My work and life revolves around mentoring, coaching and empowering boys and young people through reading, creative writing, film and music. I grew up wanting to do this.
Here’s what they have to say.
I met James in 2014, when he was teaching girls about their value as women and as people. He has made tremendous sacrifices to do the work that God has called him to do. I have met few people who have such a heart for those who are in difficult situations, and I believe there are big things ahead for him with working with children in prison and other seemingly hopeless places.
I also recommend James as a writer. His writing inspires and encourages people to do the small things that matter and transform lives.
I got coached to perform Random Acts of kindness. We were in a mission, preaching at a crusade in Baragoi, Samburu County Kenya when James got his sewing kit and started sewing buttons on some of children’s clothes at the crusade grounds. Wow! I was humbled. He sewed buttons and torn shirts throughout the mission. His action was an eye opener and helped me to learn two things.
One is not to think that I’ve nothing to help, but use the available resources to make lives better. Two is that I always have something to give to the person next to me, everyone is valuable. With that we agreed to work together to make a huge difference in peoples’ lives, especially children, youth and their parents.
I know a good man when I see one! I can boldly say that James is a good man. He is kind-hearted, likeable and able to find humour during the most difficult of times. His ability to use writing, pictures and music enables and empowers a person to have the courage to pursue their goals and dreams in life.
I met James after he had just quit his job to focus on his writing and mentoring boys in juvenile prison. Much as he was facing lots of challenges and had to stay with a friend, he had a positive outlook towards his future and the boys in juvenile prison. His writing sparked my creativity and passion for writing. He also made me realize the importance of little acts of kindness such as shaving boys in prison, sewing buttons and taking time to encourage and pint someone towards their desired goal and dream. I highly recommend him as a coach and writer.
I met James, for the first time in 2012, when he was working as a TV producer at KBC. The first special thing I noticed was the way he handled the children I had gathered to meet him. He asked the head boy to choose between him recording a TV program or having a long term character development program.
Because our children chose the second option, James decided to start coming to Five Star Academy. It is through working with James that Lifesong Kenya came in. James is leaving a permanent mark in the lives of our children. I vividly remember a session where James used a story entitled Turkana Finds Her Treasure. It was a mind blowing story. It taught my kids a lot; from creativity in composition writing to discovering their personal treasures and potential in life.
Since then, our young boys and girls have developed an attitude of working hard despite their challenges and limitations. I fully recommend James as a mentor and a coach.
Juvenile prison mentoring program
Diamond (not his real name)
My name is Diamond. I met James when I was 17 years old. I come from a humble family. This part of my life is better known to people who are closest to me, that is, my family. I know it sounds like a cliché when I say everything happens for a reason. But that is what I think going to prison was to me.
I was accused of breaking into my neighbour’s house and stealing a TV, DVD player, speaker and an iron box. After getting arrested I was taken to the police station and later arraigned in court and taken to the remand prison. I totally felt out of place and the odd one out. I almost took the wrong path due to the company I had.
Now I can live to tell that a stitch in time saves nine. In this case the stitch in time was James and his colleague, Doc. They visited us several times with the good news, Bible, and motivational speeches about living a purposeful life. Indeed it was the best thing that happened to me when I was inside the prison. They also brought us tissue paper, soap, toothpaste, cut our hair and encouraged us to go back to school.
Through all that, I was later released on bond after my parents raised the money. Because James genuinely cared about me, I was able to leave prison a stronger person. I have hope that one day my God will come through and I will achieve my dreams and goals.
I am a mother of three, Patience, Joy and Diamond. A few years ago, a misunderstanding between our neighbour and us resulted into Diamond being taken to juvenile prison where he met James.
My son’s imprisonment affected as a lot since we had to use all the money we had to bail Diamond out of prison. As a result, we were locked out of our house. James stood with our family after meeting Diamond in juvenile prison. He supported us through regular visits, praying and encouraging us. His mentorship with Diamond changed my son into a determined young man who wants to do the best in life.