Kenya street kids tie the knot

African Times - - International / Africa - MARIA MACHARIA

Apic­ture of two Kenyan street chil­dren ty­ing the knot has gone vi­ral in the East African coun­try. The im­age de­picts the young­sters mar­ry­ing in the streets of the cap­i­tal city Nairobi, in a cer­e­mony at­tended by other glue-sniff­ing chil­dren.

In the con­tro­ver­sial clip, the bride is clad in a white wed­ding gown. The boy looks smart in a suit and white shirt.

The con­tro­ver­sial ex­change of vows in the Gikomba mar­ket­place by the street urchins whose age could not be as­cer­tained is in de­fi­ance to a cam­paign by author­i­ties to rid the streets off the home­less young­sters.

While there are no of­fi­cial fig­ures, it is es­ti­mated Kenya has some 300

000 chil­dren liv­ing and work­ing on the streets across the coun­try. A fifth of them are in Nairobi. Poverty and chid abuse are blamed for the surge.

The pres­ence of these young­sters has been blamed for an in­crease in triv­ial crime and rob­beries.

A crack­down by gov­ern­ment through po­lice round­ing up the chil­dren has

failed to halt the preva­lence of the chil­dren on the streets.

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