Bingwa Issue 6

Page 1



, d ..


looks like you are going to the shop. can i walk with you?







the air smells nice too!

PG 47

talking of smells, something mells fishy about that door...







Tribute to

Wangari Maathai

The Hummingbird who saved our country


he People of Kenya are in a state of deep mourning; we are mourning the untimely passing of Professor Wangari Maathai aka Mama Miti who passed away on September 24 2011 from cancer. In her honor, President Kibaki declared that she receives a state funeral and that the National flag be raised at half mast for two days. She will be fondly remembered for her selfless struggle to save our forests and rivers by planting billions of trees through her Green Belt Movement. She did this because she knew, long before anyone else did, that without trees there can be no life; it is through trees that we get the rain water flowing in our rivers and the water to nourish our crops so that we can have food. Through the work of her hands, forests like Karura, the only forest of its kind within a city has been spared destruction and our precious Uhuru Park still stands undefiled for our pleasure and enjoyment. We at BINGWA have always loved and admired her zeal and that’s why she has been our hero from our very first issue in 2009. Wangari will always be our hero! Even in death, she continues to inspire many to be the change that they want to see.

In her our own words, she said, “I want to be the hum-ming bird” who in her own small way manages to put out a fire in her forest abode using her small beak while all the big animals like the elephant who could have carried more water in her trunk, stood around helpless. The animals ask the little bird, ‘what do you think you can do? Your beak is so small and your wings too small..’ The humming bird says, ‘I am doing the best I can.’ These words are captured and now, immortalized in a beautiful animated film called Dirt! in which Wangari tells the story of the hummingbird and the forest fire. (you can watch the movie on youtube) In the end, Wangari just like the humming bird saved Kenya and to a large extent, the world. But now that she has taken her final bow, our greatest tribute to her would be to pick up from where she left; plant and water as many trees as we can. Above all, we should protect and preserve our environment, beginning with our own homes, schools and neighborhood. That way, we can in our own small way, bring her dream of a better world for all, that much closer. Compiled by Lisa Lawrence

Contributors Christine Nderitu Festus Mateso Ian Arunga Jeff Mundia Joseph Barasa Maurice Odede Nabea Wendo Noah Mukono Paul Mbugua (KWS) Timothy Wanyama Wangui Thuo

The Team

Hallo Champions! The year is quickly drawing to a close and that catches many people by surprise. What about you? How have you done so far? Have you accomplished what you had set out to do in the year? This issue is packed full of your stories, drawings and views on what success means to you. (Pg. 29). Get inspired by competitive swimmer, Kanyali Ilako (Pg. 26) and Equity Group Foundation beneficiaries (center spread). And, if the late Prof. Wangari Maathai’s work touched your heart, enter the competition on Page 38 and show us how well you know your heroine. Issue 6 is now all yours to explore. Enjoy!

Editorial Board Chairman Rino Solberg

Editorial Board Mundia Muchiri Wanja Gathu Eudiah Kamonjo Jean-Paul Deprins Julie Solberg

Sales & Marketing Winnie Anyona

Distribution & Promotions Claudiah Gachimbi

Look out for the NEW exciting AIMING HIGH minimagazine, a joint reading and writing partnership between BINGWA Magazine and AIM ball-point pen manufactures. I hope that too excites and spurs you to aim higher!

Design and Layout Centrepress Media Ltd

BINGWA is published every school term by Child Africa Media. Opinions in the articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publisher or any other participating partner.

Editorial, Production and Advertising Child Africa Media Ltd. P.O. BOX 823 - 00606 Nairobi, Kenya +254 20 434-3268 +254 719 619 006 email:



PG 24 - 25

PG 8 Boccia Player

PG 14 - 15 Janet Equity Group Foundation Leaders club Members Speak

PG 20-21 Hadithi Fupi

Fierce Falcon

PG 26-27 Swimmer Kanyali Ilako

PG 12 - 13 PG 29

Success means...

PG 34 - 36


PG 47 - 48

Bingwa Pictorial


The World of

WHAT’S ON BINGWA ONLINE You can now read Issue 3 of BINGWA Magazine online. Visit and click on the View BINGWA Magazine ONLINE. To donate BINGWA Magazines to schools, click on the DONATE button on the top right section of the website. Additionally, check out who’s responsible for some of the stories and artwork you see on BINGWA in the Behind BINGWA section.

STAR SCHOOL This time, the Star School is GREENHILL ACADEMY, UGANDA. The school earned an extra point for submiting the most interesting entries for Issue 6. Congratulations! At the end of the year, we will give the school that has accumulated the most points a BINGWA hamper and the title ‘Champion School.’ To earn points, continue talking to BINGWA, asking questions, entering competitions, giving us feedback and submitting stories, drawings and poems. BINGWA loves this!

OUT & ABOUT The BINGWA team took to delivering the exciting fifth issue of BINGWA Magazine in July last term. During distribution, we also rewarded some winners. We congratulate Nidhi Ashwin Davadra and Jayesh Hiram of Arya Samaj Primary School and Steven Ochieng (Migosi Primary School). In addition to Kisii, Kisumu, Kakamega, Eldoret, Nakuru, Mombasa, Embu, Meru, Nanyuki, Nyeri, Karatina, Machakos, Athi River, Kajiado, and Nairobi, the team made its maiden visit to Thika. Special thanks go to the following schools for coordinating various distribution activities; Arya Samaj Primary (Mombasa), Getembe Primary (Kisii), Migosi Primary (Kisumu), Hill School (Eldoret), Kakamega Township Primary (Kakamega), Moi Nyeri Complex (Nyeri), Wema Central Academy (Nyeri), Green Hill Academy (Uganda) and Child Africa School (Uganda). Look out for the BINGWA team this term, we have exciting activities prepared.

Bingwa Magazine is available at retail outlets such as Text Book Center (Sarit Center, Westlands), and All Times Limited (Westgate Shopping Mall , The Village Market and The Galleria Shopping Mall opp. Bomas of Kenya on Lang’ata Road, Nairobi) For more information on how to get your hands on this amazing magazine, contact us on 0719619006 / 020-434 3268. Email: The magazine for the children of Africa Website:



African Elephant Feeding Aim Higher

Sam Byamugisha, Child Africa School.

Everyday life

Sam Byamugisha, Child Africa School.

Mariane Akinyi, Class 8, Moi Primary School

African Woman and child The food chain

Sam Byamukama, Child Africa School.


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Eugeen Were, 7Q, Moi Primary School

Sea Urchins are able to clone themselves

Australia has the world’s largest wild camel population The Common Basilisk, also known as the Jesus Christ Lizard can run on water without sinking

The horns of a

rhinocerous are not made of bone but of densely compressed thick-hairs.

The sea wasp is the most venomous jellyfish. Its poisoning activity is greater than any snake and can stop your heart in three minutes.

A donkey’s eyes are positioned in such a way that it can see all its four legs at a time. key is n o ler M he land w o H The t of t g the s e d ou uttin t and p the l , s l a e mamm t’s trump shame. an o eleph n’s roar t io the l

As of 2008, there were five recognized dwarf planets; Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Makemake and Haumea. Eris is the largest of them.

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The s u m a t o p o Hipp rse

er ho iv r s s e l r a e f e h t

By Paul Mbugua, Kenya Wildlife Service.


he word Hippopotamus is derived from the ancient Greek word meaning ‘river horse’. The hippo is the third largest land mammal after the elephant and rhino. It is a large barrel-shaped grey or bluish-black animal with a large head, mouth and teeth. Hippos prefer to stay in water during the day and come out at night to forage for food. Hippos eyes, ears and nose are located on the top of its head, enabling it to breath, hear and see while still submerged in water. Except for a few sparse hairs along its thin tail, it is nearly hairless. While underwater, it can hold its breath for up to five minutes. The common hippo can weigh up to 3600kgs.


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It is a grazing herbivore with a preference for short grasses with a mature hippo being able to eat up to 60 kilograms of grass per day. Found in East, Central, West and South Africa, hippos inhabit rivers, lakes and swamps. Male hippos are territorial while in water and will chase away intruders by opening their mouths wide enough to expose their canines. A group of hippos is commonly known as a bloat or herd. Hippos live in groups of up to twenty and are led by a dominant male. They are however solitary while grazing. They use the same paths (to leave and return to water) for long periods. These paths are also used by other animals to access water. A hippo’s lifespan in the wild is 40 years and 50 years in captivity. The male (bulls) reach sexual maturity at seven years and female (cows) at nine years. Their gestation period is eight months after which a mother gives birth to one hippo. Twins are rare. With the exception of eating, most of hippos lives-from childbirth, fighting and reproduction occur in water. They are one of the few mammals that give birth underwater.

They even defecate in the water. The dung provides essential basic elements for a food chain; tiny microbes feed on the dung then larger animals feed on the microbes. Hippos also have a symbiotic relationship with fish whereby fish offer cleaning services by feeding on bits of dead skin from the body surface and mouth. Some fish also eat the hippos’ dung. The hippo’s hairless skin exudes a red, oily liquid that keeps its skin moist and protected when it is out of water. This liquid has lead to a myth that hippos sweat blood. CALVES A baby hippo is called a calf. They are born underwater after which the mother helps the calf to the surface to breathe. The calves are even nursed underwater. Sometimes, they rest on the mothers’ back. Occasionally, male bulls will kill male calves to eliminate competition, this is known as hippo infanticide. This however only takes place in water, not on land. While adult hippos are rarely ever attacked, the females have to protect the calves from predators such as lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs.

A calf can eat grass in three weeks but nurses for a year. THREATS Hippos have now been added to the list of endangered species, They are threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their meat, skin and tusklike incisors and canines. Their ivory-teeth are valued even more highly than an elephants’ because they do not turn yellow with age. You can help in conservation of the hippo by not buying or selling their teeth, reporting poachers to the local wildllfe service. You can also discourage clearing of riverine forests and draining of swamps to make room for agriculture and other land uses as it reduces their habitats.

When running away from a hippo, never run in the direction of the water.

• •

Inspite of its size, a hippo can outrun a human A hippo’s yawn is not a sign of sleep or boredom, it is actually a threat gesture. A single bite can snap a small boat in half. The oldest hippo ever recorded was called Tanga and died at age 61. The ears and nostrils of a hippo closes automatically when it is underwater. A hippo has one of the widest jaws; when it opens its mouth to yawn, the mouth measures two feet across. Owen, the orphaned baby hippo and Mzee the 130 year-old tortoise in Haller Park in Mombasa, Kenya became famous because of their unusual closerelationship. The Kenya Wildlife Service is the only organization of its kind that translocates hippos.

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r e y a l p a i c c Bo

s ‛ o b a g N e c Sadi n e l l e c x e ports


pursuit for

occia is a traditional recreation sport played by individuals, pairs or teams of three. The aim of the game is to throw red or blue leather balls as close as possible to a white target ball, or jack.The name Boccia is derived from the Latin word for ball – bottia. The sport is competed at national and international levels by athletes who require a wheelchair because of physical disability. In 1984, Boccia became a Paralympic sport and by 2008, it was being practiced in more than fifty countries


worldwide. The balls can be moved with hands, feet or if the competitor’s disability is severe, with an assistive device like a ramp. At the end of each round, or end, the referee measures the distance of the balls closest to the jack, and awards points accordingly – one point for each ball that is closer to the jack. The team or player with the highest number of points at the end of game is the winner.

Meet 14 year old Sadi Ngabo, a Primary Four student at the Kampala School of the Physically Handicapped in Mengo, Kampala – Uganda. Sadi has not let his disability hinder his pursuit for sports excellence; he is the captain of the school Boccia team and also the school head boy. Sadi would love to play in a professional basketball team in future as well as realize his dream of becoming a doctor. How long have you been playing Boccia? For the last three years since 2008 when I was an 11-year-old boy. I was introduced to this game by the wonderful coaches of the Kampala Kids League (KKL) and haven’t looked back since. What have you achieved so far in terms of Boccia? I just won the Adapted League (A League) Boccia championship with my team Ville de Dunkerque, so we’re the 2011 Champions. The A League is a league for the physically handicapped within the Kampala Kids League (KKL). What do you love about Boccia? Boccia is easy to play and less tiring compared to other games. It also helps me relax. What are the benefits of playing Boccia? Boccia promotes teamwork, improves your concentration and sharpens your brain in readiness for anything that comes your way in life.


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What is your most memorable Boccia moment? When I played my first game and scored six points, our team went on to win handsomely. At first, I thought Boccia was difficult but when I got to learn it, I realized it was an interesting game that requires you to be calculating and thoughtful. Which other Boccia player do you admire? My teammate and best friend called Ukashar Senabulya, with whom we managed to win the 2011 Boccia A League championship. What are your other interests? Playing wheelchair basketball, watching movies, playing video games and reading books. What advice would you give BINGWA readers? Always have faith and believe in yourself, work hard, stay focused and concentrate on your education as that’s the key to success. Sports is also a good way of staying out of trouble and keeping fit and healthy at the same time.

… H T I W Y A AD YURURU GIRLS BOARDING SCHOOL The BINGWA team spent one lovely Friday morning (July 29th 2011) with students and staff from Yururu Girls Boarding School in Meru, Kenya. The school won an educational trip to Sumaria Industries (the manufacturers of AIM ball-point pens) for Nancy Kathuru Mateo’s (Class 8 2010) winning ‘Proud to be Kenyan’ competition entry. The competition call-out was published in Bingwa Magazine Issue 3 and the winning entry in Issue 4. Here are some of the captured moments…..

Yururu Girls Boarding School students and headmistress Silvia Gitonga on arrival at the Sumaria Industries premises in Nairobi, Kenya.

The headmistress receives copies of Bingwa Magazine from Claudiah Gachimbi of BINGWA. Y.G.B.S students ‘show-off’ their copies of BIngwa Magazine and their AIM gift hampers after the factory tour.

The students pose with their copies of Bingwa Magazine Issue 5.

The students are ready to leave the Sumaria Industries premises after a successful tour. The students are taken through the history of their favourite ballpoint pens.

Sumaria Industries and Y.G.B.S staff members right before the factory tour.

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anta Anzo is the Managing Director and Chief Fashion Designer at Arapapa Fashion House & Modeling Agency. She is also the President of the Uganda International Fashion Week and the proud winner of the Presidential Transformers Appreciation Award – an award given by the President in appreciation for one’s contribution to the economy and the country at large. She was the first Ugandan designer to showcase her work in the world’s leading fashion capitals such as Paris, San Francisco, Sun City in South Africa among others.


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Born in a family of ten, including her halfsisters and brothers, Santa always knew that she would end up in the arts industry because of the art-oriented activities she engaged in. Although born a princess from the Madi tribe of Moyo District in Uganda, Santa’s family stripped themselves of all the royal privileges. They also had many relatives to look after and she did not go to the privileged schools. Santa went to Mackenze Vale Nursery School in Kololo, Kampala where she was born, before becoming a refugee in Southern Sudan due to Idi Amin’s overthrow. Her mother later homeschooled her for two years during the Amin war. On returning home, she joined Old Kampala Primary School, Bat Valley Primary School, Wairaka College in Jinja and then Progressive Secondary School in Bweyogere for her A’ levels. After high school, Santa joined Dolphin Fashion College in Kampala. She had to do a lot of research because there was no one to fully guide her. She started off her career as a waitress to make ends meet. In 1996, she started modeling, only taking it up seriously between 1997 and 2001. By 2001, she was already a full-time fashion trainer and consultant, a modeling agent and had a started her own business.

Santa’s main achievement so far is creating and developing Arapapa Fashion House & Modeling Agency into the household name it is today. Over the years, Arapapa has offered employment to over 2,500 Ugandans. She has also contributed to the establishment and multiplication of fashion industry in Uganda. “At the beginning, we were about four of us. Today, there are hundreds of people in the fashion industry,” she explained. A simple and down-toearth lady who is passionate about what she does, Santa considers herself a social entrepreneur. She believes in giving back to the community, which she does by engaging in projects bound to benefit the community too. On receiving the Presidential

Transformers Appreciation Award, President Museveni (in his speech), mentioned that he gave Santa the award because he had seen her toil to develop the Ugandan economy by creating a fashion and textiles industry recognized both locally and internationally. “In the last ten years, I have also been Uganda’s unofficial ambassador for fashion and a positive image. Uganda has previously been known for negative attributes like wars and HIV/AIDS. Showcasing my work in various international and local media has made a huge difference. This was how the President came to notice and appreciate me,” she added. Santa chose the name Arapapa, which means “butterfly” in her mother tongue, because she wanted something that represents a unique and typical Ugandan brand. Her

FINALLY… Lessons I’ve learnt… The only way up is through hard work, honesty and personal initiative. Most important virtue… Integrity is vital in life. Future plans… To create more opportunities for young people, continue branding Uganda positively, propel Arapapa to international presence and to have lovely kids some day.

main designs are Afrofusion inclined whereby she modifies traditional African attire into trendy cosmopolitan fashionable pieces that are chic and enjoyed by the youth across the board. “I recently launched the Euro-fusion design which I believe will enable Ugandan and African apparel to dominate the world fashion scene soon,” she said. Her inspiration is derived from the love she has to transform Uganda into a preferred destination for tourism, leisure and business. She looks up to her father who is as patriotic as they come, honourable, and honest as well as her extremely hard-working mother. President Yoweri Museveni motivates her and is one of her role models’ as they share the same goal of making Uganda a better place.

If I were not in the fashion industry… I would probably be speaking to encourage, transform and motivate lives. During my free time I… Love cooking, planting vegetables, meditating, going to the health club and playing with my dog “Tafi.” My message for BINGWA readers… Study hard, excel and aim at being the best at your hobbies. For success in future, purpose yourselves to be persons of integrity.

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n o c l a F e c r e Fi

By Christine Nderitu


s a fisherman, there are a few things you need to keep in mind; like how to operate and maintain your sailing vessel be it a dinghy, a dhow, a boat, a yacht or a ship, how to use and care for your fishing rods and nets, respect for other fishermen, keeping the crew under control and most important, taking care of the environment. This entails not polluting the ocean, not overfishing, and not catching young fish so they can mature, breed and give rise to a new generation. Today is turning out to be a bad day for fishing; the sea has probably been overfished and polluted. The crew seems to be getting a bit agitated. As I mentioned earlier, keeping your crew under control is crucial. At the moment, they are going a bit crazy, mostly because Buzzard and Goshawk think they should



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be second in command. They are just two big strong boys who are always fighting it out to see who will take my place. See, they don’t like it when a girl is in-charge. They’ll believe that leadership is all about the use of force, chaos and tyranny. Their reasoning power doesn’t threaten me but their stupidity sometimes does. Stork, Heron, Kestrel and Plover seem to have a mind of their own, they aren’t too fussy but can be easily influenced. Past experience has taught me that their loyalty belongs to the highest bidder. Luckily, Captain Tawny seems to have an endless stash of wealth and wisdom to ensure that he has our loyalty. Meanwhile, the situation with Buzzard and Goshawk is getting worse; they are currently caught up in a fist-fight and have Stork, Heron, Kestrel and Plover cheering them on and betting over who’s going to win. I need

to stop this before it escalates into something ugly. “What on earth is going on up here?!” Captain Tawny asks. “Drongo, I’m waiting for an explanation,” he continues when we don’t respond. “Well Captain, we’ve been fishing for a while but it all seems to be in vain. The lack of fish is making the crew very unhappy. It’s probably best if we try again further out in the open sea. ” I reply. “We’ll you should have said that earlier instead of brewing chaos on my Fierce Falcon,” Captain Tawny retorts. The Captain has a great interest in birds, even his yacht ‘The Fierce Falcon’ is named after a bird, just like himself and all his crew members. Before he hires you, he studies you in a very detailed manner and labels you after a bird. He calls me ‘Drongo’ after a very aggressive little bird, so aggressive that it fights off eagles. Smaller birds even seek its protection from the eagles and other big birds. We swiftly head deeper into the sea. As usual, the Captain is keeping an eye on the controls and maps. Straying just a few degrees off the map and Captain Tawny will bite your head off, Precision is everything while sailing. We finally get to a good spot in the sea where we cast our nets and lines. Then we play the waiting game; you cannot rush the fish- you need to wait for them to swim straight into your trap. This is the time used to tell stories and entertain

Fiction ourselves. Captain Tawny is one of the best narrators I’ve ever met, when he tells a story you feel like your re-living it. He paints out all the details in the most magical way. Goshawk is an amazing actor, he’s really good at accents and mimics. Kestrel, fluently speaks seven languages while Plover is a great orator. Buzzard, Stork, Heron and I are more inclined to song and dance. Tawny starts narrating some folk-lore. “Hey you guys? Come see the dolphins swim by!” Heron says. We all move to the side of the boat to watch the dolphins. Tawny begins to explain how dolphins behave. Suddenly, there was this crushing noise. “Oh my goodness! We have lost our mast!” I shriek. “This cannot be good!” says Tawny. We all rush in to the deck to assess the situation. The sails are all inside the water on the yacht’s side. We quickly pull the sails back in before they trap in too much sea-water and tie them in. With that under control, we try to establish a quick way

to get back to shore as our chances of getting ship-wrecked are really high. Additionally, there is a storm coming up, the waves are high and we’re in shark-infested water. You never know a person’s true colours until you are in a ‘life or death’ situation with them. It brings out the rawest emotions man has ever experienced. Goshawk begins yelling, saying how he was too young to die. Buzzard appears panic stricken and really agitated, all at the same time. Heron, on the other hand, is busy throwing up due to a bout of sea-sickness. Plover was acting unconcerned and reading a book in the middle of a crisis, Kestrel appeared to be unnaturally calm while Stork seemed to be lost in his own world. I, on the other hand was experiencing life in slowmotion. You know that moment when you find yourself watching everything with such great detail-like a goal replay during a soccer match on Super Sport. I turn to the cockpit to find Captain Tawny with a huge grin plastered on his face looking

as if he has just been watching a hilarious comedy. This really confuses me. “Alright crew, I want you to pull in the nets because we are heading home!” Tawny informs the team. “Tawny, in case you haven’t noticed, we are lacking sails. Aren’t sails one of the most important pieces of equipment when sailing?” I ask. “I’ve know that, but as I said, pull in the nets and the line then we shall head home,” he insists. Without further ado, we pull the lines and nets in and what a pleasant surprise we find. We might be ship-wrecked, but at least we have enough fish to feed an entire village. As soon as we finish pulling them in and packing them into the tanks, we hear a loud rumbling noise- like an engine. The yacht has an engine. We all make our way up to the cockpit to find Tawny making his way back to shore with dazzling eyes and a winning grin. “We’re not getting shipwrecked! We’re safe! Oh what a relief!” screams Stork. “Tawny, were you testing us?” I asks. “Well, a good leader needs to know how his crew handles a crisis. This was purely by chance, but it was a good opportunity for me to see how you all behave in the face of danger,” he explains. “A good leader needs to lead by example, brilliant strategies, good listening skills, wisdom, charisma, and ample resources at hand to make life as a leader a bit easier. Always remember that.”

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The magazine for the children of Africa

The Magazine for the children of Africa



DRYLAND TRANSFORMATION Tree planting to transform arid and semi-arid land


wo-thirds of the African continent is believed to be dryland. Globally, drylands cover about 40% of the earth’s surface. Climate change and other human practises like overgrazing are leading to even more land degradation around the world. Tree-planting initiatives are now at the forefront of most development agendas as the world tries to reverse the situation. Still, these initiatives are very minimal in arid and semi-arid areas. Most of these areas are today just vast empty lands assumed to have no value. This is however not the case as they have the potential to become productive in both the short and long term. Besides improving the environment, planting trees can also have major economic benefits. In such areas, emphasis must be on water management, soil fertility and establishing the best (and most economic) tree-species. Additionally, knowing how to care for them and what to expect is crucial. One of the pioneers of largescale tree-planting in arid and semi-arid areas is Better Globe


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Forestry Ltd. Better Globe Forestry is part of Better Globe Group in Norway which focuses on fighting poverty through tree planting and educational programmes. Better Globe Forestry’s main tree-planting projects are in Kiambere in Mwingi District, Nyangoro Ranch in Lamu District and Sosoma Ranch in Eastern Kenya. BINGWA explored their Kiambere project which was initiated in 2006 and established the following:• As of March 2011, BGF’s Mukau nursery in Kiambere was the biggest in the world at 54,000 seedlings. • Owing to the degradation of the land over the years, BGF have to use checkdams in the formed gulleys to slow-down water flow • Mulching and half-moons around individual trees are also used to reduce evaporation in such areas. • Agro-forestry is one great practise for such areas. Crops such as green grams, peas, millet and sorghum are planted in between trees to prevent wind erosion and retain water.

BGF’s way of working with the communities here is by providing employment (in the plantations). The grass grown in between the trees also serves as fodder for the communities’ livestock when it dries. When need be, BGF donates food, helps in refurbishing schools and educating the needy. According to Jan Vandenabeele, Executive Director of Better Globe Forestry, water management and restoring the degraded land to productivity are the main challenges in these areas. Tree species planted in Kiambere are also of great economic value. These include Melia Volkensii (mukau in kamba language) used for high quality timber, Azadirachta indica (neem) for oil and some Acacia species for gum Arabic which has many industrial applications. Such large-scale operations involve big investments and a great deal of research. But as today’s champion, here’s what you can do to contribute to a greener earth tomorrow; plant a tree wherever you are even in a pot if some land is unavailable, you can replant it later and see what it does for you ten or twenty years from now. Even if you aren’t in an arid or semi-arid area, you will have prevented the creation of such an area to begin with.


What you need: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Dried Y-stick (a branch shaped like a Y) 18 metal bottle-tops A piece of alluminium foil Strong wire Nail Hammer or a heavy stone Decorative item eg. feathers, beads and shells.

If your idea of fun entails making music, then go ahead and collect a few items from your house or neighbourhood and make a tambourine. A Y-stick tambourine is even more fun and easy to make. This activity was demonstrated by Faith Mukami, a Class 7 student at Wangunyu Primary School in Karura. Faith likes playing football,skipping rope and swimming. Her favourite subjects are Social Studies and Kiswahili. Her favourite comics in Bingwa Magazine are Sarah & Chet and Janet. 4




Wrap the Y-stick with alluminium foil. Alternatively, you can peel off the bark of the Y-stick and paint it.

Put the bottle-tops in boiling water for about five minutes. Bring to a boil until the rubberliners (on the inside of the bottle-caps) start to peel or loosen-up. NB: Ask for an adults help when undertaking this step.

Remove the rubberliners in the bottletops.



Punch a hole through the bottle-tops with a nail.

Cut and attach the piece of wire onto one arm of the Y-Stick


Thread the bottle-tops onto the wire.

Flatten out the bottle-caps with a hammer or a heavy stone.



Tautly string the wire onto the other arm of the Y-Stick

Have fun!


It is estimated that millions of trees in the world are accidentally planted by squirrels who bury their nuts and forget where they hid them. One of the most poisonous trees known to man is the Manchineel tree (also known as the beach or death apple) commonly found in the Caribbean Coast. It secrets a poisonous sap which causes blisters and blindness. Over the course of its life, a single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide.

The trees of a tropical rainforest are so densely packed that rain falling on the canopy can take as long as ten minutes to reach the ground. Trees are the longest living organisms on earth and the earth’s greatest natural resource. A wild fig tree in Echo Caves, in Mpumalanga South Africa has roots reaching 400 feet deep making it the deepest a tree’s roots have penetrated..

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By Jeff Mundia


oing for a trip need not be expensive. All you need is good company and a beautiful setting. More often than not, fun is much closer than you think! After a long and exhausting


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year in school, my friends and I couldn’t wait to relax during the holidays. We wanted to go for a road trip that would be both exciting and inexpensive. I suggested we take a trip to Mt. Kenya Forest where my uncle was willing to host us in his beautiful house. We made the

appropriate arrangements and waited with baited breath for the day of departure. On the day of the trip, we met up early in the morning to do a little shopping. We picked up some snacks for the journey and foodstuff for my uncle, as we didn’t want to be a burden to him and his family. As a show of gratitude for hosting us, we bought him a gift from Masai Market; a beautifully crafted candle- holder. With our bags and all other essentials in tow, we hopped onto a shuttle and braced ourselves for the scenic drive to Meru. We were buzzing with excitement and couldn’t wait for the memorable moments ahead! We chatted and joked along the way and before we knew it, we were in Embu. We stopped briefly for a quick lunch and a few photos, and continued on our way. An hour later, we were in Marima, where we were

to meet up with my uncle. He greeted us heartily before we followed him up to his house. Everyone else welcomed us very warmly. Soon, we were having tea as we admired the natural beauty around us. At about sunset, we decided to take a walk into the forest to get a closer look. It was amazing; tall trees spread as far as the eye could see. Dense under growth characterized the forest floor, with little paths creating passage-ways for forest visitors. Sounds from Colobus monkeys echoed throughout the forest as small rodents darted into bushes on hearing our approach. We found our way down to a river, where cool mountain water flowed gracefully until it dropped down a bizarre waterfall that seemed to make

the water disappear. On further investigation, we realized that the water wasn’t disappearing, it was flowing into cracks in the rocks where it continued its journey underground. It was getting dark, so we had to go back into the house. One thing was for sure though, we would definitely be back!

After dinner, we played cards, cracked jokes and told each other scary stories. My friend told one story so scary, that some of us couldn’t sleep well that night. We were up early, had our breakfast and planned excitedly for the day ahead. We decided to have a picnic in the forest that afternoon. But before then, we would spend the day with my uncle as he went about his daily tasks. First on the agenda was a trip to the posho mill, where my uncle took his sorghum to be processed into porridge flour. After that, we went to the market where we bought some apples and grapes for the picnic. With the groceries in hand, we headed back home to prepare for the picnic. We made ham sandwiches and packed some sodas, water and fruits. We headed back into the forest where we found a beautiful little clearing. We sat in a semi circle and enjoyed the meal we had prepared. We took some more photographs as we marveled at the raw beauty

of the forest. After eating, we played a short game of “kati”. Although it had been years since any of us had played the game, we were still very good at it! As the daylight slowly disappeared, we made our way back home where we relaxed for the rest of the evening. We played cards and talked late into the night. I recall we barely slept that night. After breakfast the next morning, we went down to the river. We put our feet into the cool water as we admired the scenery. Sadly, we couldn’t stay long, as our shuttle was waiting for us. We begrudgingly packed up our belongings and said our goodbyes, but not before presenting my uncle with the gift we had bought for him. He was very grateful, but sad to see us go. We had to promise we’d be back before he let us leave. As we boarded the shuttle, I couldn’t help but think about the awesome experience we just had. I realized that fun could be had on a budget, and that it is often very close to us. I’m sure you too could have a memorable experience if you are creative and adventurous enough.

The magazine for the children of Africa




Imeandikwa na Wendo Nabea


adithi hadithi! Hapo zamani za kale, Chura alikuwa mrembo sana. Alikuwa tofauti na jinsi alivyo hivi leo; sura nzuri ya kuvutia, ngozi laini na viungo vya mwili mbalimbali vya kupendeza. Wakati huo, wanyama pia walikuwa na mashindano ya urembo. Chura akasikia kuwa kutakuwa na shindano la urembo mjini hivi karibuni. Alifurahi sana kuhusu habari hiyo. “Vile mimi ni mrembo, nina imani kwamba ninaweza kushinda katika shindano


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hili,” Chura alifikiri huku akitabasamu. Alijitazama mbele ya kioo, akageuka upande, akajitazama tena, kisha akazunguka huku akajitazama tena, kisha akazunguka huku akijitazama nyuma. “Mrembo wa warembo ... hapana, malkia wa urembo! Hakuna mtu anaweza kunishinda katika shindano la urembo,” Chura alisema, ghafla akacheka. Baadaye, aliamua kuuliza marafiki zake kuhusu urembo wake. “Je, mimi naweza shinda?” aliwauliza. “Unaweza shinda Chura, isipokuwa ni vile nyuma yako, yaani makalio yako ni makubwa

sana,” walimjibu. Ndipo Chura aliamua kwenda kwa mganga ili makalio yake ipunguzwe. Alipofika kwa mganga na kumweleza shida yake, mganga alimwambia, ‘’Si kazi rahisi sana wajua? Itabidi nikupige pasi mara tatu kwa siku, ili makalio yako ipunguke. Pia, utasikia uchungu mwingi kwa sababu pasi huwa na moto. Lakini najua unaelewa kwamba mvumilivu hula mbivu na baada ya dhiki, faraja.” Kufanyiwa hiyo kazi, Chura alitakiwa kulipa shilingi mia saba kwa mganga. ‘’Si neno,” Chura alimwambia mganga. “Bora makalio yangu ipunguke ili niibuke mshindi katika shindano lijalo.” Siku iliyofuata, Chura alianza kutibiwa kwa kupigwa pasi makalioni. Alilia kupindukia. Mganga alipomuuliza kama alitaka aendelee kutibiwa alisema, ‘’Wewe mganga endelea, hata nikilia, machozi ni yangu. Ninachotaka ni kushinda shindano hili.’’ Chura alitibiwa kila siku kwa kupigwa pasi makalioni. Baada ya mwezi mmoja, matibabu yalikuwa yamekamilika, na Chura alifurahi kuona kwamba makalio yake imepungua ajabu. Lakini alishtuka siku moja alipovaa sketi yake na kugundua kwamba makalio yake ilikuwa laini sawa na mgongo wake.

Kwa kweli ungemwona, ungedhani kwamba hana makalio kabisa. Siku ya shindano mwishowe ilifika. Miongoni mwa wanyama waliokuwa wanashindana ni pamoja na Twiga, Punda milia, Chui, Kipepeo na Chura mwenyewe. Wewe unafikiri ni nani alishinda kati ya hao? Twiga alikuwa wa kwanza kwenda jukwaani. Alitembea kwa maringo, huku akipigiwa makofi na umati wa watu. Akacheza muziki taratibu, akajipindua na kuonyesha madoadoa yake. Alionyesha urembo wake zaidi kwa kuchezesha shingo yake ndefu. Watu walimshangilia sana. Baada ya muda wa haja, Twiga aliondoka jukwaani. Wa pili kushindana alikuwa ni Punda milia. Pia aliingia kwa maringo, akatabasamu, akacheza muziki na kuonyesha milia yake. Alikuwa na mashabiki wengi waliomshangilia wakisema, “Punda ... milia! Punda ... milia! Punda ... milia!” Kwa muda wa dakika kama tano hivi ukumbi mzima ulitawaliwa na mayowe ya mashabiki wa mrembo

Punda milia. Hatimaye, mrembo huyu alitoka jukwaani akiwa amejawa na raha. Wa tatu kufika jukwaani alikuwa ni Chui. Chui alitembea polepole, sawa na mapigo ya ala za muziki mwororo uliokuwa unachezwa ukumbini. Kama warembo wengine, Chui alikaribishwa kwa vifijo na vigelele na mashabiki wale. Alionyesha madoadoa yake na kadhalika kucha zake za mikono zilizokuwa zimechongwa kwa uhodari na kupakwa rangi za kuvutia. Aliinama kwa heshima mbele ya mashabiki kisha akaondoka pale. Kipepeo akawa ni wa nne kushindana. Alishangaliwa sana kwa urembo wake wa rangi nyingi tofauti tofauti. Si samawati, si wekundu, si weusi, si weupe, si maji ya kunde, si manjano, si kijani, bali urembo zaidi. Kipepeo alikuwa na karibu rangi zote za dunia. Alirukaruka na kupiga piga mabawa yake. Watu wakafurahi sana. Hakika mashabiki wa urembo walisimama na kumshangilia bila kukoma mpaka alipoondoka jukwaani. Chura alipoingia, watu wote

walishtuka. Alikuwa na sura mbaya sana kwa sababu ya kuchomwa na pasi. Pia, hakuwa na makalio. Watu walicheka sana kuona mnyama asiye na makilio. “Ni sura mbaya kama surambi,” shabiki mmoja akafoka. Watu walimpigia Chura kelele, akakasirika, na kukimbia nje ya ukumbi. Alikimbia, akakimbia, akakimbia, mpaka alipopata mto, akaruka ndani, na kujificha ili sura yake mbaya isionekane tena. Hivyo ndivyo Chura alikosa makalio. Tangu siku hiyo, Chura anajificha majini ilificha jisura lake mbaya lisionekane. Lakini, unafikiri ni nani alishinda hiyo siku? Bila shaka ni Kipepeo ambaye hadi leo ni mrembo sana. Kama ni hadithi nzuri, ni yetu sote. Kama ni mbaya,niachie mwenyewe.

TAFSIRI... Methali ni usemi wa busara uliotumika tangu enzi za zama. Methali hutumika katika mazungumzo ya kila siku hivi leo. Matumizi ya methali katika insha yanaweza kukuongezea alama. Methali zifuatazo zimetumika katika hadithi ‘Chura na warembo wengine’ (Uk. 20-21). Je, unaweza kuzitafsiri kwa Kiikngereza? 1. Mvumilivu hula mbivu 2. Baada ya dhiki, faraja MAJIBU UK 43

The Magazine magazine for the children of Africa


Kamilisha tashbihi zifuatazo kisha ujaze fumbo



1. MREFU KAMA..........

1. NYEUPE KAMA..........

2. WIKA KAMA..............

6. NONA KAMA..............

3. SEMA KAMA............

7. TISHA KAMA.............

4. RINGA KAMA...........

8. BAKI NYUMA KAMA............

5. MFUPI KAMA............


Connect the dots

Tiara zinazopeperushwa na Sarai na Juma zinafanana na bendera za nchi fulani za Afrika. Je, unaweza kuziandika nchi hizi kwa Kiswahili? 1. Afrika Kusini 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.



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UCHAMBUZI WA KITABU ATENDAYE MEMA Kimeandikwa na David G. Maillu Kimetolewa na Jomo Kenyatta Foundation


bolea ni yatima aneyeishi jijini Kilome na familia ya Mzee Moko. Mbolea ana kinundu na ni mfupi kama mbilikimo. Mzee Moko ana vijana mapacha, Mende na Kyengo, ambao wana sura jamili au nzuri na uhodari wa kuwinda.Vijana hawa wanamtesa Mbolea kwa kuwa hawezi kuwinda, na pia sura yake haivutii kama yao. Kiangazi kinapokumba nchi, familia hiyo inaamua kumpunguzia Mbolea chakula. Wakati mwingine, wanamtuma safari za mbali ili akose chakula nyumbani. Lakini Mbolea ana gurudumu la miujiza linalopaa angani kwa kasi. Familia hiyo inashangazwa na kasi ya kwenda na kurudi kwake, lakini kamwe hawaambii chanzo cha haraka yake. Lakini muda si muda, Mende anagundua siri yake na anaamua kujitengenezea gurudumu lake; lakini lo! lake halipai angani kama lile la Mbolea. Anamuomba Mbolea amtengezee gurudumu lenye kupaa sawa na lake lakini Mbolea anakataa. Mende anakasirika na kulikatakata gurudumu la Mbolea. Lakini mambo yatakuja geuka! Hebu jisomee ujionee maajabu ya Musa! Funzo la hadithi hii ni kwamba kila mtu, hasa walemavu, wanavipawa vyao. Atendaye Mema ni hadithi inayolengwa kukuza maadili ya watoto na ina burudani kabambe kwa wasomaji.

SHAIRI HIKI NI KISWAHILI KIPI? Nilipofika mjini, nilishikwa na kimako Vijana wengi njiani, wanapita kwa vicheko Maneno mengi domoni, kasupuu na anko Vijana wetu mjini, hiki Kiswahili gani? Babako kuitwa buda, naye mama kuwa masa Kasupuu ndiye dada, na chapaa kuwa pesa Hamuoni kuna shida, kuharibu lugha hasa? Vijana wetu mjini, hiki Kiswahili gani? Kwenye kula mna dishi, gari kwenu ndiyo dinga Besti wenu Omoshi, nyama yenu ni karanga Mnavuta nao moshi, wa sigara mkiringa Vijana wetu mjini, hiki Kiswahili gani? Mnasema nimepeana, na fulani kanipea Kisha nimetumana, sitawesti masaa Ni nini mnachonena, lugha yenu ni balaa Vijana wetu mjini, hiki Kiswahili gani? Vitu hizo sijuangi, ka mandao hukuliwa Mauganga sikulangi, sikunywangi na maziwa Lugha isiyo na msingi, kwa nini inatumiwa, Vijana wetu mjini, hiki Kiswahili gani? Mwisho wangu nimefika, namaliza utafiti Vijana mlopotoka, ni huu ndio wakati Lugha yako kuboreka, siseme kwa usaliti Vijana wetu mjini, hiki Kiswahili gani? Carment Achieng, 6 Green, Migosi Primary School, Kisumu

PAKA Rangi

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The magazine for the children of Africa

The magazine for the children of Africa



he was first selected to join the Kenya swimming team at age ten. At 20, Kanyali Ilako is a second year Psychology student at the United States international University, and is the school’s swimming captain. She holds the 16 and over fifty meters breast-stroke Kenya National Record, and will be competing at the World University Games in China in August 2011, and at the Kenya Life Saving Commonwealth Games in South Africa in September 2011. Eudiah Kamonjo spoke to her at the Barclays Sports Club in Nairobi. I AM.... A hard-working, determined and self-less young lady who believes in helping others. I also believe in determination, perserverance and balance in life. I am most passionate about swimming, family, friendships and psychology. I am aiming for the Olympic Games as well as other championship medals. MY ACHIEVEMENTS My very first major competition was the international Gala in South Africa (Level Two) when I was ten years old in 2001. At age thirteen, I went to the Level Three Championships in South Africa and was the youngest in the team. 2007 saw me in Algeria for the All Africa Games and at the Commonwealth Games in India, New Delhi

in 2010. This year, I have already participated in CANA swimming championships (Zone 3 &4) in Botswana where I won a gold medal in the fifty meters Butterfly. I believe mental discipline, hard-work and giving my 100% in physical training is the way to great competitive swimming. I am very happy with my successes so far but I am yet to accomplish much more. MY BACKGROUND Ever since I dived into the water, I knew I wanted to swim for the rest of my life. I’d swim everyday after school, even in the cold July days. My mum was a swimmer in her younger days and she pushed me to it. She was also very good at breast-stroke.

My parents were always at my galas and my mum always dropped and picked me up after training four times a week. My siblings Edwards and Alesa, both younger than me, are also very talented swimmers. In my primary school days at Loreto Convent Valley Road and high school at Hillcrest International School, I was also in the swimming team. My favourite subjects then were sciences and mathematics. I recall wanting to be a doctor‘when I grew up’. In high school however, I fell in love with psychology because I love helping people with their problems. I owe a lot to God for giving me the talent, my parents for supporting me always and my coaches, Mrs. Raburu and Shirley Maina for instilling in me the ‘never give up’ spirit. My siblings have also given me the ambition to be a great role model. MY LIFE AS A SWIMMER Juggling professional swimming with university is a challenge. I am very glad that I chose psychology because it’s all about knowing who you are mentally which translates to my physical strengths in swimming. Besides school-work, I have to make time for two hours of land-work training, which involves jogging and cycle-training at the gym and two hours of swimming. This helps build my endurance and strenghth. I have learnt how to be disciplined and manage my time by prioritizing. During school holidays, I like to train in the mornings and after four p.m. during the semester. I know what I have to do when I have to do and how I have to do. The cold July weather is quite a challenge as the pools are not heated. Most of my close friends are also swimmers and we mainly train together and help each other accomplish our goals in life. Besides swimming and time with my family and friends, I also enjoy music, partying, reading and poetry. In terms of diet, I do not follow any but I try and eat healthy balanced meals. Swimming is also very much of a team sport because you need your team members to push you. No one can do it by themselves. We all need a back-bone. MY FUTURE PLANS I’m planning to swim until I can’t do it anymore. I will also specialize in either sports or clinical psychology and get a PhD. Since I really love children, I’d love to nurture talent in Kenya and eventually open a children’s home. I’d also like the swimming federation in Kenya to open up its’ doors to talented individuals. I know for sure swimming will take me to a place beyond my imagination.

STORIES FROM A SHONA CHILDHOOD Author: Charles Mungoshi Publisher: East African Educational Publishers

Stories from a Shona Childhood is a collection of four short-stories that you will enjoy and learn a lot from. The hare and the animals of the jungle is a tale about the Hare’s tricks which all the animals fall for. The pumpkin that talked is a story about Tsuro and Nzou and how they all try to get by during the drought. It’s funny how Nzou dies of exhaustion of

his own making. The slave who became chief is about Kakore, the Chief’s slave. But he is no ordinary slave as everyone soon discovered; he is a rainmaker. Later, the Chief hands over his powers to Kakore, the new Chief. The spirit of the ashpit is a truly hilarious tale about a father and husband named Kuruta. He finds honey one day when he is out hunting but decides to hide it for

himself inspite of the drought. His wife Madiro discovers his secret and replaces his hidden pot of honey with ash. He almost chokes as soon as he sucks on it, after which he actually begins to believe in spirits. These four stories are built around the subjects of drought, hunger and hardwork.


Meno yako ni brown kama factory ya nguru

Nyanya yako anapigania patipati na hana vidole vya miguu

Sura yako ni mbaya hadi ukicheka watoto wanalia

Nyinyi kwenu mmeokoka mpaka mnapika ugali na msalaba

Ukona maskio bigi hadi uki-turn, jiko zote za makaa zinawaka

Gari yenu imezoea kikuyu hadi ukiakisha engine inasema ‘aterere’

Umeogopa ukimwi mpaka unalala ndani ya condom

Simu yako imezoea bamba twenty ukieka bamba fifty inakurudishia change

Hillary Onyango Omondi, 7 Red, Migosi Primary School, Kisumu.

Annette Wairimu, 4 Blue, Loreto Convent Valley Road.

Babako ni mjinga hadi alienda driving school boarding

Wewe ni fala hadi umerewind cd na biro

Simu yenu ni kubwa hadi inatumia transformer ku-

‘Open ama nikuje mpaka naBig G! •

chargiwa •

Ati mmesota hadi mkona fee-arrears kwa Sunday School

Wewe ni mjinga hadi uli-fail baby-class

Unakichwa biggy hadi ukiinama unapiga somer

Libran A. Muka, 7 Yellow, Migosi Primary School, Kisumu


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Nyumba yenu ni ya miraa hadi mwizi akikuja anasema, Tumbo yako imejaa mashetani hadi minyoo zinawalk na Bible

Nyinyi kwenu ni wengi hadi budako ameunda sofa za double-decker.

Unakichwa kubwa hadi ukisimama at a distance, mtu anadhani ni sign-board ya lollipop.

Migaliza Trazy Vivianne, 8S, Moi Primary School, Nakuru.

Your Opinion


BINGWA asked students at Greenhill Academy in Uganda what success means to them, They said;-

Success is a state where one has accomplished certain goals through hard-work, effort and commitment. Everybody wants to be successful in life, but you must remember ‘the best word for success is ‘I can’, and for failure it is ‘I can’t!

People who become successful are inspired from a young age to achieve success. Success requires hard-work and commitment as you can only reap what you sow.

Walugembe Jojo , P.7 Blue, Greenhill Academy, Uganda. Kyakulaga Matthew, P.7 Blue, Greenhill Academy, Uganda.

Success only comes to those who work hard and concentrate. To be successful in life, one needs to participate fully in the activities of their choice. Some of the most successful people were inspired by their parents and teachers from a young age.

Dambya Valeria , P.7 Blue, Greenhill Academy, Uganda.

Success belongs to those who work hard for it. It can only be achieved through hard-work, sacrifice and commitment. Some of the most successful people I know have God-given talent which they have exploited to achieve excellence.

Naiga Ingrid, P.7 Blue, Greenhill Academy, Uganda.

The magazine for the children of Africa


Your Money

What is

Foreign Exchange?

By Wangui Thuo-Wachira


very country in the world has its official currency or simply put has its own money. This is both in coins and notes, just like here in Kenya. When you travel outside your country, you will need money to pay for goods and services such as transport, food, gifts and more. It would be great to simply use your Kenyan money anywhere in the world. But this is not possible because the Kenyan shilling is not recognised as a global currency. You therefore have to change your Kenyan shillings into the local currency of the country you are in. For example, if you are going on a trip to Uganda; you will need to get Uganda Shillings. In Tanzania, it is the Tanzanian Shilling; USA, the US Dollar and UK the British Pound and so on. This changing of your local money to another country’s money is known as foreign exchange or forex. Some countries have a ‘stronger’ currency than others and this is because these countries have a more developed economy. For


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example, the US dollar, British Pound and European Euro are some of the world’s strongest currencies. Even when the economies around the world are facing problems, these currencies are able to survive these economic ups and downs. Because of this stability, these currencies are recognised and accepted in most countries around the world such that you can travel with either of the three without getting the local currency of that particular country. However, changing your money into local currency has its advantages, the most important being you get to spend less when in that country. This is because you pay for goods and services at the same charge as the locals pay instead of the higher charge foreigners’ get. How do you change money? Money is changed according to an exchange rate. This is set by a country’s government or by what is known as market forces of supply and demand. In Kenya, supply and demand determines our money’s exchange rate. So for instance

in July, one US dollar would get you Ksh. 89. Roughly two months before, you would have received around Ksh84 for one US dollar.This rate keeps on changing depending on the economy at that time. Other international examples include: 1GBP = Ksh.144, 1Euro = Ksh.127 and 1CAD (Canadian Dollar) = Ksh. 93. Closer home, 1Ksh = Tsh17 and 1Ksh= 28Ush (Ugandan Shilling). From the above, do you notice how the stronger currency exchanges for a lot of money? So you can see you need a lot of Kenyan shillings to get enough money to visit the US or Europe. But in East Africa, since Kenya’s currency is the strongest, you will comfortably visit Uganda or Tanzania. On the other hand, a person coming from Tanzania or Uganda will need a good amount of money when coming to Kenya. Now you can get the daily exchange rate for different countries from the newspaper every day in the finance pages and see how the Kenyan shilling is performing against other world currencies. Foreign exchange is converting one country’s currency into that of another. Exchange rate is the value that one currency may be exchanged into another. Some of Africa’s leading currencies are: • South African Rand (ZAR) • Kenyan Shilling (KSH) • Algerian Dinar (DZD) • Egyptian Pound (EGP) • Nigerian Naira (NGN) • Zambian Kwacha (ZMK) • Mauritian Rupee (MUR)

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t n e n i t Con Africa’s newest nation;

South Sudan

The current president of South Sudan H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit. • •

Sudan as a whole gained independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom in 1956. The British policy of ruling the North and South separately (whereby Northerners couldn’t go to the south and vice-versa, among other rules, is believed to have laid the seeds of conflict and divisions that later developed. Sudan has had two civil wars lasting a total of 40 years. The first war lasted 17 years (19551972) while the second one occurred between 1983-2005. There was a period of relative peace between 1972 and 1983. The civil war is attributed to the fact that Sudan’s North-based government (after independence) discriminated against the Southerners. They also attempted to impose Islamic law on the entire country.


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During the civil war, recruitment of children (both boys and girls) under the age of eighteen was common in the SPLA. Owing to the insecurities then, joining the army was a way of seeking relative protection for them and their families. John Garang (1945-2005) was a Sudanese politician and rebel-leader considered South Sudan’s liberation hero. He led the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) from 19832005 (Second Sudanese Civil War). He briefly served as the Vice President of Sudan from January 2005 until his death in July 2005. The 2005 peace deal which granted South Sudan regional autonomy and guaranteed representation in a national power-sharing arrangement, ended the 40 year war.

• •

• •

The Sudanese Civil War is considered to be the longest running war in Africas’s history. Millions of lives were lost and millions more displaced. A referendum took place in South Sudan from January 9 to January 15 2011 on whether the region should remain a part of Sudan or become independent. 98.83% voted in-favour of independence from Sudan. South Sudan became an independent nation on 9th July 2011. Other names that had been considered for the newest country were Azania, Nile Republic and Kush Republic among others. The new South Sudan currency is the South Sudan Pound (SSP). The bank notes feature the image of rebel leader and hero John Garang. The current president of South Sudan is H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit. South Sudan has ten states namely Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria , Eastern Equatoria, Jonglel, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile and Warrap. The ten states are further divided into 86 counties. Juba is the capital city of South Sudan, it is also the largest city. A new planned city is however needed to act as the seat of the new government. The population of South Sudan is estimated at eight million. With several hundred language groups, South Sudan is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in Africa, English and Arabic were the official languages, but after independence, only English will be retained as an official working language. Majority of Sudan’s oil fields are located in South Sudan while the refineries, pipelines and port facilities are in North Sudan.

• •

The busiest and most developed airport in South Sudan is Juba Airport. Other international airports are Malakal, Wau and Rumbek. South Sudan’s economy is dependant on agriculture, gold and other minerals and oil reserves. The two largest ethnic groups are the Dinka and the Nuer. South Sudan is considered one of the poorest country in the world. The country’s infrastructure, schools and health facilities were left in tatters following the 40 year civil war. With the return of displaced southerners there’s need for reconstruction, which needs financial resources. Football and basketball are popular sports in the country, but the most popular traditional pastime is wrestling. Artistically, the country’s art, music and fashion is a fusion of traditional African and western cultures. The national flag of South Sudan is the one that was used by the SLPA. It consists of horizontal black stripes (representing the people), red (the blood shed for freedom), green (the fertile land) and white stripes (peace). The blue triangle symbolizes the Nile which is their source of life and the yellow star inside it is the unity of the ten states. South Sudan Oyee! Is the national anthem of South Sudan. It was chosen through a competition and comprises of four short stanzas. Most of South Sudan is covered by tropical forests, grasslands and swamps while the Sudan is dry. Some of South Sudan’s stars are supermodel Alek Wek. Chicago Bulls basketball player Luol Deng and musician Emmanuel Jal among others.

The magazine for the children of Africa



The magazine for the children of Africa

The magazine for the children of Africa



The magazine for the children of Africa


Doreen Akamumpa is a 23 year- old lady who was born in Kabale District, Uganda. Her parents were extremely poor and could not afford to pay school fees for her and her six siblings. She is however very grateful that her parents gave her life and everything else they could afford. My Education I had a difficult time in school, mainly due to the fact that I was constantly prohibited from doing the exams because of fee balances. I would get very depressed because of this, but especially feared poverty and the mockery of our neighbours. One day, rumours about my failure to go to school started spreading. When I heard this, I burst into tears thinking, “Oh my God, I can’t bear this!” It was then that I lost all hope of ever pursuing further studies. The regular worrying resulted in isolating myself, believing that it was the end of my life. I prayed endlessly, asking God to remember me and get me out of the misery I was in. I really longed for a change in my life; believing it would be both beneficial and exciting for me. A successful change agent would need a variety of skills including planning, communication, negotiation and problem solving. I did not see this anywhere at that time. The Miracle I Needed In 2007, I finally got a sponsor. Madam Julie Solberg, the Director of Child Africa International, was the miracle I needed. When I got the sponsorship, I thought I was dreaming. “ I can’t believe

it! Can this really be true? ” I constantly asked myself. Madam Julie really cared for me and loved me like her own child. Beautiful Places She took me to places I had never dreamt of ever visiting. Visiting Lake Bunyonyi and The White Horse Inn, places very close to where I come from but had never visited until then gave me a sense of belonging. I recall the day Madam Solberg took me around the hotel during lunch break; I saw the biggest bed on earth for the first time. Even the luxurious things in the presidential suite were fascinating! The experiences made a big difference in my life, leaving me feeling like the luckiest girl in the whole wide world. Most Remarkable Moments It was through this support that I managed to complete my Diploma in Secretarial Studies at the famous Uganda College of Commerce after which a new chapter in my life began. I am most grateful to the Julie and Rino Solberg for initiating Child Africa, an organization that gives a chance to people who could not have been what they are today without their support.

Last Words... I would like to encourage my fellow learners to come together and help in implementing recommendations for the improvement of Child Africa, taking personal responsibility for learning, participating in activities that help identify and exploit talent, taking action to care for and develop school facilities and supporting other learners through peer guidance and counseling. Local community leaders on the other hand, could support the development of education by advocating for the importance of education in all forums, attending school meetings to contribute ideas for the schools’ improvement and visiting families to encourage them to value education and support children’s school attendance. To the Child Africa Director, Madam Julie, Doreen had this to say, “You reached out and touched me as I was withering away with no hope, no sense of direction and no self esteem. You touched me and gave me hope, self-confidence and direction. Thank you for giving me a chance to blossom. I am forever grateful. “

The magazine for the children of Africa



The magazine for the children of Africa

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The magazine for the children of Africa


Social Development

Deafness is not an Inability. The history of Deaf Children in Uganda and a personal thank you to some friends of the deaf in Kabale.


ear reader, I would like to follow up Mr. Rino Solberg’ s article ‘The silent language’ published in the Social Development section of BINGWA Issue 3. I wish to share my knowledge about deaf people in Uganda and how they are helped by Child Africa. Hopefully this will give readers a better understanding of deaf people. Between 1971 and 1979 during Idi Amin’s regime; deaf people were treated as worthless members of society. Deaf people, their parents and relatives were killed. Deaf children were hidden away, just as biblical Moses was in the River Nile. When Idi Amin’s regime ended in 1979 and he ran away to Libya the same year; the deaf people emerged from their hideouts. At this time, ‘hearing’ people oppressed the deaf people of the same human rights. Deaf people are humans and should be permitted the same human rights as all other


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humans, regardless of their disability, gender or race. As time went by Uganda National Association for the Deaf (UNAD) and other friends started helping and supporting deaf people and their families. UNAD took on the role of teaching sign language in Uganda. Before sign language came to Uganda, the deaf people were like sheep without a shepherd. In 1979, deaf children went to normal schools but there were no facilities for them. They could not follow the teaching and learnt little because they could not hear. They were also socially excluded as many children did not play with them.

The deaf children from the Kabale region are now enjoying their human rights just like other children. It is important to be given the opportunity of an education and to communicate with other people. Through learning sign language, it has enabled them to communicate with people of all ages, giving them many of the opportunities the hearing people have and a future. I am a hearing teacher at Child Africa Junior School, Kabale. I am the deaf childrens’ class teacher and use sign language all the time. I would like to express my special thanks to UNAD who has given moral support to the deaf by waking up Uganda to the needs of the deaf. I am personally thankful to UNAD for teaching all the teachers at Child Africa School how to communicate in sign language. A charity organization called Cambridge to Africa, based in Cambridge, England paid for these courses. These courses have been very important for everybody at school. Deaf pupils, pupils with

hearing impairments, hearing people and staff members are now able to communicate with each other by using sign language. The deaf children are now integrated into classes and activities at Child Africa Junior School.

I would also like to thank Madam Julie Solberg for having this special plan for starting an education program for deaf children; integrating up to 20% of children at Child Africa Schools. The program started in Kabale. Madam Julie has made a big difference to the deaf childrens’ lives in Kabale. When the children arrived on the first day, they had not received any education and were afraid of people. After six months, the deaf children were interacting with people. Today, they are social, active and laughing members of the school. In October 2010, they stood on a stage and performed a play for important members and guests of Kabale from different countries. I, and the deaf

children are proud of Madam Julie. I would also like to give a special thank you to Madam Rosemary Søyland from Norway, who started the knitting and handcrafts project at Child Africa Junior School. Deaf and hearing children have learnt how to knit scarves and tablemats. As I write this article, they are knitting sweaters for themselves with teacher Flavia’s and my help. Teacher Flavia is also fluent in sign language. The deaf pupils are interested and enjoy this activity. The things they make are of the same quality as those of the hearing pupils, which

really boosts their self-esteem. Madam Rosemary also started the carpentry project for the boys. The deaf and hearing pupils work together building useful things for school, with the help of Teacher Enoth who uses sign language to interpret the carpenter’s instructions. The carpentry group is now making solid and good quality frames for the knitting and handcrafts group for making table-mats. Madam Julie and Madam Rosemary, you have really made it. Long live UNAD and long live Child Africa Written by Teacher Generous. Photos by Madam Rosemary

A TIME TO RELAX A time to relax When people want To swim and have fun A time to relax Is like heaven For children at school A time to relax When everybody is rushing Buying tickets to travel To the USA or the UK Where there is more freedom People rushing and packing Just for flight

The best time to go To the village Spend holidays with The old folks Lots of fun and jokes The best time for reading A HOLIDAY A time to relax Musana Cole Henry Hans, P.7. Blue, Greenhill Academy

For us, we don’t need to rush We take our time NO traffic jams, no flight Just a time to relax A time to relax The magazine for the children of Africa


The magic world of numbers You are wrong if you think mathematics is not fun




Place the numbers 1-5 in each of the blank cells. Ensure that each straight line has numbers 1- 5 both across and down. And that every box has numbers 1-5.

Place the numbers 1-4 in each of the blank cells. Ensure that each straight line has numbers 1-4 both across and down. And that every box has numbers 1-4. 3 on Page 4 Answers


NUMBERS FUN To get the multiples of 9 from 1 to 10 without strain, write 0 to 9 from top to bottom, then 0 to 9 alongside the numbers you’ve written from bottom to top. The numbers you have come up with are the multiples of 9. Answers on Page 43

Ugandan musician Juliana Kanyomozi pays VAT of 16% for every new CD she sells. She sold 20,000 CDs last month at Ksh. 1,000 each. How much tax did she pay? Kenyan middledistance runner David Rudisha can run around a circle of distance 70 metres. What distance does he cover when he runs around the circle twice? Answers on Page 43


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Answers/Majibu NUMBERS FUN (PG 42)

TIARA (Uk. 22)



CHINI 1. Mrefu kama twiga 2. Wika kama jogoo 3. Sema kama chiriku 4. Ringa kama tausi 5. Mfupi kama nyundo


UPANDE 1. Nyeupe kama theluji 6. Nona kama nguruwe 7. Tisha kama simba 8. Baki nyuma kama koti 9. Sauti nyororo kama kinanda

AIMING HIGH-ISSUE 1 Synonyms Crosswords Down 1. Large 3. Below 5. Nice Across 2. Sunny 4. Begin 6. Hop 7. Wet 8. Old




0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

9X1 9X2 9X3 9X4 9X5 9X6 9X7 9X8 9X9 9 X 10



BINGWA T-SHIRT WINNERS 1.Sam Byamugisha, Child Africa School, Uganda (PG. 4) 2.Sam Byamukama, Child Africa School, Uganda (PG. 4) 3.Eugene Were, 7Q, Moi Primary School, Nakuru (PG. 4) 4.Mariane Akinyi, Class 8, Moi Primary School, Nakuru (PG. 4) 5.Faith Mukami, Class 7, Wangunyu Primary School, Karura (PG. 17) 6.Carment Achieng, 6 Green, Migosi Primary School, Kisumu (Pg. 23) 7.Hilary Onyango Omondi, 7 Red, Migosi Primary School, Kisumu (Pg. 28) 8.Libran A. Muka, 7 Yellow, Migosi Primary School, Kisumu (Pg. 28) 9.Annette Wairimu, 4 Blue, Loreto Convent Valley Road (Pg. 28) 10.Migaliza Trazy Vivianne, 8S, Moi Primary School, Nakuru. (Pg. 28) 11.Walugembe Jojo, P.7 Blue, Greenhill Academy, Uganda (Pg. 29) 12.Dambya Valeria, P.7 Blue, Greenhill Academy, Uganda (Pg. 29) 13.Naiga Ingrid, P.7 Blue, Greenhill Academy, Uganda (Pg. 29) 14.Kyakulaga Matthew, P.7 Blue, Greenhill Academy, Uganda (Pg. 29) 15.Musana Cole Henry Hans, P.7 Blue, Greenhill Academy, Uganda (Pg. 29)

Noah’s Comic

3.Tsavo National Park 4.False 5.False 6.Any Kenya Wildlife Service parks (eg. Mt. Kenya National Park, Meru National Park, Sibilio National Park, Hells Gate National Park etc) CELEB CALCULATIONS (PG.42) 1. KSH. 32,000 2. 44O METRES Tafsiri (Uk.21) 1. Patience pays 2. After handship comes relief


Level One

Level Two

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CAREER CHOICES By Eudiah Kamonjo


re you passionate about sports and the outdoors? Are you patient and encouraging when instructing or guiding people? Are you dynamic and a great team-player with a passion for guiding people? How about considering a career as an outdoor adventure guide? In this edition, we feature an Outdoor Adventure guide who is also a fiction writer for Bingwa Magazine. What is Outdoor Adventure? Outdoor Adventures are activities that take place outside the confines of buildings. These activities include bungy-jumping, sailing, white-water rafting, mountaineering, fishing and hunting, trekking, kayaking among others. An outdoor adventure guide directs, instructs and guides individuals and groups in these activities. Most of them work for tourism companies, resorts, parks, lodges, campgrounds or run their own businesses. Want a career in Outdoor Adventure? If you are passionate about sports and the outdoors, then this is your ideal career. You will also need to be able to work independently, be dynamic, flexible and a great team-player. Good communication skills (to clearly explain things in non-technical terms) will come in handy. Good listening skills and the ability to be patient and


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encouraging to the people you are instructing is crucial. Inspiring outdoor adventurers ♣ Lord Baden-Powell - Founder of the BoyScout Movement. He established non-formal education putting emphasis on outdoor activities in 1907. ♣ Paul Petzoldt - The legendary mountaineer founded in 1965, the National Outdoor Leadership School in the U.S.A which takes people of all ages on remote wilderness expeditions teaching them what cannot be learnt in a classroom or city streets. ♣ Mark Savage - Owner of Savage Wilderness Safaris, which was established in 1990. The former pilot pioneered white-water rafting in Kenya and is a knowledgeable guide on Kenyan safaris.


hristine Nderitu, 25 (pictured) obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Science from Kenyatta University (K.U) in 2010. Today, she is an outdoor adventure guide at Savage Wilderness Safaris in Kenya. Her work entails instructing on team-buildlng, rock-climbing, mountain-guiding, sailing and river-guiding specifically whitewater rafting and kayaking. Christine went to Moi Nyeri Complex Primary School, Chinga Girls High School and Mahiga Girls Secondary School. It was during her high school days that she represented Kenya in Canada and Japan for winning environmental essay writing competitions (UNICEF, Ministry of Water & Sanitation and CiDRi projects. She has been writing since her primary school days but this passion only developed later- on realizing that she could go places with it. Today, she writes fiction stories for Bingwa Magazine. “To be a good writer, you need to have soul, passion, planning skills, be in touch with reality and know your audience,” she advises. Her love for the outdoors was influenced by her adventurous spirit as well as studying outdoor education as a subject

during her last semester at K.U. While undertaking her Sports Science studies, she learnt basic life-support skills which come in handy when whitewater rafting. Christine believes that learning never stops and is planning to do a Masters in Adventure Sports or Tourism. Some of the organizations she has worked for include Pink Horizons, NEO Marketing, Sports Stadia Management and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. She has been working at Savage Wilderness since 2010. “One of the most inspiring things about my job is meeting people from all over the world. They come with all kinds of ideas and skills. Meeting an American base-jumper who had no limits was truly memorable,” she says. To be an outdoor adventure guide, you need to be openminded, have an adventurous spirit and be willing to learn new things. “It’s the most dynamic field ever. You’ve got to be creative because things can go wrong and you will have to improvise,” she adds. Christine knew she was in the right place during her internship at Savage Wilderness immediately after graduation.

“What I love about outdoor adventure is that it’s so dynamic. Everyday is never the same and the job pushes my limits and keeps me fit,” she says. So how does she juggle guiding and writing? “As a guide, you are not working the entire time. When an idea strikes me, I write it down and then build on it slowly in my free time. If you look at the ‘Fierce Falcon’ (Pg. 12-13), you’ll see how some of my work inspires me, “ she explains. As for her future plans, she is still learning all she can about outdoor adventure. She plans on furthering her studies, working in different countries and lecturing on outdoor education. She also wants to produce poetry collections, fiction for children and nonfiction for adults. Christine is also the opening act of the ‘Niko na Safaricom’ advert atop Mt. Kenya. “What I loved about doing the advert was meeting the international directors. I recall getting caught in a snowstorm. It was so cold, I couldn’t wiggle my fingers. I was wearing a dress and helicopters were all over,” she recalls. Muthoni Muriithi, the first Kenyan woman to reach Batian peak (Mt. Kenya), is one of the adventurers she admires. Her mother and all the professors who taught her have also inspired her. Her favourite quotes are ‘Man must live’ and ‘Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.’ Her advise to BINGWA readers is ‘Have dreams and stick by them; do not be swayed by people. Keep trying and don’t give up. It’s good to have a talent but couple it with an education.”

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Creative Writing


By Lennie Businge


ercy could not stop running. The footsteps were getting louder, quicker - and scarier. She could barely breathe and her heart felt like it was going to explode. This man pursuing her just couldn’t give up. What was he going to do to her? Would he murder her? Rape her? Steal every possible coin from her? Ironically, the thought of theft scared Mercy the most. How would she be able to provide for her children? Christine was just seven years old, her mother was her world. And her nineyear old son Gideon was quite mature for his age; but still just a child. If anything happened to her, Mercy knew her children would have nowhere to go. Yes, her sister Patience was very fond of


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them and had even looked after them for three months when Mercy lost her job. However, she couldn’t continue doing so since her husband had been transferred to work in another district. In fact, just that morning he had coldly told her that she and her children were no longer welcome in his house. Mercy knew that she had to save every shilling she came across, and with that thought, she was determined to make sure this thief, or attacker got nothing from her! She took a left turn and almost cried out in dismay; there was a large wall ahead - a dead end! Mercy raked her brains trying to figure out what to do. She had no choice but to turn around and face the man who may end her life in more ways than one. He was young, probably in

his early twenties. Mercy looked out for a possible knife he was brandishing but on seeing his empty hands, she panicked and guessed she had to be more alert; goodness knew what was up his sleeve - or in his sock! The man approached her with an alarmed expression on his face. Mercy braved a warning, “Stay away from me or I’ll hurt you! I have a knife in my bag!” She knew she was grasping for loose straws, but it was her last shot. The man quirked his eyebrow, making him look even more menacing in the pale moonlight. “And I suppose you have a wallet in there too?” he was being devilishly cynical. Mercy felt her pounding heart sink; he was a thief then. He would take all her money, how would she feed little Christine and Gideon now? “Please don’t rob me, please…” Mercy knew it was hopeless. All was lost. Her pursuer looked shocked, almost angry, then burst into hysterical, uncontrollable laughter. Mercy was puzzled. “Rob you? Why would I rob a lady? Why would I rob anyone? I was just returning your wallet. You dropped it in the taxi!” He then pulled out Mercy’s threadbare wallet and held it out to her. When she didn’t move, he sighed, tossed it on the ground and walked away. When he was out of sight, Mercy still remained rooted to the spot. Tears of relief run down her face. As she decided to pick up the wallet and head home, a stray dog appeared from the shadows, grabbed her wallet in its teeth and trotted off.

Talent Show @ Primary School The wide array of talent being nurtured at Thomas Burke Primary School in Buruburu, Nairobi was quite apparent at their Talent Day held on Saturday July 23 2011. From 9am to 2pm, teachers, students, parents and friends of the school were cheered talented young scientists, singers, poets, dancers, acrobats, artists, reporters, contortionists, sportsmen, fashion designers and even cooks as they showed off their best work. Overall winners (selected by the judges) in each category were awarded. Overall, it was the fashion show that really got the students at the school excited. Outfits reflecting African, Asian and Western culture were showcased, enhanced by the models’ graceful catwalks and creative poses. Two of these spectacular models grace our cover.

Steve Mwenda and Fidel Musembi, Std 6 were the winners in the boys fashion category.

Tumshangilieni Mtoto School, Nairobi children enjoy reading the ‘mchongoanos’ in BINGWA Magazine.

These young artists from Kibera perform their song after a song-writing workshop at the Storymoja Hay Festival 2011.

The Child Africa School, Uganda athletics team get together.

Children submit their artwork at the BINGWA tent during the Storymoja Hay Festival 2011.

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Utawala Academy, Nairobi celebrate on being named the winning school for submitting the most number of ending for ‘Lydia’s Gift’ (published in Issue 5).

Tumshangilieni Mtoto School, Nairobi ask, “Can you do this?”

Kenyan comedian Churchill at the BINGWA tent during the Kids Festival in August 2011.

Ugandan primary school chidlren enjoy reading BINGWA Magazine.

Arya Primary School, Mombasa handwriting competition winners show-off their prizes.

Participants of the Thomas Burke Primary School, Buruburu Talent Day smile for BINGWA.


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Mimi napenda chakula cha mamangu, Ili nifurahie kula bila hofu ya magonjwa, Mimi hunawa mikono kwa sabuni wakati wote. Nawa mikono kwa sababu haswa nyakati muhimu


1 2 3 4

Baada ya kutumia choo Kabla ya kupika kabla ya kula Baada ya kumwosha mtoto au kubadili napi.

Mikono safi inamaana kuwa nina afya bora. Kwa hivyo ninafurahia kula chakula cha mama tena, tena na tena