Behind The Gray Walls

                                                    

By Fidel

In the dock I stood with tears rolling down my chicks as that stone faced learned fried read through my sentence, like a cobra ready to strike he lifted up is face adjusting his spectacles and looked straight into my face, fear griped my soul and lowered my spirit. Then like a preacher chasing demons out of a possessed person he read the final judgment. Like a bull in slaughter house I was dragged a long the corridors of justice. The journey to the prison passing through the straights, my memories multicolored poignant events flashing through my mind like lightening flashing across the dark pregnant skies sounding alarm for a heavy down pour.     

 

When the journey came to the end, it was indeed the end but the begging of a new life, we lined up on a straight line crossing the boarder to the next ‘country’ and indeed it was another country, another land, the land of sodomy for food. One thing that caught my patience is the life of juvenile prison who committed capital offence thought locked in different building they always fall sexual pray to the seniors, remember it is unprotected sexual intercourse, it is a common culture. I slept next to the sick suffering from AIDS related illness, some on ARV’s others left their medicine at home yet saving on poor diet. Lack of knowledge always leads to this behaviors for most of the senior inmates don’t have the education about HIV/AIDS. In one of the discussion some inmates believed that one can not be infected through anal sex, while others disapproved them. As the number of prisoners keeps growing, the number of the infections also increases. The myths on HIV also increased, hence some inmates avoided the sick, and some officers also treated the sick like objects by calling them names, insulting them, denying them access to basic needs and harassing them. Imagine sharing a piece of soap with a person with serious skin infection?

 

 It was until a group of young people came to the prison one day that I knew the word stigma and discrimination. They introduced themselves as REPACTED the group visited the prison on several occasions with participatory plays that actively involved the inmates in solving the dramatic situations created by the actors. At first I thought they were out of their minds but slowly they were bearing fruits because from a skit on Voluntary Counseling and Testing several of us went for testing and knew our HIV status. That was not the end they spearheaded in the formation of the post test club which I was an active member until 3rd June 2008, when I crossed my last day on the wall. The post test club “hope of the sick in prison” offers home based services to the sick in prison the only challenge is lack of gloves and disinfectants, ARV/ART pregame in prison, the sick have to go through a cruel protocol to access the drugs which are not within their reach.  

 

When I left the prison I went straight to the Nakuru Players Theatre to thank the youth group for what they deed for my life. I also requested them if I could be a volunteer in the organization….thank God they offered me a chance and for the few weeks that have been with the organization I can act in the community and I will be ambassador of change in the prison and use my experience to change my society.             

 

 

 Story by

Fidel Mayende

AGE: 28 YRS OLD

DURATION OF CONVICTION FROM 10TH DECEMBER 2006-3RD JUNE 2008

Edited by Collins D Oduor-REPACTED from a video interview with Fidel and the REPACTED office

 

As a result as the above situations that we have come across in prisons outreaches REPACTED with support from MTV Staying-alive foundation will conduct training in the prisons among inmates and the officers. Because of the increase in number of the inmates due to post election violence REPACTED will train 30 inmates 10 female and 20 males on peer education in July. REPACTED is also train ten officers in the first quarter.

One Response to “Behind The Gray Walls”

  1. [...] are excerpts from a video interview of Fidel Mayende (28) which depict horrific scenes at a juvenile prison: We lined up on a straight line crossing the [...]

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