For nearly ten years, he lived in disobedience. He became a Chokora (street boy). He lived the life of a prodigal son. He suffered. Nature inflicted pain upon him. He felt hated. For several occasions, he thought of committing suicide.
Daniel Musembi Maundu, a former drug addict, is lucky to be alive today since he reformed through salvation in 2014. He has since written books; Lamentations Of The Hustler and Breaking Loose The Chains Of Bondage in a bid to alert and educate the youth on the dangers of drug abuse.
Musembi was born in 1983 as the first born in a family of six. As fate would have it, his father, a teacher by then, abandoned them in 1998 and his whereabouts is still unknown. Despite being educated to university level, Musembi dropped in his first year. “Unknown circumstances led me drop out of university.
I got so much fixed into drug abuse that I almost lost my senses. In 2008, I went on the run, just like my father did,” Musembi disclosed. He lived as a street boy in Mombasa for five years. Over this frustrating period, Musembi never communicated back home. “I never wanted to be associated with any of my close relatives. I never visited them and never wanted to be close to them,” he explained.
His endless, fruitless search for a job in Nairobi’s industrial area and later in Mombasa made him turn to self-hatred, uncontrolled alcoholism, smoking and chewing of miraa. These substances remained to be the only source of false consolation to him. “All along, I was fighting internal battles. Fighting with my inner self.
Asking myself many questions. I lived a stressful life and lacked someone who could come to my rescue,” Musembi pointed out. For five years that he lived at the coast, he spent nights at drinking joints and I led a reckless life. In 2011, he travelled back home through the help of a friend. His family was in utter shock to see him. “They had strongly believed that I had died.
I was a true kind of a scarecrow. I looked weak and sickly,” he lamented. After two weeks of being at home, an old close friend offered to assist him earn a living by burning charcoal. “He was very friendly and sympathized with my situation. However, we fell out after a short while,” said Musembi.
Unfortunately, he went back to the dens. Many times, he tried to stop smoking but he always found himself back in the habit. “Sometime, I tried to convince myself that I would reduce alcohol intake, gradually until I stopped. However, that never worked. For a long time, I fought with drug addiction and substance abuse,” he explained. Musembi lived among revelers in the remotest Vietnam village in Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums. Here experienced lawlessness as a way of life.
Here, chang’aa was brewed and sold openly, bhang was peddled and smoked routinely and crime was the order of the day. While living in the slum for three years, he met and interacted with learned and highly skilled graduates who had also gotten into drugs. Some he says, had lost their jobs and families. Since he wrote his book, Lamentations Of The Hustler, he has never looked back.
The book highlights the problems that people face struggling with drug abuse, joblessness, ignorance among other challenges. “So many talented youth had their lives shattered as a result of drug abuse. One was an employee of Cocacola Company earning a very good salary. Unfortunately, he was sacked after he repeatedly failed to report to work due to alcoholism,” Musembi disclosed.
“Even now, some professionals such as doctors and teachers are leading a pathetic life due to illegal brews that threaten to ruin their future,” he said. He recalls how he luckily got off the hook of drug abuse.. A pastor found him one day in the morning hopeless and idle. He was sitting on a stone beside the road that led to the church in Mariakani town.
“I had just made the last puff of my cigar that I had reserved in the previous night in the drinking spree. This man of God must have read the sorrow marks in my wrinkled face,” said Musembi. “I had known him for nearly six months. After exchanging greetings, Pastor Jackson introduced the topic I had all along hated.
He told me of a God who could hear my cry and who had power to rescue me from whatever situation I was stuck in. He assured me of salvation,” he added. The pastor was able to persuade him to go to church. His pastor narrated to him how he too, shared the same story with him and how he managed to escape the vice. His testimony gave him courage and he opened up his heart.
“I made known to the pastor my complete lack of hope in life,” he said. The pastor was able to explain to him how he needed to get saved and abandon the drugs that had ruined his life. “After repeatedly failing, you can start all afresh. You have to completely change your life and the way you do things,” the clergy advised.
“With a lot of assistance from my pastor, I came to realize that my answer lied with God,” he said, showing great gratitude. Musembi now appeals to well-wishers to help him establish center where he can mentor, train and empower the youth through a well detailed layout program.
“I would like to equip the youth and transform their lives. I am appealing to wellwishers whom we can partner to further this mentorship program,” Musembi pointed out