Friday, November 27, 2015

‘HELP ME FIND MY FAMILY’ was the headline on the Daily Nation and The Standard. I went through all the faces of the children published by Glory Children’s Home as though I was looking for one I had lost, or knew.
She was there, Blessed Angie but going by Brenda Kimanthi. Blessed Angie was dumped by her mother immediately after birth at Dandora dumpster. That’s where Glory got her, named her Blessed Angie for the cameras, but in the Home she was Number 22.
I found Blessed Angie three years ago. I was a volunteer consultant child psychologist for Glory Children’s Home.
I was wrapping up for the day when I looked under the table, and there she was. The cutest two-year-old toddler I ever saw, all smiles playing with her doll.
She was staring at me, her eyes cloudy, her skin goose-bumped. Most children’s homes do this: they expose some kids to diseases to get donors and sponsors. But when I extracted her from under the bed and held her in my arms, I knew that something other than children care was going on.  
When Number 22 looked at me with her cataracts eyes, my heart knotted into a fist. A week later she disappeared from the Home. My version of a safe house home became her new abode in Lavington, Nairobi. I fired myself and started fighting what was going on at the Home.  
The National Medical and Research Institute had colluded with Glory Children’s Home to experiment on the children. I confirmed my fears last week.
NAMRI doctors provided paediatric services to the children while extracting their cells for research. Apparently I too was about to be recruited to conduct a stuttering experiment on the children—to give some positive speech therapy and others negative speech therapy. I am not such a monster.
The doctors were researching on cell mapping. They had found that human cell mapping through recombination could be engineered on new-borns up to age three. This, combined with HeLa cells—cells in the immortal cell line used in scientific research—could be used for test research on HIV/Aids and cancer cure. Apparently Professor Obel’s formula for his magic HIV/Aids drug had been stolen. But they did not get satisfied with that. They wanted more. They discovered that the hybrid cells could be manipulated to increase longevity at that young stage. They started cloning the kids, producing miniature super humans who could live up to 180 years or more.
These clones were being sold on the black market to barren women, career women who did not want to have kids of their own and didn’t have time for the lengthy and bureaucratic adoption process, scientists in America and Canada for more experiments, and Chinese were using them for research on effects of radiation for their top secret nuclear plants in Kenya. The originals, after being hollowed out of their better parts, poisoned, and infected with HIV/Aids, were the ones Glory published on dailies calling onto the public to help get back to their families. The kids didn’t live more than a month.
They wanted to take my Blessed Angie from me now. Anyone seeing her with me would know that I had stolen her. Definitely I wouldn’t have adopted her, or given birth because I was once trapped in a man’s body.
I scanned the newspaper again. There was no way they could have accessed Angie and taken her photo. Well, that’s what age-progression software is for. And then my mole on the inside called—she had evidence. I could go public.
Blessed Angie, six years, the brightest brain I’ve ever seen, loves reading. She surprised me when she did it before her third birthday—she read Vaishnavi Ram Mohan’s The Incredible Adventures of Pisho Pencil and Joseph Bokea’s Magic cover to cover. She’s now reading James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series. I think by the time she’s ten she’d have read all medical books and moving on to esoteric stuff.
I have given Blessed Angie as good a life as possible. She has suffered bouts of post-traumatic stress disorder, and epilepsy. She’s just learning to trust.
I know for a woman who can’t conceive naturally or who won’t be crazy enough to bring a kid to this fucked up world, not even with Jesus Christ himself, I’m coming out as a left-wing children rights activist. No one knows Number 22 exists. I could be arrested and sued for kidnap, which probably is the eventual scheme of things. But for the time being I am her protector.
Blessed Angie puts her Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel in her backpack and follows me. She leaves me locking the door and setting the alarm and goes to the car.
I watch her open the passenger door and get in, strap herself in, and open her bag for the book. How such intrepid humans could experiment on such innocent kids, I wonder as I head to the car.

I don’t want to keep the media waiting. 


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