Die folgende Biographie wird im englischen Original-Text präsentiert, denn dieser
gibt am besten die Einfachheit und Selbstverständlichkeit wieder, mit der auch
schwierige und gefährliche Lebenssituationen geschildert werden. Bei den Namen
handelt es sich um Pseudonyme.
My name is Masumbuko. I was born in 1983. I am the first-born in my
family because my mother got me when she was still a pupil. Because she
was an orphan, her parents had passed away when she had still been young.
Eventually, she produced the first boy who was me, Masumbuko. I was
living with my mother until I was nine years old. She got another friend as
a step-father, and soon the man didn't want to stay with me, but only with
my mother because I was not his son. He began to punish me, and then he
tied me onto the brunch of a tree to sleep there outside until morning. He
didn't give me enough food, but only one plate of ugali every three days.
Eventually, my mother told me to go away in order to escape the stepfather.
She told me to go to my uncle who was born from her step-father.
Then I arrived at my uncle's home, but after three days he expelled me
because he had a big family of so many children – about 24 children from
different mothers. He had five wives. Then I left to the elderly grandmother
who was a young mother of my mother. I used to call her my grandmother,
and I stayed there for two years. My grandmother has two sons and both
have wifes. The first son has four wifes and the other one has three wifes,
so that all of them were producing some food to help her every day. Therefore
me and my grandmother, we were not very hungry. We were getting
some food every day. Then after two years I left her.
I went to Bunda town to be employed. I left my grandmother because I was not
able to stay with her anymore. She had given me overworks to fetch water,
to take care of and to feed the livestocks. When I was on the fields with the cows it was
raining and nowhere to escape the rain. In the end my grandmother declined
to give me some food, but only working and suffering of hunger.
In Bunda town I stayed for a long time, about six months, I was sleeping
outside. Then I went to my young mother, but she declined, she told me
that I could not stay with her because I was not her son. Only her sons were
allowed to stay with her. She chased me out and told me to go to my
mother. My step-father was not happy either to see me when I came back to
my mother. The step-father was drinking every day, he was not happy to
see that I was joining the meals, he told my mother to chase me away because
he was not loving me. He told me to go somewhere else, and he
promised me to cut me with a bush-knife. Then I went back to Bunda town
on the street because my mother told me to leave. Because my step-father
couldn't stay with me anymore, otherways he could kill me.
In Bunda town I got so many friends who were also street children. The street
children of Bunda told me to go to Mwanza. I and three children, we entered together
the bus at six a.m. We hid under the chair, but the conductor saw me, and
he told me to come to him; then he beated me. On the way the conductor
told me to get out of the bus. But someone else from the passengers stood
up and told the conductor to stop chasing me out. The bus arrived in
Mwanza town at six a.m. And I was wondering about the buildings because
that was my first time to be in Mwanza town. I didn't even know any kind
of street. Therefore I was starting to stay with my friend Jackson who also
came together with me from Bunda. We found some food in refused and
unfinished breads at the bus stand. After three days we got other friends
who were street children, too. They said welcome to us and told us to feel
at home. Street children of Mwanza were teaching us different ways to get
a meal. They taught us to find some worms which were special for selling
to fishermen, or we found some coal and sold it then. A third way was just
to collect the rubbish on the boats, and then we got some food for it. Or we
were cleaning in shops, and we were paid for it, this money was for food
and watching videos. Everyday my life was just to sleep outside for about
At that time in the centre you were just getting some food, and then you
were leaving again. Then we were getting some medicine for local diseases.
Then I went to Dar es Salaam. I have been there for about one year.
My transport was by train, I escaped the man who was looking for the tickets,
and I hid in the toilet and latrines. I arrived in Dar es Salaam – the national
capital city – at the railway station. I saw big buildings, and I saw so
many people with different languages and colours. Then I asked someone
on the way about a place which was the centre for street children. The man
told me the name of the place. I went there, and, strangely, I met some
children, and I understood them because they came from Mwanza, too. The
street children were happy to see me, and they sent me to the teachers, and
the teachers there asked me some questions, but they allowed me to stay
there with other children.
Sometimes we were walking in town, and street children showed me so many
places, and I was happy to see such beautiful and foreign places. We knew
each other, so we were like a family.
When I came back to Mwanza in 1993, I saw that the centre was already
allowing children to sleep there. The teacher called Amos allowed me to
sleep and to stay there, together with other children. Then once the centre
decided to talk with the community care project for visiting my place close
to Bunda town. Therefore Anna of the community care project came with
me to my home. But we didn't meet my mother, we just met my grandmother
because my mother was married to another man. Anna left me
there, and she left a letter for my mother to tell her that a street children
project had brought me back. And in the letter Anna told my mother to give
me the money for the fare when the situation would not be nice anymore.
When I asked my mother for the fare to go to Mwanza, she declined. I
came back to the centre. The centre received me again and in 1995 sent me
to school. I started in standard three. The centre bought me uniform, shoes,
books and pens. The centre also paid the school fees up to standard five.
Then the centre programme decided to be changed, and the child was allowed
to stay in the centre about six months only, then a child would be
integrated. When I was in standard five, the centre told me to go back
home, and I didn't accept to go. Because I knew that my home life was so
hard that I couldn't hope to stay there again because my mother has so
many children. But the centre told me that when I couldn't accept to stay at
home, they had no other way to help me. I was living in the centre for a
longer time, about six years. I was living in the centre like a home-child or
a son with his father. So I decided to go back home, and the situation was
hard as usual. I have been there for ten days only. Then I was thinking
where I could go, but I had nowhere to go. Then I came back on the street
and I met a woman. She was coming from Kenya. This woman told the
headmaster to receive me again. The headmaster agreed. He allowed me to
continue studying. My young mother from Kenya paid the school fees for
standard six, and she paid me the room for three months first. She bought
me the necessary materials, and she bought me some food. But suddenly
my young mother moved from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam. At that day she
left, and she allowed me to sleep in her room just for one day. I was very
sad to see that she left me. But suddenly thieves came to my place and stole
all my things when I wasn't there; because I went somewhere at night to
have some refreshments far away. When I came back, I saw the door open
and broken, and all my things were stolen. Truly I had nowhere to go, and I
asked many people to help, but they didn't help. Except Sengondo, he allowed
me to sleep in his room. And the things which I still had I could keep
in his room. Although he had not many things in his room and he was not
rich, he helped me and decided to be patient with me.
I had nobody to help me to continue to study. I had no money to pay the
school fees. And I think that when I have no education, my life will be in
difficulties and trouble. This is my biography. Thank you.
(vgl. Markus Wiencke: Strassenkinder in Tansania, Weissensee Verlag, Berlin 2009)