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The coastal town of Mombasa is politically famous more than any other coastal town. In fact, anyone across the country may quickly identify Mombasa county governor and fail to recognize Kwale or Kilifi county governor. The other coastal towns attract more tourists than Mombasa itself. It remains a transit point because of the port and its reputation.

Apart from the old fort-Jesus and prominent tusks around Moi Avenue (What are they even famous for?), you will notice that Mombasa thrives on the success of other mushrooming towns like Mtwapa and Ukunda. There is a lot of nice things to talk about Mombasa. But let us look at other smaller cities.

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On Friday humid afternoon in Ukunda, young and old are heading towards the usual meeting point. Volleyball, football and recently introduced rugby. Perhaps due to the growing Kenya national sevens team on the world stage.

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Others worked hard in the gym. At least everyone was busy this time because the youth along the coastal strip have had a reputation.

 Drugs, alcohol abuse and all sorts of uncultured behavior. At a place like this, you will find them. Seated at the edge and huge cloud of smoke was rising up into the skies. They are smoking something. Perhaps to psych them up for the rest of the day.

The smoke was quite massive a sign of “fire.” I thought that several people were smoking. To my amazement, there was only one man in that corner.

I move closer and realize I knew the man. He was my high school chaplain in my days, and he worked as an interpreter at the local evangelical church, which also managed the school. We were meeting for the first time in four years. I had joined college far off in Nyanza, and this was my long holiday season.

He packed a motorcycle next to him and a sack of miraa by his side. He looked high on something else. He was not the man I knew because his work in high school was to guide to make sure we did not mess up our lives.

I tried to inquire from friends, and I was he left the church long ago, and he owns several motorbikes. He was living well but not the standard I had envisioned he would be now.

Drugs, prostitution and illegal trade have caught up with youths, but when role models give in to these vices, it becomes difficult for the government of the day to deal with it.

Recent statistics indicate that most youth infected with HIV as between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. It has raised concern even from the statehouse. It remains a prerogative of the parents to ensure their children are growing up to be responsible citizens.