Former supermarket teller Friday Ochieng', who lost his job due to COVID-19. Photo: Mark Kapchanga
Pushed to the limit, Friday Ochieng' fixed his eyes to the ceiling of his home. He felt like crying but he could not; in his Luo culture, it is taboo for a grownup man to weep. A month earlier, the father of five had buried his wife after she lost a decade-long battle with sickle cell anaemia. Ochieng' did not know where to turn. Schools were almost due to open, and he needed at least Ksh120,000 (about $1,000) for tuition fees for his children; two of them sitting for national examinations in primary and secondary schools.
Mark Kapchanga is a senior economics writer for the Standard newspaper
in Kenya and a columnist for the Global Times, an English-language newspaper
in China. He is pursuing a PhD in investigative business journalism at the
University of Nairobi.