On Viatu Africa’s Facebook page you will find messages extolling faith and belief; ‘’Jesus we exalt you, your love is so amazing.” You will be forgiven for thinking that Viatu Africa is a Christian faith group. It’s not. Karol Tunduli started this initiative in January 2012 and is our first local hero for 2013! He shares his story with Two Feet Project
My name is Karol Tunduli. I was born in southern Nyanza Province, in the late 90s my family moved to western Kenya. I began my music career in 2001 singing in a local church with a group, which was known as Christiannaires. The group had four singles, one being Yesu akupenda. The song did well on the local charts bringing me to the limelight.
My life as a Christian brought seemingly unbearable serving of loss, heartache, despair, fear, pain, struggle and suffering but God taught me how to smile through it all.
Apart from music I am the founder and president of Viatu Africa, a shoe for the shoeless project. The idea came about during a visit to western Kenya, in a small village called Netima in Bungoma County. I watched my son of 3years play with other kids from the village and I noticed that all the other kids didn’t have shoes, and it just made me feel so sad that something as basic as shoes is such a luxury in some parts of Kenya. I knew I had to help children get shoes on their feet. Many diseases have been prevented by vaccine, education, improved hygiene and research, yet they still spread, sometimes the remedy is as simple as owning a pair of shoes!
Everything I do, I do under the direction of my beliefs, for I am a man of God. I have always been involved in community endeavors and with some friends we have worked with various projects for children, such as sponsoring the Good Shepherd Children Centre in Nairobi. Running charitable ministries is not easy, you always need funds, and so my partners and I in Viatu Africa Kenya have to organize events to drum up support.
We have done events in homes like Nyumbani Children’s home, mobilizing people to give food and cloths. We have done some work in kibera slums and built toilets for bethel children’s home in katwikere slums. Last year we threw a big Christmas party for many HIV infected kids in Nairobi.
However Viatu Africa still struggles to get shoes. Recently I have become aware of the need to be more in the public eye, we are currently relying onwell-wishers to donate their children’s old shoes on Facebook, but this isn’t yielding results as fast as we would like. We are rethinking our strategy and asking for help and ideas on how we can take this to the next level. Our dream is to spread this dream across Africa, providing children with shoes.
I will soon have to make a choice. This won’t take off if our attention is split, to me success is nourishing others by looking at how you can improve their backgrounds, and I believe that I will succeed.
Karol Tunduli is a born again Christian who is involved in charity work and is also a Christian music artist, a TEMA Samaritan Awards winner in 2007 and a safaricom hero 2013.He possess an IT diploma from Kenyatta university and a theological studies degree from springs bible school in Nakuru.