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Philip's passion to try made him overcome disability

For Philip Kiema Kilonzi, believing in his abilities and courage to make it happen is what made him triumph a setback that could have disabled his life. As we sit down for this exclusive interview in a rainy afternoon, he smiles when asked how he manages to ride his motorbike with only one hand given his left hand was amputated after an accident which happened in 2009.
Philip Kiema during an interview with MWINGI TIMES. He is able to drive himself despite having one of his hands amputated following an accident|MWINGI TIMES 

"To me it is not a hard thing to do. I have the passion to do it and I believe I can do it.", he says.

For Mr Kilonzi, no one trained him how to ride a motorbike which he uses for his private needs like travelling to and from work. He is a supply chains management assistant at Tseikuru Sub County Hospital.

At 25 years, he tells us that he trained to ride his motor after his left hand was amputated. But it has some modifications to suit his use.

He interchanged clutch cables which are usually at the left side to be on the right side where he also controls fuel and engages the hand brake. "I operate fuel and clutch at the same time by regulating and I ride as 'normal person' ", he says after a busy day at his work place.
Philip preparing to ride his motorbike at Tseikuru town. The supply chain management assistant at Tseikuru sub county hospital says it is sheer self- belief and courage to try new things that made him discover his riding skills.|MWINGI TIMES 

He has been riding for three years. Since riding a motorcycle is similar to  riding a bicycle, Kilonzi tells MWINGI TIMES that it has not been a hard task to do. 
"With the experience of riding a bicycle, riding a motorbike is not a hard thing to do. Actually, I was never trained but I could observe how the riding is done", says Philip.

Philip's advice to Persons living With Disabilities [PWD] is that they should have courage  to overcome life's challenges. He asserts that nothing happens if you don't try.
"What matters the most is courage. Have the power and belief that you can. The other thing is to try. All things happen when you try", says Philip.

As we wind up this chat, we're hesitant to ask Philip how he lost his hand. But his disarming demeanor makes him ready to tell us what happened. He fractured his hand when he was involved in an accident while playing. Back then, he was living in Thika town, Kiambu County.
"My hand was fractured when I was playing. When I was taken to hospital, I took over 24 hours being treated. When I was attended to, I was dressed in plaster the following day.

In the next 24 hours,  I experienced some pains. I returned to the hospital and the plaster was removed. It was discovered that my hand had decomposed. The option available was that it be amputated or removed. And that's how I lost my hand.", he concludes.

SIDEBAR: What the law says about employment opportunities and inclusion

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 provides for reasonable accommodation of Persons living With Disabilities [PWD]. This is captured in Article 54. Ms Purity Mwanzia, a lawyer says that section 15 and 21 of the Persons with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against PWDs. It also empowers them to enjoy accessibility and mobility while at work just like other people.

A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics noted that there were 1,330,312 persons living with disability.  Of these, 682,623 were female while 647,689 were male.

The report released in March this year added that disability has adverse effects on a person's ability to carry out day to day activities. This highlights the need for stakeholders in the society to accommodate PWDs in daily engagements.

Some of the parameters assessed for one to be termed as PWD are: visual, hearing, speech and language difficulties.  Others were physical, metal and self care challenges.


STORY By MUSYOKA NGUI
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  1. Honest and clean money by youths out there while some guys we cannot mention are looting our institutions for luxury

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  2. Musyoka you're doing good job, keeping us informed. May God bless your work.

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  3. I can see my Sunday School classmate has firm grasp of the Kenyan law. Counsel Mutheu, we look forward to your legal services very soon. For the hardworking motorist, thank you for showing us the way. Tũyĩkomeya maanda kũnoa

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