In order to get to the shopping center, villagers in Kaganda Village, Muranga County, Kenya, had to use a shortcut—that is, a footpath on a hilly, bushy area, passing through private property. However, travel was made difficult after the footpath was fenced off by the landowner, who accused the villagers of trespassing on his farm.
The villagers were upset as they had to take a longer 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) route to reach the shopping center. Fortunately, hope arrived in the form of Nicholas Muchami, who decided to take matters into his own hands.
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To ease the hardship of his fellow villagers, Muchami, 45, single-handedly dug a road through thick bush leading to Kaganda shopping center, using only a spade, a hoe, and an axe.
Under the scorching sun, Muchami toiled away 10 hours a day, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., in order to accomplish his mission before the rainy season.
The villagers found it unbelievable that Muchami had taken it upon himself to build the road. Skeptical, they asked him, while he was working on the road, “Are you being paid?”
In actuality, Muchami, a casual laborer during the day and a guard by night, wasn’t paid a cent.
“I have a lot of energy in me. I decided to volunteer,” he told the BBC.
With determination, Muchami sacrificed his time and used his wages sparingly to clear the road, which local leaders promised to construct five years ago but failed to do so. In just six days, the Good Samaritan had dug 0.9 miles (approx. 1.4 kilometers).
“I had made desperate appeals to the local leaders to have the road built but all in vain. It was then that I decided to build it using my farm tools for the sake of women and children and to save time,” he told the Nation.
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On April 10, Muchami had around 0.3 miles’ (approx. 483 meters’) worth of bush left to dig. He suspended the work temporarily as he needed to return to his casual labor so as to be able to support himself.
After earning enough for his survival, Muchami will set out to complete the remaining section all by himself, since other villagers have refused to work voluntarily.
Thanks to Muchami’s selfless endeavor, travel has been made easier for the villagers. Even though the road has yet to be completed, locals, including students, have begun traveling on the section he has cleared.
“We owe him a lot. In fact I will be marshaling locals to at least give him food to eat as he works on the remaining part of the road. I am also happy that I will now resume going to the church, two years since I stopped due to the poor state of the road which is also on a hilly area. My body is weak,” said Josephine Wairimu, 68.
The new road will halve the journey to the shopping center by 1.2 miles (approx. 1.9 kilometers).
“Now it has made people happy, and I am happy too. My work has helped people of all kinds,” Muchami said.
While well-wishers have been sending gifts to Muchami’s home, his efforts have earned him worldwide media attention after Kinyungu Micheke shared his story on Facebook. Muchami is being hailed as a local hero in Kaganda Village and a patriot by social media users.
We should all follow Muchami’s example! As President Kennedy said during his inaugural speech on Jan. 20, 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country,” we can all play a part to contribute to the public good, making our respective countries a better place to live.
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Thumbnail Credit: YouTube Screenshot | iNooro TV