It’s a common scene on the streets of Nairobi. Mothers begging with their children, in the cold, dusty streets of Nairobi.
Innocent children – having to wither the dust, noise and heat that have for decades defined Kenya’s capital.
Interestingly, the children are mostly asleep – either in their mother’s arms, or on the concrete just next to the begging bowl.
It’s a sad picture.
It is now emerging that many female beggars often use drugs to sedate their children while they beg on the streets.
It is no wonder that you will never hear a beggar’s child crying in their mother’s hands – on the streets.
“Some of these women sedate their children with cough syrup or glue, or other forms of drugs to make them look more pitiful,” says John, a resident of Nairobi.
“Many people do not know that the children are sedated, to keep them from crying in the streets because the sound of a crying baby can attract the ire of county officers, popularly known as Kanjo,” adds John.
Most of the women beggars tag along children who are too young to care for themselves, and they use drugs to keep them quiet and still while they beg.
The drugs can have serious health consequences to a child, like respiratory problems, hallucinations, and death in some cases.
Did you know
1. Nairobi has thousands of foreign beggars.
2. There are beggars who fake disability to win sympathy.
3. Most beggars in Nairobi hire children from their real parents.
4. Women beggars always carry a child to attract sympathy