Tale of Activist Who Woke Up in Morgue After Close Shave With Death

  • Kennedy Chindi, a Mathare slum activist who works empowering youth and documenting police killings, first slipped into crime at the age of 13.

    In 2014, Kennedy escaped death narrowly after an angry mob pounced on him and his two accomplices in a robbery attempt gone wrong.

    The daring mob beat them badly and then lynched his two partners.

    He fell unconscious after the beating and was passed for dead.

    “I woke up at the morgue with a tag number 1261 on my toe,” Kennedy reiterated during an interview with The Star at Mathare Social Justice Centre.

    “After a few weeks at Kenyatta National Hospital, my life took a serious U-turn. I later joined a community programme in the slum where I got rehabilitated and began my journey of youth empowerment,” he added.

    Before his miraculous escape in 2014, Kennedy, in 1990, had been arrested and charged with violent robbery, a charge that saw him convicted to death.

    Kennedy was sent to Kamiti Maximum Prison and released seven years later after an appeal he filed had run its course.

    For his work, Kennedy has received a lot of recognition. In 2017, he was honoured by the Dutch ambassador as the best human rights defender.

    He has managed to introduce numerous projects in the slums that offer an alternative livelihood for the youth other than crime.