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He made it through defying the gravity

With the current high cost of living people have become more creative in search of a livelihood. They are innovatively challenging what is considered impossible by doing extraordinary to make ends meet.

People, especially the young generation are using talents not just as a hobby but to make a living as well.

Meet Augustine Macharia, a 33 years old man who creates magic in the air, defying limits and challenging what is impossible to others.

He can walk miles wearing 4.5 ft stilted legs weighing six kilograms.

While entertaining people in Maua town, Meru County by moving around the streets with his stilt legs, Macharia explained that his income comes from entertaining people with his incredible performances and wonders.

He said that he realized his talent during his childhood when he would participate in jumping, dancing, and drawing at school.

He however narrated the ordeal which took away both his parents forcing him to drop out of school when he had two years to complete his primary school education.

“My mother became ill when I was in class three and died, later in class six my father also succumbed to illness making it hard to get basic needs and later decided to drop out of the school and seek a job,” Macharia said.

He later met a well-wisher whose identity he did not disclose, who introduced him to the field of dancing where they would spend most of their time dancing in social halls and events around Embu County which is his original homeland.

“The man noted that I had some acrobatic skills and decided to give me a helping hand to grow my talent. He introduced me to other dancers who made me become more famous in the dancing field,” Macharia narrated, adding that they would spend days and nights in clubs and other social gatherings to entertain people and earn some cash.

Macharia explained that he later on realized other acrobatic skills like walking on a line and using stilts to make him appear as if he is walking on the air, which he has done for the last 10 years now.

Macharia said that he earns a living through his acrobatic dance and “walking on the air”, adding that his clients are students and people working around marketplaces.

“I perform my magic in schools and marketplaces where I walk along the streets wearing my stilts which makes me the tallest man in the universe hence attracting attention from many,” he humorously stated.

He added that some people also pay him between Sh 50 to Sh 200 to take photos with him.

The acrobat who hails from Embu noted that his work is highly mobile and he considers showcasing his talents during market days.

“I have traveled and performed in almost all the counties in Kenya. This year I have been in Mombasa, Nairobi, Narok, Nakuru, and Meru respectfully,’’ he added.

On how much he makes in a day, Macharia said that he is able to cater to all his family’s needs including giving his children the best education that he missed during his early childhood.

He noted that what makes him flexible as he walks using stilts, is the daily exercise that he performs saying that to him exercise is like a daily meal that he cannot do without.

What surprises many is how he balances his weight on those long stilts without any falls.

Macharia revealed that his biggest challenge is invasion by people who try to make him fall thinking that he is not a human being.

The 33 old man who has so far trained the other three acrobats wishes to become an international acrobat coach in the near future.

He further urged the youths to exploit their talents considering the scarcity of white-collar jobs in the country to make ends meet.

“When youths discover their talents, cases of theft and other social evils will minimize if not end,” he said.

Macharia praised the government for implementing the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) which is key in focusing on developing skills such as critical thinking, imagination, creativity, and communication skills which are very crucial in the growth of one’s talent.

‘’ I was very happy when the new curriculum which has put much emphasis on talent-oriented disciplines like sports, arts, and music unlike the old 8-4-4 system that focused primarily on knowledge-based learning became functional in our schools,” he said.

According to Macharia, talent nurtured can bring a variety of opportunities to the country’s ever-evolving social and economic needs.

By Kamanja Maeria and Edith Mwendwa

 

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