Blue Hearts Joy’s Story Featured at Precious Blood Primary School (Amani)

Story by Bernard Muhia and Sammy Mwangi

The full version of the “Blue Hearts, Joy’s Story” will be staged in Kenya National Theatre on the 24th March 2011. For tickets kindly call Noella on 0720302364 or Akil on 0700393931.

The Kenya Blue Hearts Grassroots Initiative (KBHGI) members went to Amani Center, the charitable primary school wing of Precious Blood High School in Kawangware to create awareness about the  human trafficking problem. The visit on 18th February 2012 was so much appreciated by the students. The students  did join the “Blue Hearts” on stage at one point during the staging of the play ‘A Blue Heart: Joy’s Story.’

Sammy Mwangi the  Consolation East Africa (CEA) Coordinator who had visited the school last year on a workshop against human trafficking opened the session by introducing the topic of the day. The Blue Hearts had visited the school to create awareness about the  human trafficking challenge in Kenya communities.

Sammy Mwangi opening the session

Sammy Mwangi then invited Mike Kasongo from Sanaelimu Art to kick start the performance. With the background drumming, Mike from Sanaelimu opened the floor with a narration of Joy’s story.  As the story went on the audience became more attentive to get the gist of the story. With the exit of Mike, Joy’s play’ started off as the audience kept the dead silent following keenly each step of the performance

Mike Kasongo with other members of Sanaelimu Art warming up the stage

This was followed by the acting where the characters of Joy and Auntie took to the stage and dramatized the dilemma that faced the two with regards to the poverty that they were facing. This was moving Auntie to want to discontinue educating Joy.

After every episode the Mike Kasongo ‘the narrator’ could interact with the audience posing questions to them hence making it more interactive, entertaining and educative too. Issues of child labour, child abuse, child trafficking were manifested during the play. Pupils were also challenged to report cases of abuse or any violation of their rights committed to them or other children.

Jacinta (in white headgear) plays the character of Auntie and Benta (in maroon school uniform) plays the character of Joy.

The play is very dynamic in that it has several sessions throughout the performance where the students get to participate in the dissemination of the message of counter human trafficking. This ensures that they are not just a passive audience but rather they are also engaged as agents of change. This is well capture in the following photograph.

One of the students answers a question during the interactive part of the play

The interactive session wasn’t just about questions and answers. At one point during the dances, some of the students were invited on stage to participate in the dancing. This energized the students so much that even some of teachers came rushing on stage to be part of the performance.

Teachers and students join in on stage during the performance.

Finally, the moment came for the poems and Viona Wamuyu gave a heartfelt rendition of the poem ‘Kaa Chonjo’ which is Swahili for ‘Be Alert’.  Viona  held the breath of the audience as she rhymed  line by line, word by word warning them to ‘be watchful’  meaning ‘ Kaa  Chonjo’ in Swahili. With simple words in simple English meant for the standard of the target audience the message definitely reached home.

Viona Wamuyu of Fern Poetry

The performance at the Amani Center is part of a long, interesting, entertaining and educative story which  will be launched on 24thMarch, 2012 at Kenya National Theatre(KNT). From the play, the pupils got to understand about the problem of human trafficking. Pupils interviewed gave their sentiments. One said ‘The performance made me understand clearly the issue of human trafficking’ said a standard eight pupil. Another one said that through dance and poem he was inspired and was passionate on using songs to educate other children and highlight their plights.

When the performance came to an end, the Principal Mr. James thanked the team and pledged to bring his students to the Kenya National Theatre for the full version of the play. The principal promised that he will give support on any   endeavor to see that the play is launched in attendance of a large number of audiences by sponsoring at least half the number of the audience (i.e. classes 6, 7 and 8).  Also he was to arrange a meeting with the Precious Blood High school principal to share the initiative of the Blue Heart. He related the story of Joy to majority of his pupils who go through many challenges in their families, and are from the streets as others are rescued from abusive parents. The play will also be staged on 8th March at the Braeburn School Theatre as well as in high schools and social/community halls.

Schools, churches and communities are invited to get in touch with the Blue Hearts on 0720302364 or  0700393931.


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