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Ruth Kamande

Paralegal: lang'ata women's prison

The name that I prefer to be known as, especially in my written poems and songs is ‘Biggie Kamande’. I have been in prison for almost three years and I miss my freedom. Three interesting things about myself: I am a poet (I can write and recite), I can compose songs and sing, I love writing short fictional stories. Before live behind bars, I was working with the Horizon Contact Centre for Airtel Kenya in the visa card department along Mombasa Road.

I am a trained paralegal through APP - I’m actually glad to have been given such an opportunity to acquire basic legal aid. Initially, I really did not know how the law worked or what the court required of me. But now that I have been given this knowledge, I am even able to help my fellow inmates with their cases. Especially the ones without advocates.

I am in a good position to draft cross-examination questions, defences, submissions and even mitigations. Through this skill offered to me by the APP, I have had success stories. My favourite one is of Lydia Wanjiku who was charged with the possession of a narcotic drug. I helped her with her case by drafting a defence for her whereby she got a non custodial sentence of four months. With all the advice we shared together, I believe that she is making use of her freedom.

Three most important things that I would like to achieve when I’m out of prison are to be a motivational speaker, I want to be able to record songs, and I would love to continue helping inmates all over the world with their cases especially the less fortunate.

A piece of advice I would give to anyone is based on echoing Robert Sharma’s father who said “son, when you were born, the world rejoiced whilst you cried, live a life that when you are gone, the world will cry while you rejoice”.

A little more about me is that my favourite music is rock - my favourite artist is Adam Lambert and my favourite song of his is “What You Want From Me”. I miss eating pizza, it was my favourite. I love reading novels, my favourites are ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ and ‘The Rule of Four’. I miss my older brother whose demise came as a surprise in 2017. It’s been really difficult to experience especially being here in prison, I never got a chance to say goodbye to him… But I am glad to be a member of APP family because Sir McLean and the rest were here for me. It’s a family that I will forever want to be part of. When I totally thought that I’d had lost hope and didn’t want to live anymore, APP restored my hope and showed me how to live a life behind bars. It’s a family that I will forever be grateful to.