Florette Iratanze reads her first Bible
Florette iratanze is a jolly six-year-old girl from Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana West. She is a nursery school pupil at a primary school situated at the refugee camp and an active participant of the Bible Stories Alive (Hadithi Hai) who readily corrects other children who make mistakes on air. She listens to the program in a group of many other children who call to give answers to questions that we ask during the live segment after broadcasting the recorded program.
Papa Tiyena one of Atoo Sifa’s very faithful and active listeners ensures that Florette and other children are tuned in to the Bible Stories Alive program every Saturday morning. He coordinates a group of more than ten children to listen to the program plus ensures he has enough airtime on his phone for the children to call the station. The children are refugees from the neighboring countries including Burundi, Rwanda and Congo among others. They sit on benches in an old tin restaurant famously known in the area as “Hoteli ya mama” (Mama’s Hotel) which his wife runs.
Thankfully, there are usually not very many patrons at the restaurant in the early morning and whoever comes gets in quietly, looks for unoccupied space mostly to sip tea and eat mandazi (local food) and is forced to watch and listen to the happy children either talking on the phone or attentively listening to the program.
The program goes on air from 8:05 am- 9:00 am with the pre-recorded segment airing between 8:05 am to 8:20 am after which Reginah Mwanza, the Atoo Sifa radio live presenter introduces the questions and opens the channel for children's live participation.
It is in one of the Hadithi Hai listening sessions that Florette gave the correct answer to the main question of the day and also sang a chorus on her own. The correct answer won her a Swahili Bible. She later came to collect her prize, accompanied by her mum and dad who brought her on a motorbike. Florette’s parents are refugees who fled from Burundi in 2015. They say Florette loves singing very much. Her father is a minister of the Word of God and says he would love to see Florette become a great gospel music artist one day. This is besides her dream career of being a nurse, something they have been praying about as a family.
Florette Iratanze and her father
Florette was very excited to have a Bible of her own. “This bible is a symbol of a new beginning, a great foundation to Forette’s life’’, concluded her father.
by Reginah Mwanza, ATTO SIFA 90.7FM