Poet, 10, from the slums of Nairobi enthralls crowd in New York City with tearful words

With the spotlight shining down on her 4-foot-something frame, 10-year-old Eunice Akoth stepped into character.

“Every mighty king was once a crying baby!

Every great tree was once a tiny seed!

Every tall building was once in paper!

And so I dream my dream!” she yelled.

Taking wide, confident strides across the stage, and punctuating every other word with a fist pump, Eunice captivated the audience at theWomen In The World Summit on Friday. Her declaration was a response to her life growing up in Kibera, Africa’s largest urban slum, sprawling across Nairobi, Kenya.

“Most of the kids in Kibera are raped, some are neglected by their parents, some are homeless,” she said, fighting back tears after the performance. “Most of them have dreams, but they don’t know how they can achieve them, so I had to write a poem that tells them that they can achieve their dreams.”