20th Jun 2012
The Benson's family-part 1
'My full name is Benson Karisa Charo,am aged 48 years.Just to make you learn more on my name'Karisa Charo' is a typical tradtional Giriama(coastal) tribe name which i was given by my late parents soon i was born.'Karisa' means a small shepherd whereas 'Charo' means journey or'safari' in Kiswahili.From our history our forefathers and grandfathers used to be shepherds and also gatherers but they used to migrate by making journeys'safaris' or 'charos' from our area to another in such of pasture for their animals,so its believed that while on their way migrating my great grandmother gave birth to my grand father who was called' Karisa Charo' whom i have inherited his name.
My wife's name is Mary Benson who is aged 38 years.Me and my wife are both blessed to have 6 kids who are biological our children,they are from the eldest;-Kahindi(senior-not the sponsored),Patrick,Francis,Peter,Justin and Wycliff.Among the 6 kids,2 of them are sponsored into the Mtomondoni sponsorship program i.e Justin and Wycliff.Apart from the six kids there are also 3 more kids i.e Zena,Samuel and William whose father and my late young brother is deceased are also sponsored into the Mtomondoni sponsorship program.In addition to the 9 kids already mentioned there are 2 more kids i.e Kahindi(junior) and Pendo who are both sponsored in the Mtomondoni sponsorship program.In total, i have 11 kids whom am taking care of them.
In terms of my occupation,currently i work as a night security guard in one of the Kenya government agricultural institute called Kenya Agricutural Research Institute(KARI).My main task in the security at KARI is guarding the agricultural plants and specifically assighned in guarding the cassave plants.My work starts at 6.00pm in the evening and ends at 6.00am in the morning.Before being employed as a security guard,i used to be full time traditional dance music player in which i specifically play the drum and also dance.In the Mtomondoni village we have a traditional dance group which we started 20 years ago of which me and my wife are among the founders of the group, my wife is a dancer too.The name of our dancing group is called 'Maumbile' which simply means nature!! My wife is a full time dancer in the group and i currently rarely join them in the dancing as am mostly occupied in the security job.
Most of our clients in the music group are tourist hotels and other visitor,person or even schools and parties who need to be entertained.Our dancing time at the tourist hotel is from 8.00pm-9.30 pm though we may do the dancing according to the hotel's program.The payment being ksh.1,500/= for half an hour.Unfortunately we don't do the dancing through out the month but its only seasonal and we sometimes may stay for a very long time like 2 months without getting any dancing contract.Due to this our income from the dancing troupe is very little and it makes us have difficulties in meeting our daily domestic needs and expenses especially in terms of food.
In terms of our daily diet,the kind of food we normaly like is 'sima'made of maize or corn flour with green vegetables which are locally available.This kind of food, we normal eat for both lunch and super and we hardly change to a different diet as the other kind of foods like ,rice,cereals,fish and beef is expensive for us,as a result it makes us hardly have breakfast as we hardly make tea,coffee or drinking chocolate and instead for our breakfast we just eat the left over food which may have remained in the previous night after having our super by just warming the food and have it for break fast.
Thanks to the Mtomondoni sponsorship program as my kids are able to have a good lunch while at school,for sure if it were not for the lunch program at the school courtesy of the program,it could have been very difficult for my kids to be able to continue with their education.Since most of the days am unable to afford both the break fast and the super but i feel relieved that even though the kids may skip the break fast in the morning but am rest assured that they will have a good lunch at school.
Since my wages are less than my overall family needs,am therefore most of the times beinf forced to borrow from friends and repay them soon i get my monthly wages(to continue in the next entry).
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