Nothing excites me more than a chameleon.

Have you seen how it moves? I mean, I know how slow a tortoise is but let’s agree on one thing; The chameleon is the walking version of a human stammerer.

I can hardly count the number of times I got tempted to accelerate its speed whenever I found it struggling to gain pace while I was a kid. Do you ever remember how it slowly swings the front right arm forward followed by the odi-dance-like head movements? One can be forgiven to think that a Chameleon is endlessly practicing for motion Olympics?

Scientists say that an average chameleon weighs approximately 0.01kgs with their size ranging from 2.8cm to 68.5cm. Yes, a chameleon can be as small as the size of your middle finger or as large as the length of two loaves of super loaf breads combined. (You don’t have to look at your fingers or imagine the size of bread to believe me!)

And as if the slow motion of a chameleon is anything to talk about, I have friends who would run and some who still scream whenever they come across a spider. Friends who have grown up with a dislike towards a creature that can barely sprint. Friends who will literary not think twice about destroying a spider-web.

“Unajua spider inaeza uwa ng’ombe?”

“Spider?”

“Eeh! weeh, that thing is small but poisonous. Kwanza the one called black widow! ebu destroy that web!”

One such friend is Faith Hellen. Faith is a destroyer. I can willingly lend her to you for a day, but trust me, she will be the reason you started hating spiders.  Faith is my hero whenever I need someone to play villain in the game of webs.

At the age of 21, Faith, an aspiring life blogger, has destroyed more spider webs than all her fellow students at Moi university combined. Young, Pretty but with an appetite for free food like any campus girl can be at her prime, Faith, (who has an attachment to attending weddings), is currently trapped at Moi University, an institution of higher learning, famously recognized for its referral ability. The English and Literature student is not only yet to receive marks for the sixteen (16) units she did as a freshman, her second year results are as trapped in the system together with those of her fellow classmates.

A young lady who has grown up crushing spiders, is now caught up in a disorganized Moi University academic web. A web she does not know how to break in or break out, even with her expertise. As a result, like any Kenyan feeling trapped in an unjust political field, she has to blindly keep paying fees (just like you are paying taxes), report to the main campus and attend long lectures (just like you do in traffic jams), sit for an exam (similar to how you go to the ballot to choose your leader) and later embark on awaiting results. I will try not to mention how like her, you are waiting upon the leaders you elected to deliver results!

It is simple to say Faith is as trapped at Moi University the same way Kenyans are trapped under a rogue political system. But her journey is different. Since she was a kid, Faith has had a unique ability as far as imagination is concerned.

While in primary, Faith destroyed a web a friends who found pleasure preying on other kids’ food. That ability to stand firm for her circle of loved ones would later follow her to high school. There, she evolved into a vocal voice of command.  A Trump among her friends. Only this time, a positive one. One focused on growth and development and not just mere talk. Faith believed that most girls her age were naive and would continuously make wrong choices, such as falling in love too early, entertaining young boys and later end up being impregnated. She called it ignorance and took it upon herself to destroy any boy who trapped her friends in such a web.

I recently listened to this young girl give an inspirational talk to her girlfriends on why they must not wash clothes for their boyfriends.

“Unless you are certain that this man will marry you, don’t!” she would emphasize. “Don’t be fooled just because he says he is loaded. If he has money, tell him to buy a dry cleaner.”

It is not my position to judge what a girl can or cannot do to show that she is woman enough to be a wife. Some clean, some cook, some even forget their dreams to support those of a man all in pursuit of happiness, only to end up trapped in a web of tears.

As far as love is concerned, I know that one can only do so much. Faith is however steering up a force among’st her peers. Through an initiative called Kemfah, she is slowly (the pace of a chameleon) encouraging them that one can always go an extra mile. She has created a belief that despite their results being trapped in the rogue academic system, the girls around her can have a voice in the society. That they can be in relationships without having to perform ‘animal’ duties for any man. That they will get their results without having to sleep with male lecturers and get job recommendations without falling trapped in bed with human resource managers. That they can rise up the ranks in society, not necessarily by competing or submitting to men but by keeping to their lane.

The journey will be long. On the way, Faith can be sure she will meet men and women like you and I. Men who will try to crush her even when she means no harm. Men and women who will be tempted to accelerate her speed for their own excitement.  But Faith must never give up. She must take her name with her.  Faith. Faith that when society gangs up to destroy her web of success, she, like a spider, will be ready to create a bigger one without giving up. For what is the essence of success if one can’t get over when trapped?

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