Brave Young Obby


A deaf mute... and the family breadwinner at eight years old. This boy has just been discovered by our Hope School for the Deaf in Monze.

Obby Nkausu lives in a small village called Uligonkeezya on a steep part of the Zambezi valley. He is ten years old, he and has three young brothers and one elder sister but no parents. He was eight when he lost both of them.

For any young child, this would be awful. No relatives from either side would volunteer to look after Obby and his brothers and sister, although the relatives were quick to claim the possessions of the dead father. (This, we are told, is a local custom)

The children were left all on their own - it was a situation beyond description to watch as these orphans laboured in extreme heat to make ends meet. Even the milk from their father's animals had gone as the animals were taken by his relatives.

Obby, being the eldest boy in the family was now the bread-winner. But this was even more difficult than you can imagine because he is deaf and dumb. Society looked at him as a mentally sick boy who was going round villages begging for food. People got fed up of him and were no longer interested in him. It was a situation so unbearable for Obby as he was not able to raise anything for home.

As the situation got worse Obby's grandmother decided to look after the children. But this old woman is believed to be in her late 80s, and is in no position to support herself, so the family is barely surviving on wild fruits. But it is encouraging that she is so eager to see Obby learn so that he can look after his brothers and sisters. Whatever little money she gets she would rather have it spent on Obby's education than anything else.

Obby himself is also determined to learn. He has just been enrolled for grade one at Southern Hope School for the Deaf, and as he is a very intelligent boy, we are sure he will put in his best to get the best.