The sun rose softly over the bustling streets of Kampala, but in the heart of the city, a different kind of warmth radiated: the unwavering spirit of Shabani Chani. With an unassuming smile and a heart brimming with empathy, Shabani, a Congolese teenager, embodies resilience, kindness, and an unrelenting desire to make a difference.
In a heart-to-heart conversation with Fablstyle, Shabani paints a vivid picture of his experiences and aspirations. “Helping people has always been my passion,” he confides, his voice resonating with unwavering determination. His dream, however ambitious, is simple at its core—to alleviate the suffering of homeless children, to nurture their minds and bodies, and to pave a path to a brighter tomorrow.
Join Shabani Chani on his quest. Let his story ignite the flame of compassion within us. Together, let’s support his “Feed a Homeless Kid” project. Each act of kindness, each contribution, is a step towards ensuring that every child finds warmth, nourishment, and hope.
FAB: Tell us about yourself and your project in Uganda.
Shabani Chani: First of all, I’m from Congo. I have been in Uganda for six years now. The first time I came here, I went to the refugee camp, and I was there for four years. I came to Kampala after four years. What I found when I came to Kampala was wild. It really hurt my heart. Since childhood, helping people has always been my passion. I’m doing these things because I’m in love with helping people. I always loved to help. When I came here, it was my first time in life to see kids begging for food on the street. I cried. To help, you don’t need to be a wealthy person; you just need to show love. I started by helping at least one or two children daily. I tried all I could to make sure I fed them. Within one year, there were too many of them, and I couldn’t afford it by myself anymore.
To help, you don’t need to be a wealthy person; you just need to show love.Shabani Chani
I came up with the idea to use social media platforms. I felt that it would help to get more visibility and support to be able to feed more kids. My target was just to be able to feed about one hundred kids and also to see if I could create a centre, a foundation, and an orphanage. That was my thought: to see if I could serve them more out of the streets, to be able to give them food every day. I thought the best option would be to create something like an organisation or an orphanage; maybe they can be saved forever. This means that they get to eat good food daily and get an education while in the orphanage. So, that’s how I started. It’s been one year since I started using the internet and one year since I started posting things about what I do.
FAB: How old are you? You mentioned that you did not go to school and that you self-taught.
Shabani Chani: I am eighteen now.
FAB: What brought you from the Congo to Uganda?
Shabani Chani: I came to Uganda as a refugee due to the constant conflicts in the Congo. I came here for peace. I went to the refugee camp, and it got me inspired by a lot of things. Ohhhhh! I saw things I had never seen in my life. People were struggling. There was no pure water or good food. The good thing is that for me, everywhere I go, if I see something bad, I always ask myself if it’s possible to solve the problem or end it. The camp is called Nakivale Refugee Camp. I started helping people, and I have some videos for it. I was helping old people. Particularly, I was helping them with some food. I had the grace to come to Uganda, to find work.
In Nakivale Camp, there’s no future. I came to Uganda to find work, so I could also help my family and more people. I always had the dream to have many orphanages around the world and to travel around the world helping people. Already, I understand that it’s a mission God sent me to do. When I came here for work and I did not find one, I was struggling. I met one of my friends, and he connected me to a restaurant where I started working. Where I worked, they saw that I was a good person, and that gave me the grace to earn more money. I was able to bring my family here, and when they came, I saw that I was able to feed the street kids. That’s how I started.
FAB: You have “No Pain, No Gain” on your WhatsApp. Do you want to talk about that?
Shabani Chani: Those words have always been with me. I love to watch and read motivational things. I had a hard life, and I didn’t have the chance to go to school, but I thank God for giving me the grace to learn some languages fast. Even though I did not go to school, I can read and I can write. That’s grace. When I was growing, I was growing with pain in me. Sometimes I would believe myself, and sometimes I would worry so much about my future and other people. I always thought that if I got successful, many people would also become successful.
When I started watching motivational content, I came across the saying “no pain, no gain,” and it really touched me. Since that day, the word has been in my heart. Every single day, before I go out, I say it. I charge myself like I’m a soldier. That’s how I start my day. I can’t start my day without saying, “No pain, no gain.”
FAB: When you think about the wars in various parts of the world and the ongoing things, what comes to mind? Especially as someone who has been directly touched by the impact of war.
Shabani Chani: I was thinking about Palestine and Gaza. Many people are crying right now, and it’s very hard to understand. We can see many innocent people getting hurt. All the images of war I have seen in the Congo push me to work so hard. It opens my eyes to see what I have to do. There is a place in the Congo called Goma with so many orphans right now. There are so many of them, and they are struggling right now. If I had the means, I would save and feed them every single day, but for now, I have nothing. It all gives me the power to see how I can progress and how I can work hard. It makes me feel positive. Also, it motivates me to do something. I keep moving. They always say to keep moving, no matter what. If we wait, it means that nothing will be possible. We have to remain positive. Every bad thing should make us strong.
FAB: As a survivor of war, what would be your message to fellow humans when it comes to war?
Shabani Chani: War makes you believe that you’re going to die first and that there’s no way to survive when the war comes. When the wars come, you always think that you’re going to die. No one is able to think of surviving. It’s very different from other forms of struggle. When war comes, it’s different. You don’t see tomorrow. That’s why it hurts me to see innocent kids. They are innocent; they know nothing about the war. I don’t know how I can express my feelings right now for those kids. Kids lose their families and have to grow without their parents. War scatters everyone.
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