Bomet town

Three sisters and their brother from Bomet County who went blind in different ages in what the doctors described as just ‘genetic’ condition have resorted to brick making business to find solace in unforgiving society.

The strange condition started with Emily Chepkori 41 when she was two years old; her vision went blur then disappeared for good throwing her in forever blindness.

“I was taken to taken to Tenwek hospital but there was no improvement. Doctors at some point, declared that I was blind then I was enrolled in special school at the age of six”, she narrated.

Her brother David Rotich was next, similarly he started having blurry visions while in class five then after a short while, he was blind like the sister to the shock of the family and the whole village.

The next was their sixth born sister Margaret Chepkurui who followed and when she was taken to the same hospital, doctors said this is genetic condition known as Retinitis pigmentosa.

Their last born Caroline chelangat was later born and she was lucky to enjoy her good vision till when she was seven years when she was struck by the same monster in class four and she is now 26; she was also enrolled in Kisumu’s special school and she graduated a primary school teacher in 2018.

After years of struggles in the dark world, Emily graduated as tailor from vocational training in Meru that she juggles with farming to eke a living; their elder brother Rotich is  PTA teacher at Korara special primary school while their last born Caroline is special tutor at Kapkesosio Primary school.

After high school, Margaret landed a job as masseur at spa in Maasai Mara targeting tourist before joining ECDE course at Mosoriot teachers college. Unfortunately during her second year in college, her savings got depleted and was unable to continue with her studies. She then developed stress related condition.

Meanwhile, Emily was facing challenges in her knitting and faming forcing her to brick making courtesy of neighbour who taught her to perfection; to she learnt that it was a cheaper trade that requires soil, water and firewood that are easily and readily available.

Five months ago, Emily started brick making with some help to locate white clay soil, mould it to sizes and roast it for two weeks in the sun.

David, Emily, Margaret and Caroline’s other sisters who are able  are away in their homes having gotten married but the four are now united by brick making in what they describe as a tiring work since it involves fetching water, kneading the mud and arranging them.

Emily who is mastermind of brick making is usually joined by the others during holidays not only to motivate each other but to give each other shoulder to lean on since their parent are no longer alive. Each brick goes for Sh6 and the least number of bricks they sell are 1000 bricks.


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