Omari is the custodian of Faraja Children’s Home in Ngong, Kenya – a sanctuary of healing and love that over the past several years has grown from a tin-roofed one-room shack in the slums of Nairobi into a decent-sized facility that has taken in 37 boys and girls who have been abandoned or orphaned from the street. A place of hope and peace for children who have tragically slipped through the cracks of Kenyan society. Omari’s mother, known to her charges only as “Momma”, runs the Home, and, ever the diligent son, Anthony lives at the facility and helps his mom make sure that the children are provided for with a warm bed, a hot meal, a primary school education, and medical attention when they need it. As the only adult male at the Home, he’s by default charged with ensuring the physical security and safety of all 37 kids in his care. You’d be hard-pressed to find a dude less deserving of taking machete to the face.
Late on the night of January 23, 2012, a 24 year-old Kenyan uber-hero named Anthony Omari awoke to find three gigantic dudes with machetes standing over his bed.
The second Omari snapped awake, he immediately recognized the jokers standing around him – it was the fourth time this month that the Faraja Children’s Home had been broken into, and it was at least the second time that these exact people had paid the orphans a visit in the middle of the night. I honestly have no idea what the hell people are doing breaking into an orphanage so dirt-poor that it has to struggle just to provide basic life necessities to its children, but needless to say, it probably ain’t good.
Omari shouted, and when the guys turned to see what the hell was going on, he whipped a hammer into the face of the closest guy, chucking this thing like a tomahawk and hopefully cracking him in the teeth with the claw end.The gang had seen enough. They ran for it.The next night they came back looking for revenge. And now they were all in Omari’s bedroom, carrying ferocious machetes like a horrible posse of orphan-hating Jason Voorhees.But Anthony Omari wasn’t impressed by this cowardly display of stupid behavior. In a super-scary situation that would have resulted in most rational human beings wetting the bed and then dying, he did the last fucking thing these guys expected.He reached under his bed and pulled out his thief-smashing hammer.
As soon Omari pulled out the vicious instrument of blunt-force douchebag annihilation that had wrecked their shit so hard the night before, the dude who had been on the receiving end of Omari’s 90 mph fastball of blunt force trauma immediately had post-traumatic stress disorder flashbacks and, in a knee-jerk reaction, threw his machete right at Omari’s head. Omari ducked, the machete clattering against the wall, then rolled out of bed, weapon at the ready, determined to take down three thugs with machetes at the same time and protect those orphans at all costs.
The thugs didn’t know what the hell hit them. Omari charged in, swinging hard, beating back three giant thugs with machetes. Screaming like a madman, not only to make himself more intimidating but to warn the children what was going on, Omari rushed ahead, furiously clubbing at his enemies. After a brief, intense battle, Omari somehow managed to force the intruders out of his room, down the hall, and finally sending them retreating out the front door of the Home, chasing them out into the yard.
With all three men out in the front yard, Omari continued to menace them with his weapon. Then, from behind, he heard the sounds of children crying – the kids had come to the door, and now were frightened by the battle taking place inside their home.Overcome with worry for the kids, Omari ran back to the open door, quickly trying to assure the kids that everything was alright. He turned back around just in time to see a machete swing down at his face.
In the end, Anthony Omari saved the orphans not only with his hammer, but with his incredible story of personal bravery in the face of incomprehensible danger. When word of his battle reached Ben Hardwick, a 21 year-old Penn State student working as an intern at a facility nearby, Ben came to talk to him. Impressed by the story, and further concerned for the safety of both Omari and the children, Hardwick put the dude’s story up on Reddit, asking for $2,000 in donations so Omari could build a bigger fence to keep those thugs out.
He received $65,000 in the first twenty-four hours. At last count, the total was up to $83k in donations from Blues Brothers in 46 countries, or roughly 40 times the amount requested – more than enough to build the 8-foot stone fence Omari needed, plus new beds for the kids (some of whom were just sleeping on mattresses on the floor), two full-time night security guards. For a tiny, cash-strapped orphanage in a remote part of Kenya that has spent the last decade struggling just to provide food for their children, eighty grand can go a long way.
(Photo credit – http://myhero.com/images/AP_Story/donations/g1_u101249_kenya_orphanage3.jpg)