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Man without limbs branded best brick maker in Nandi

By Silah Koskei | Published Fri, February 2nd 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 1st 2018 at 22:06 GMT +3
William Choge makes bricks at his home in Kipsigak village, Nandi County. [Kevin Tunoi, Standard]

A first encounter with him proves the old adage that disability is indeed not inability.

William Choge, 45, is a skilled brick maker despite having deformed limbs.

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His experience amazes many locals in Kipsigak village in Nandi County who often talk highly of his work. On a normal day, Mr Choge makes 500 bricks.

He is adept at mixing wetting clay, pressing it into a mould which creates blocks, before laying them on an open field to dry. The blocks are fired in a kiln to make bricks which he sells at Sh10 per piece.

Lost father

Choge's life changed after a fire accident when he was a toddler, but the severity of his injuries has  not deterred him from living a normal life.

According to Choge, his family left him to fend for himself. But even this did not make him lose hope in life.

"The accident happened when I was young. Those were the days when having a house help was unheard of. It is an experience that I vowed will not pull me down," said Choge.

He said his interest in brick making began in 2001 when some Ugandans who were skilful in the art came to the area.

He opted to emulate them and 16 years on, he has perfected the practice to meet the ever growing market in the North Rift. "Some of my counterparts prefer to sit outside shopping centres begging, but I challenged myself and said I will always learn new experiences in order to transform my life," he noted.

Previously, Choge said he used to sell fruits so that he could raise school fees after his father died.

He sat the Kenya Certificate of Education (KCPE) exam at Kipsigak School School but believes that every citizen should be granted a chance to do what they are best at.

Ideal skills

"Many people who are physically challenged have been neglected by the State and other bodies simply because of the perception that we are only good at begging. Unknown to them, some of us have ideal skills meant to make a difference in society," he noted.

Choge, however, accused county governments of discriminating against them when opportunities arise.

Everlyne Sawe, a neighbour, said Choge had proved to the rest of the world that life has to go on despite disability.

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