The Art of Resilience

KShs 1,200

About The Author

Sylvester Otieno

Sylvester Otieno

Sylvester Otieno is a graphic designer, artist and a
businessman. He is now rebuilding his life and is in
modes of adaptation. He loves with his wife Lucy and
their five children in Dagoretti, Nairobi.

On December 19, 1998, 22-year-old Sylvester Otieno sat in a Nairobi awaiting the verdict in his robbery with violence trial.
Dazed by unjust arrest, conviction, and detention—as well as the distress imposed by coerced tortures in police cells, he
maintained his innocence throughout the trial. But the judge entered the courtroom and declared him guilty.
Sylvester was sentenced to three years, which he served.

Today, after years of imprisonment, Sylvester is still facing a gut-wrenching twist. A question remains: when an innocent
person is deprived of liberty because of a wrongful conviction, regardless of fault, doesn’t the government has a responsibility
to do all it can to foster that person’s re-entry in order to help restore some sense of justice?

But that is the least of Sylvester’s worries at the moment. He is a man suffering and healing in reintegration, coping and
adapting in the threshold of prolonged trauma and resultant personality changes and disruptions. Wrongful imprisonment
is traumatizing and disorienting because imprisonment itself is traumatizing and disorienting. The effects of wrongful
imprisonment was especially devastating for his family, and strengthening coping skills is an uphill task. This book narrates
how he had to wear a thick skin in the psychological sequelae of wrongful imprisonment and how society shunned and
stigmatised him. He nonetheless has managed this array of unbearable hardships with tremendous strength and


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