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Kenyan night runner reveals scaring people brings him joy

Okech Kendo
 Sam Otieno, a confessed night runner. Photo: BBC.

A night runner has confessed to deriving pleasure from scaring victims.

Speaking to BBC’s Tom Odula, Sam Otieno, a confessed night runner claimed to have inherited the practice from his deceased father.

“I found a small tin with three stones and soil inside next to the house.

READ ALSO: Exposed- There are over 1,300 active night runners in Nairobi

“When I stepped over the tin, that’s when I started night running. My father had left it there for me before he died,” said Sam, who has been a night runner for nine years.

Recruiting wife

While the practice is believed to be passed down through the family, Sam’s wife, Grace got into it after he recruited her.

According to Grace, she feels unwell when she does not run.

“When I don’t run I feel sick so I have to run. When I come back (from night running) I feel comfortable,” confessed Grace.

Urge to run

According to the couple, they usually experience the urge to run after taking their dinner.

During one of her nocturnal rounds, Grace agreed to be filmed.

 Grace night running Photo: BBC.

In the footage seen by SDE, Grace is seen rubbing a stick along the iron roof of a victim’s house. She then proceeds to knock and rattle on the door before throwing stones and lumps of soil on the roof; all this time making a guttural sound.

READ ALSO: My three wives and 15 children are night runners

She is then seen jumping with joy as an elderly woman inside the house angrily inquires on who’s destroying her house.

Seen night running

Unfortunately, after featuring on the BBC documentary, Sam and his family were ordered out of the village.

“The people in the village decided that we should leave forever or they would burn us in our house.

 Grace night running Photo: BBC.

“It has really brought us problems, so we decided it’s better to leave that place,” said Grace, who has since quit the practice and regularly visits a traditional healer who claims to have cured several night runners.

But according to Sam, he’s at a point of no return.

“I’m at a point where I cannot stop. It’s my job,” he said.


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