cars, multi-storey houses and so many busy people as I found on my arrival in the city of Nairobi in 1965. I faced my new surroundings with apprehension and uncertainty."

Initially, he stayed for a short while with his sister Jacinta and her husband at Shauri Moyo Estate.

“My brother-in-law paid for my school fees to join Form One at the Pan Africa High School. I later joined my mother in Eastleigh where she was living. After a disagreement with my father, she had also run away to the city. Life became hard when she gave birth and lost her casual job.”  

His mother was the sole breadwinner.

"Basic food became a rare commodity in the house and I had to walk long distances to and from Eastleigh to go to school bare foot on the hot tarmac roads. Things became so bad that I spent the

10am school break-time begging for money from motorists in the parking lot next to the Pan African High School complex. With the little money I managed to get, I went to City Market, the main

wholesale market, and bought green maize cobs which I roasted and sold in the evening by the road side at Eastleigh. I gave all the proceeds to my mother for procuring food."

This saw him spend his late teens as a street child in Nairobi.

He vividly remembers sleeping hungry, sometimes being naked because did not have clothes and being lonely when he led life in the streets.

RESCUE

Luckily, a local charity came to his rescue a year after living a difficult life in the streets.

“St Vincent de Paul, a local charity helping poor families, rescued me from the streets. The charity placed me in a Save the Children funded orphan institute, the Starehe Boys’ Centre and School in

Nairobi. It is this centre that, with resources provided by Save the Children Fund, helped turn my life around giving me a home to live in, love and an education that has sustained me to what I am today.”

The 69-year-old says that it was this act that restored his faith in humanity.

“From there on, I believed in myself and the fact that there were still some good people in the world.”

Chege, who is now a dad and a grandfather, reconciled with his father and says they are great friends today. His mother passed away ten years ago.

Peter Chege visiting his dad in Murang'a with his son and grandchildren in April 2017. PHOTO| COURTESY

Peter Chege visiting his dad in Murang'a with his son and grandchildren in April 2017. PHOTO| COURTESY

Page 1 of 2