1. The Miraculous Birth

The whole village had given up on the fact that any girl from Chief Pokoits’ homestead would ever get a child. The villagers believed that if any leader had been unfair to the community in any way, the curse would be upon his female children and none would bear a child. Chief Pokoit had led the Kanawoi community for over thirty years and the mention of his name sparked fear. He was known to pick the healthiest goat or sheep in every homestead he visited. The people of Kanawoi had over the years not only struggled with the impact of drought but had to keep their healthy herds even closer with the hope that they would help reproduce more healthier animals.

Emeri was Chief Pokoits’ eldest daughter from the seventh wife, being a Chiefs daughter, she was lucky enough not to have been married off early but she was also one of the most daring of Chief Pokoits’ forty children. It was easy to get lost in the midst of all those children and it was common for a father not to know all his children. Emeri had made friends with a young man in her village who was about her age or younger and together had made an oath that none of them would get married until they had enough wealth. Wealth to them meant a herd of goats and sheep and if lucky a few cows. Camels were only owned by a few such as Emeris father. The two had seen a young man taken from their village shortly after initiation while they were still very young and taken to a far off town they only knew as Kisumu. The man had returned several years later dressed in clean well pressed clothes and riding a motorcycle, the first in their village. He built his aging parents a house and dug a borehole for them, another first in the village. Every year, he would come to the village atleast once and there was always a big surprise, if he was not buying hundreds of lambs, he was buying a camel or two. That was a dream Emeri had, to be as wealthy and move to Kisumu.

Life however had different plans as shortly after Emeri turned sixteen, she found herself pregnant and Nadia was born in that small village of Kanawoi in Turkana County sometime in January of 1981. Her mother Emeri was immediately married off to Nadias father whose homestead had poor nomadic herders for generations and who raised cattle and goats for a living. Despite the challenges they faced, they were proud of their daughter-in law being that she was a Chiefs daughter and did their best to provide for her in the hope that maybe the community curse of not getting children had not caught up with her because she was a good person and she would bring good luck to the family.

Growing up in Kanawoi, Nadia was surrounded by the beauty of the savannah and the harshness of the desert. She learned the traditional ways of her people and the importance of taking care of the land and animals. However, she also saw the difficulties they faced, such as droughts and conflicts with other communities over resources.

Despite these challenges, Nadia was a bright and curious child. She loved to learn and was fascinated by the world around her. She was especially interested in science and the way things worked. She would often ask her parents and grandparents questions about the plants, the animals, and the stars. They would share their knowledge and encourage her to explore and discover for herself.

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