Renowned actress and commercial model Jackie Vike alias Awinja has opened up about her childhood in Majengo slums, Nairobi, and how the neighborhood destroyed her self-esteem. In a recent interview with Engage Talk, Awinja who is famously known for her role in the local TV drama show, Papa Shirandula, narrated how she struggled to fit in her neighborhood.
“When you have confidence, there is nothing you cannot do. And that is something I never had based on the neighborhood I was brought up in,” confessed Awinja.
According to her, it was deemed abnormal to live a straight life in the slums where criminal activities and negative peer pressure were the order of the day. It is for this reason, that she developed extreme self-esteem issues as she chose a different path from her peers who mostly ended up dead or raising children as single mothers.
“That area crushed my self-esteem. But it was mostly contributed to by the lifestyle people had. If you led a straight life, you looked abnormal. If you were a girl and had no thug for a boyfriend, you were considered a fool. Most girls that I grew up with ended up being single mothers because most of them, their baby daddies were thieves and so they left them with kids. Others were shot, others faced the wrath of mob justice so those things really hurt my feelings,” narrated Awinja.
Despite wishing to have had a better childhood, the actress who also suffered a bigger blow in her quest to live a better life following the death of her father, who was their breadwinner, said she could not blame her parents for not affording a better lifestyle.