Angel Wanjiru, a 14-year-old Kenyan girl with congenital hydrocephalus, is encouraging people to pursue their dreams, even if they are a little different.
When she was born, doctors told Wanjiru’s mother she would be disabled. But that didn’t happen. In fact, she has lived a relatively normal life, even releasing in 2016 her first song, titled “I Want to Know” because she used to ask her mom a lot of questions.
One of the questions she often asked her mom was, “Why is it when I pass, people laugh at me?”
Eventually, through the power of faith and music, Wanjiru learned to ignore those who make fun of her, because in her words, “What else can you do?”
“To the kids who are disabled,” Wanjiru said, “accept yourself just as you were created, and no matter what, if people laugh at you, don’t rely on them so much, because they are not the ones who created you. It is God. So you accept yourself and never give up.”
In July, Wanjuri’s mother, former BBC presenter Ann Ngugi, told Ghafla Kenya her “dream” is to see her teenage daughter “stand strong on her own, even when I am not there, and never allow anyone to point fingers at her, telling her she is different.”
Ngugi said watching Wanjuri grow up has been a learning process for her, too. She said she’s had to learn “to respect her space and the kind of girl she is growing to be,” giving her the freedom to “talk and express herself.”
“I don’t want to be this kind of a mother who always assigns. It has been great because she understands she is different from other kids,” she explained. “When we go out to mentor people, she is able to express herself very well.”