Recently, we took time to listen to one of our clients, Hamisi, who applied for his Identity Card and got it in December. The following is his story, and we wind up with his progress post-documentation


Meet Abdulrahim Hamisi, now a recognized Kenyan citizen, with documentation. At 20 years old, Hamisi makes a living through selling towels. Hamisi wanted to apply for an ID because he wanted to prove he was Kenyan and he considered the future and issues such as marriage, child birth certificate and getting work was fully dependent on him getting his identification.

He began applying for his Identification in August 2019. When Hamisi came to Nubian Rights Forum, he was assisted by our paralegals, specifically Omar Hamisi. He began applying for his Birth certificate in 2019, which is hard considering his age. After minimal delays, he finally managed to get it in 2020. When he began applying for his ID he faced a few challenges because due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some offices were unoccupied. During the ID application process, he was also sent back as he did not have his parents documents and therefore it he was sent back to collect the IDs and fill forms.

In his opinion, the constant back and forth in the registration offices was tiresome, at least if it was clear to citizens what was necessary during identification and documentation, then there would be a lot of improvement on time management. The issues of laxity in government offices also needed to be solved especially following of time regulations and serving citizens especially in giving instructions or information on the needed documents on time. Hamisi felt the impact of the difference in treatment for people from different ethnic groups especially requests for extra documents and the vetting process. While they government may find it necessary, it important they also consider factors such as tertiary education, employment opportunities and harassment from the police that people  without documentation are subjected to. The COVID-19 pandemic also proved challenging as it delayed the whole process, however, this can be a learning point for offices on how to be ready for emergency situations.

While his documentation journey was extremely short, the key lesson he learnt was to be patient, and not giving up especially when one knows their nationality is legitimate. He also emphasized it is important to seek the documents early to avoid cases of questioning on the delays in acquiring the documents. We look forward to hearing more of such success stories.






please seek these documents early, they are extremely important, yet stressful to acquire when you are older (Hamisi, makes a living selling towels at Toi Market)


Post – documentation

After getting his Identity card in December, Hamisi had managed to register for a simcard using his own identification and will no longer have to rely on his sister for help. He has begun his passport application, and soon, he hopes to open a bank account where he can make smart, and strategic financial decisions. From Hamisi’s journey, it is clear just how much documentation opens academic, financial and social doors for an individual. He can now pursue anything he wants without the fearing the outcome for lack of documentation.

(Photography credits – Omar Hamisi)