News / Africa

Kenyan Traveling 4,000 Kilometers in Wheelchair

Zack Kimotho is traveling 4,000 kilometersZack Kimotho is traveling 4,000 kilometers
x
Zack Kimotho is traveling 4,000 kilometers
Zack Kimotho is traveling 4,000 kilometers
Ricci Shryock
Kenyan Zack Kimotho is making a 4,000 kilometer trek by wheelchair from Nairobi to the nearest spinal rehabilitation center, which is in South Africa. But he said the longest journey of his life – or at least what felt like it – was the ride from the roadside where he had been shot during an attempted carjacking to a hospital in Nairobi.

“That was the longest journey I had ever taken,” he said.

Now Kimotho has a new journey. He’s trying to raise the $2.9 million needed to build a spinal chord injury rehab center by wheeling himself halfway across Africa. He chose South Africa as his destination, because that is where the nearest center is located.

“I’m on the road wheeling myself,” he said. “The whole idea here is if Kenyans can help me raise  250 million [Kenyan Shillings], I’ll come back , because at the point that we have reached our target… and we’ll start building our own rehab, because there won’t be a need for me to go to South Africa.”

He added their main goal is for Kenyans to make donations using their mobile phones. He and the Kenyan Parapalegic Organization have currently raised 40 million Kenyan shillings, or almost $500,000, since beginning his journey on June 9. So far, he has travelled 78 kilometers.

“I want to help people who are in a similar condition as I am,”  he said.

Kimotho, who is a widower and father of one, said one of the hardest parts of  being confined to his wheelchair was arriving home after three months in the hospital. “You are told to go home. You’re isolated, and that’s it. You are forgotten,” he said.

He said a rehabilitiation center would help both the injured and their families learn how to better cope with the special needs of a parapelegic’s lifestyle.

“People don’t know what to do with you,” he said. “They see someone in a wheelchair, and they look at you twice and start conversing in low tones. It's something people need to be aware of –  that anybody can get into a wheelchair – it doesn’t matter who you are. I think this lack of awareness is there.”

According to the Kenyan government, there are more than 15,000 people who suffer spinal-chord injuries from accidents on the road each year.

Kenyan Zack Kimotho talks to Ricci Shryock about his journey from Kenya to South Africa
Kenyan Zack Kimotho talks to Ricci Shryock about his journey from Kenya to South Africai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mwangi from: muranga kenya
June 19, 2012 6:31 PM
there is an error in the piece - 40 million shilling is not $5 million - its $0.5M.
What a noble effort!! by Kimotho!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid