I met a Kenyan acrobat in Brighton. He used to work for Zippo Circus. He even showed me the pictures. Circus jobs don’t usually come with a pension. He’s old and works in construction now. He is also homeless. His British wife kicked him out he says. They have two kids. A son who is in university and a daughter that got 5 A’s in her O’levels. He’s so proud.
I asked him the last time he visited Kenya. He tells a rambling story of taking his children and step children there and showing them where he was born but he doesn’t say when it was. Before the missus kicked him out is the best guess so thats like 10 years ago. He’s been in the UK since 1992. He was born in Mombasa. He boasts of the land he has in Kenya, given to him by his fathers lineage. I ask if he has a native wife in Kenya. He pretends to look shocked.
He recalls how Tip Top Entertainment (owners/managers of Zippo) used to send him and his team to Germany, Netherlands, France etc. Its sad to see him nearly destitute. The way he insists that he is a ‘professional’ betrays the memory of a life of dreams and hopes.