Happy International Women’s Day For Rediet Tekeste; In Memory of That Great Person On International Women’s Day.

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Pics as Rediet Tekeste -- LEFT -- of the Street Health sleeping bag exchange, hands sleeping bag to homeless man, Rob, 35 -- RIGHT -- in basement of All Saints Friendship Centre. In background is Street Health's Robert Kawulia, who sorts dirty bags brought in for cleaning. Also pics of man Patrick, 33, leaving centre with clean sleeping bag slung over shoulder. (Photo by Jim Wilkes/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

When I first met Rediet in 1995 she asked me when was the last time I saw my mother because I was always talking about my mother and she figured I loved my mom. Then I told her seven years ago. She said you are going to see her now. I didn’t even have a passport so she took me to take pictures and go to the passport office.

Rediet made sure I was travelling home to see my mother and my family. That is how I got home in 1995 and the political situation was okay so exiles like us could come back home it was tricky but Rediet pushed me there for my mother.

In 1995 when I arrived home it was about midnight and then me and my friends who drove me there went to pay homage to my father’s grave who died when I was away.

My mother comes out out and is in shock to see me because those days we did not have cell phones. My sisters were astonished because they said I just showed up after 7 years and almost gave my mother a heart attack at midnight.

And then me and Rediet had a great relationship and we brought up a brilliant kid together who is now 26 years old.

The amazing thing is that when the boy was 5 years old, his grandmother wanted to see him. So the boy and I went home in 2002 and he was five years old. It was heavy election time in Kenya. Rediet was pressured why she was allowing a 5-year-old to travel to a foreign country with his father. She said if Adongo cannot take care of his son who can he take care of? She told them the boy is okay with his dad and his grandmother who wants him home.

I will always remember that.

And the boy had a great time with his grandmother and his entire family.

They are friends till now.

Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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