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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid