Hello and welcome back! I hope you have been fine and are taking care of yourself  more so your mental health. We are back with another post updating you on what we discussed at our last forum recently on 24th November. As usual we were at the YWCA HQ from two pm. in line with the #16 days of activism , we were discussing intimate partner abuse in a bid to try and understand what causes all these and what can be done to stop it.

The forum started with the usual pleasantries and icebreakers as we sought to know one another before delving into the day’s topic. Emcee ‘Enigma’ was at it again; navigating the difficult conversation with humour and enviable ease. He started by asking the audience what they understood by the words ‘intimate’, ‘partner’ and ‘abuse’ and finally the phrase ‘intimate partner abuse’. It was a very insightful session of listening to one another express their views or anecdotes of violent experiences in such a safe space.  For one, everyone seemed to have their own views as to what the topic meant but as the conversation progressed, we seemed to agree more or less that violence of any kind is wrong.

For most part of the forum, we seemed to talk about violence predominantly against women for various reasons which mainly revolved around misleading beliefs about women in a patriarchal society such as “I have to hit her so that she can respect me” etc., but we also broke the ice on the issue of violence against men. This was not discussed in hush tones as is common but rather we gave a voice to the voiceless.

Needless to say it was a very interesting conversation that almost ate into the time meant for the panel discussion. A certain lady from the audience performed a spoken word piece that ushered us into the next session for the panel discussion. Our very able panelists took over guiding the audience into understanding really what the day’s topic is all about and answering various questions. What I understood is that there are different forms of abuse such as emotional, verbal , physical, psychological and sexual. Intimate partner abuse is whereby someone you are close to and trust violates you in either of the ways stated above and for no other reason but the fact that they want to exert their power on you. Abuse normally takes different forms and one may not be able to see it at first but the panelists urged us that we should always speak up about abuse against us or people we may know are going through it.

After the insightful session, we had various music and spoken word performances on the issue and thereafter we unwinded to some refreshments, took pictures and networked. As we all left for home, the conversation still continues on social media and if you missed the event, as the future holds more of these, kindly don’t forget to make a date.

love and light 🙂


YWCA- Nairobi was the place to be on Saturday September 15th ,2018 whereby we marked three years and a month since the forum started back in 2015. It was an afternoon of pomp and colour, as we gathered to unwind to art and laughter and celebrate the milestones the forum has accomplished so far.
SEMA-Mapenzi Bila Chuki or ‘Speak Out -Love without Hate’ is a program started by the Kenya Gender Based Violence Partnership (KGBVP) as an initiative to respond and break the cycle of gender-based violence in Kenya. They run various programs such as Advocacy and Activism, Bringing vital services to the community and Mentorship and awareness raising. SEMA-ANIKA forum is the product of the partnership between Sema and Anika (an art based youth led organisation) and every month since August 2015 they have been creating safe spaces for young people to come together and discuss issues affecting them while coming up with creative solutions for them.
‘Sema- Anika’ has been running a mental health awareness series from 2017 whereby we would have discussions with panelists around various topics on mental health such as depression, self love, eating disorders and so on. Therefore as we celebrated our three years anniversary, what better way to mark the day while structuring our conversations on what our perceptions of ‘love’ are.
At two in the afternoon, the forum started with discussions on the day’s theme which was “what does love mean to me?” It was well-moderated evoking diffrent answers from the audience. Some said it meant a parent’s love, others were of the view that the love of God was the feeling they could relate to , some related love to the one their significant others offered and so on. Needless to say, we were unable to come to a conclusive definition as to what love really is seeing as everyone had their own conflicting views. All in all, we were able to agree that love is pure,kind, does not fear and it leads to other great values. To conclude the discussion, we had various performances centered on the theme of love. These included poetry, music performances, spoken word , dances and so on. These artistes were able to create awareness on what love meant to them while offering a smooth transition from a discussion to the next segment which was rather|fun.
We started off with ‘charades’ , a game whereby miming is used to help the audience figure out what you mean. It was an engaging session of light competition among teams A,B and C. The games continued for almost an hour before we switched to performances at five . There was rap from Larry, a spoken word piece from Mercy , Enigma, Desmond just but to name a few. Thereafter a few speeches were offered in regards to the three year anniversary celebrations. Finally we celbrated the birthday of a memebr of tthe Anika fraternity simultaneously with the forum’s anniversary . It was a light moment that ignited excitement from the audience since “who doesnt love them a black forest cake topped with oreos and strawberries?”. As we indulged our tastebuds in happiness, we could not help but hope for a better season . For what the future holds in store for the new chapter of ‘sema anika forum’. We reflected on better and deeper conversations on topics whisphered of along dimy lit corridors. See the thing is we agreed that with this milestone comes the power to collectively use our voices to speak on what needs to be spoken about.
At around seven p.m refreshments were served as people socialised , took pictures and left at their own pleasure.

SDG 3. Health in Kenya…a circus show?

There is this tap at the corner of Kenyatta National Hospital compound. It drips water.One droplet at a time, like clock work.You could stare at it all day and count how many drops of water have taken that birth. Beneath it is a concrete floor. More like one slab of concrete just for support as you fetch your water. It has a depression on it. Right in the middle where the water tenaciously hits. Soon, it will give has too. The water will keep at it until there is a hole right through the slab.

A few yards away, a woman cries. Silently. Bitterly. Like her dignity was thrown to the dogs. Her tears, they too drip to the ground. They too form a depression in the soil. They too are salty, just like the water in that tap at the corner. But the ground. It drinks her tears up with the thirst of Kalahari desert sand. Drinks them like they are a much awaited dose of nourishment.

See, her son was diagnosed with cancer. Yes. His 15 year old liver is dieng, slowly and its taking him too. It was stage 2 cancer just last month. Now its stage 4.

“Kwa nini? mbona imeharakisha hivo?”, she rants at the doctor with a bitterness that knows no challenge. This doctor. Smug guy. He just walks away.there is nothing more he can do. The boy is going to die. A week,maximum, is the time he has left.

As she cries there, she couldn’t help but wonder; she has paid all her taxes, paid all her health insurance to a fault, and yet,here she is. The mother of a dieing son. A son who has missed 5 of his chemotherapy sessions because,and I quote, “madam! Machine inafanyiwa maintenance.kuja next week.ama umpeleke India.”

Three months ago, she was just an ordinary Kenyan single mother with a son in his teens. She would hear that the doctors had strikes because of pay and it didn’t bother her. She would read in papers that the ministry of health lost 5 billion shillings overnight and she would think to herself,”greedy fools!” Right now? She wants to march to the ministry. Strip naked right in front of the permanent secretary’s office and demand an explanation.

“5 billion…that money could buy two chemotherapy machines!what in the world would one person do with all that money?”, she thinks in abject pain.


Is it, truly, one person? Is just one person capable of doing all that harm? A few hundred kilometers away in a remote village in rural nyanza, a dispensary lacks drugs. A few hundred patients haven’t received their ARV treatments. The area MP argues that he only constructed the dispensary, that stocking it is the central governments job. The central government is quiet.

Away from the politics of health. There is stigma. A trail of myths and misconceptions about any and every disease stretching from here all the way to Timbuktu and back.

Are you indifferent about health care? Are you aware and alert of what the state of healthcare in the country is? Or are you waiting until you are a victim of it all so that you can act?

He didn’t choose to have cancer at 15 just like she didn’t choose to be shedding her tears at the waiting bench outside the hospital.

That tap. Remember it? Someone tampered with it. Someone neglected its dripping. Just like us younguns. Victims of a sketchy system.

What will we do about it?

Join us this Saturday the 20th of may as we discuss the state of health in our country. Its happening all around us. We cannot afford to be pawns.let’s have a candid discussion.

Where?  YWCA headquarters along Nyerere road next to the UAE embassy

Time? 1:30pm to 5 pm

Requirements? none at all…just come ready to be entertained and have  a candid discussion on the state of health as a sustainable development goal.

The Phoenix…

Growing up; i remember these guys who came to homes knocking door to door asking for coca cola company glass bottles. I would dash to the cupboard and pick two of the five bottles inside and pour the remaining paraffin into one of the remaining three…in exchange he would give me ten shillings for each of the bottles with which i would buy patco! Those were the days.

but this post isn’t about an old guy who has nothing better to do with his time than coerce young lads to pick bottles from inside the house for a small fee.”baba…ntakupatia ten bob ukiniletea chupa” and we kids weren’t as soft as young Turks today. we had chores for sure but no allowances. so that ten shilling coin he whispered into your ear as a promise was always a sweet nothing that beguilled you to the possibilities of being the big fish…the big kahuna during school break the next day. Nostalgia.

and those bottles. ever wondered how they felt? i mean if they were human that is. how much would it break them (no pun intended) if they realized that at any one point in time they were either  as good as the  soft drink inside them or the ten shilling coin that got whispered into some 5year old ear as a promise. what if they knew that their purpose will always be to be filled and emptied…tagged and bagged…named and renamed. on and on and on until for some reason they just break and are swept away like debris.

now imagine we have living breathing human beings who have lived lives far worse than such a bottle.imagine that unlike such a bottle, someone somewhere has been treated so badly that they doubt whether there are any humans with humanity in them. someone somewhere has been told that they were a mistake and should never have been born. that they are the result of a moments pleasure and should have lived only for a moment just like the pleasure they were a by product of.

i tell you this not because i have been through such a horrific experience. no. i tell you this because i know one who has. and you wouldn’t know.

she looks like a well sought after pearl. like the gold people in western go deep into the ground to get their hands on. she looks like the elixir of an exotic disease with only a single cure…her.

you see her smile and immediately she has your attention, not just because she is gorgeous or intelligent but because in that moment you realize that never again have you seen a more sincere curve of the human lips.

she has tasted the very bitter of herbs that life has had to offer. she has been making lemonade with life’s lemon since she could talk and the only reason her affection is sincere is because she is deep fellowship with God and she knows how bad rejection and pain can be so every time she has the chance she will always be positive and nudge you to the positive direction.

growing up she was told she would never amount to anything that she would be a failure of epic proportions. she was chased from places she had come to called home by those she called family one too many times. she was abused ridiculed and bullied.


she wines and dines with the greatest among her peers. now she speaks for the disenfranchised because she understands what its like to be in the gutter with no hope for the living day lights of tomorrow


she is the  incoming president of the Law Students Society of Kenya (L.S.S.K.)

 Founder World Young Women Council(W.Y.W.C)

The Country Director MentorMe_Africa. She’s currently pursuing Law as a 3rd year Law Student at Strathmore Law School. She bears a strong passion for nurturing and mentoring Youth and Women Leaders and as a result has offered talks and facilitated training on leadership and mentor-ship in over 30 institutions in Kenya.

She has been featured on several media platforms including print and TV as an opinion shaper and inspirational youth leader in Kenya. This year, she was honored as Top 5 Under 25 Most Promising Young Women in Kenya.

it is her life experiences that have shaped her perspective of life and given her valuable nuggets of wisdom to share among her peers.


her name is Ruth Ambogo and she is not a cocacola bottle…she is a fine bottle of wine that has matured to well deserved God given Greatness. She graced our forum on Emotional Abuse and talked to us about her life story and how she was able to overcome all the emotional abuse that came her way over the entire span of her early childhoodlife all the way to campus. it was lit…we had fun…we were inspired…we grew.


 now she is the phoenix that rises from the dust and conquers the world.

The boy Child…his predicament…and how lit the forum was…

i am a man…has that sunk? no?

lets try that again… I-AM-A-M-A-N…now? yes? okay…that said. i will go on to say that we are a weird lot! i mean yes women are complex and all that other gibberish ….but we…we are down right weird. and for a simple intensively mediocre reason too.

sample this…

so a guy will pass by the bar to take one for the road (make that four…) with the boys…talking about how he is the man at home…how his wife cows at the day he will fly off the handle. we work so hard to maintain a fleeting heir of bravado and macho-ism before the boys. see…this goes on for a bit up until one day will taking a few more bottles his wife comes breathing fire on him right there in front of his boys and drags his sorry self out of that joint a shadow of his earlier macho en-semblance…

now that example is relate-able to…may be because you have seen something similar on tv screens in commercials, movies and sitcoms.

but here’s the thing…did you know that that kind of thing actually does happen? did you know that over the past few decades the number of men being physically and sexually abused is almost staggeringly equal to that of women experiencing abuse (a 10% difference as of 2010). men are weird because they never report these cases.

what for? and be ridiculed by society? report for who? so that i can be called a wuss?

on saturday the 16th day of July we held a forum at the Creatives Garage along ngong road and discussed ( with very reasonable discourse) how much this problem is affecting men and boys and the general boy child faction as a whole.

now…let me be abit boring and give you learned folk afew facts…

Fact 1.

“men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available. In 2006-07 men made up 43.4% of all those who had suffered partner abuse in the previous year, which rose to 45.5% in 2007-08 but fell to 37.7% in 2008-09.” (source:

and because i am not boring like that…i will splash a few pictures here and there just to keep you posted on how lit the forum was…kapish? okay!


her name is Nimo..she works at Gender Violence Recovery Center Nairobi Womens Hospital. A psychologist by proffession and she specifically handles GBV against and on men and boys….i think she is cute 🙂

Fact 2.
‘abused men’ are constrained from occupying the position of victim and are consequently denied the compassion and support available to ‘abused women’.

Dr Simon Josolyne
Clinical Psychologist
Domestic violence is usually portrayed as a problem for women at the hands of men. This is not always the case as men can be victims too, very often female on male violence is ignored or just not taken seriously.
Dobash and Dobash (2000) in Hester et al (2007) claim that women who are violent
to men is often as a result of self defense after years of violence at the hands of their
partners. This being the usual belief puts men off reporting abuse for fear of not
being believed so more often than not men suffer in silence rather than have their
indignity exposed resulting in being emasculated and humiliated.
By Suzanne Baines.
now…that will be all…

Because he was (not) Man enough…

his eyes gazed at the setting sun in the hill cased horizon. Orange and red. like a wild fire was consuming the hillside. “beautiful…” he murmured to himself as he blew up a puff of smoke from his mouth. in his hand is the dieing end of what was his last limited edition Cuban cigar . ‘red…’ he thought to himself and smiled. a color that resonated so ironically well with the state of his life.

sunset anika

tears stung his eyes as his gaze continued to be transfixed on the reddish orange haze of the setting sun. and like new born streams in a desolate dry land his tears set themselves free.he wept bitterly…loudly….without the macho en semblance and male bravado he was well known for. and when he was done weeping…when no more tears could fill his red eyes…he took his silver Jesse James rifle and rubbed it against his linen trouser…bracing himself for the events that will follow. and as if to say goodbye he gazed at the now dark horizon one last time…a thin line of orange light stretched the entire mountain range…gracefully diminishing with the passing time carrying with it the remains of the embers of hope that that lit up his eyes.

with a single choke of pain and fear and adrenaline…he put the muzzle in his mouth , heaved heavily and …….

his name was Abbi. he was eulogized as a free spirit…a seeker of adventure…the only son of his now depressed rich and famous mother.

such Chivalry…

abbi was once calm, cool…collected even. his was a childhood that lacked nothing save for the presence of a father.

one day during school he was made fun of…that he was a mamas boy…that he was a wuss…that he couldn’t do anything for himself without his mother…that he was not a man…that he will never become one…he was five years old then and if he could reminisce and soul search…he would find out that that was the day he died inside. his young and impressionable mind learnt that to be a man was to be aggressive…that a man took what he wanted when he wanted it…that a man did not need the help of a woman…that a woman was low and just a means to an end…

it is with this mindset that Abbi grew to become the ruthless capitalist he was and eventually the billionaire he was at the time of his death….a lifetime of stepping on the toes of so many and the bad wishes and bitter painful words of those he had hurt with his feigned masculinity hang over him like a noose.

in the end…all he had was his miserable self  a cigar and the muzzle of his high end rifle…and his life came to an end by his own hand.


Join Us on Saturday the 21st of May 2016 as we demystify the slow cancer that is Negative masculinity…..come let us have a candid discussion laced with poetry and music and snacks…

negative masculinity (2)

Hero #1. Ombui Stella Maris

“the chatter of a man with ashed skin was thick in the African sphere of village politics and discussions. a decade or so had only just elapsed since the white-man had set foot on the Kenyan shores of Mombasa. years later they had infiltrated the regions that they  found fertile within the flourishing borders of what we now call Kenya. Kisii highlands were high up on the list of such fertile habitable places…” Stella went on and on to explain the events that transpired a few years before she was even born.

she recalls the story of her birth as it was told to her by her mother one too many times over the dieing embers of charred wood which had ,only an hour or so ago, cooked them an evening meal.

her name is Stella Maris Ombui and she was born in winter of 1962.she will never go down history for winning a Nobel prize or discovering the cure to a deadly disease. in the eyes of society she will never measure up  to the stature of women like Wangari Maathai or Cleopatra or Hildegard of Bingen. all her childhood she was brought up in  the backdrop of poverty. her mother, a staunch Catholic, brought her up with the bible in her right hand and the rosary in her left. she grew to be prayerful, obedient and patient.


years went by and she has morphed into woman hood gracefully. she has seen it all. the loss of her parents. the rejection of kin and in-laws. the death and burial of a first, second and third child.

One time she told me that when i was born, she had to sell bananas she had just plucked from the farm to buy me medication.she told me that if ever she had seen a glimmer of hope for a better tomorrow it was in my eyes. that each time she would hold me and i would look her in the eye and smile, even in the middle of adversity, poverty and hunger; she lived for the smile i gave her each day.

she is my friend. my mother. my hero.

she has taught me that a man can be gentle. should be gentle. that a man should listen. that he should pray. that a man not surrendered to the will of God cannot harness the love of a submissive wife. she has taught me that a man is only truly a warrior when he is gentle.that my story is not mine to story is not truly mine unless it brings a smile on a wounded soul.

she has taught me that the weight of all my troubles, pain, tribulations and worries is at its very least when i am on my knees seeking the face of a God who lives in unbounded worship.

” my son…in the few years i have lived thus far…one choice i never regret having made was following and seeking God from the very vibrancy of my youth”

i remember this one time when i was on midterm in form two and she sat me down and said something that stuck to date…”the purity of your youth is a treasure in your old age that cannot be compared to anything, gold or otherwise…but the sins of your youth will mock you and your descendants to the forth generation even unto death and beyond…i will not be able to make your choices for you anymore than i am able to bathe you but know this… that you cannot afford to assume that you are young and have enough time to fool around…”

she, together with my father, has molded me one day at a time into a responsible citizen, a caring brother to two sisters and a future spouse to someone.

and isn’t that what  the world needs? good people…molded to the finest fiber of humane humanity?

she is now fifty three years old . the grey hairs on the sides of her scalp are proof of the years folded under her chin. her eyes have a steady gaze about them that seems to recount how much history they have seen repeat itself.

My name is Robbin Omeka and Ombui Stella Maris is my friend. My mother. My hero.




Hail Queen 1/1

Sheila Mwaniki

Sometimes greatness does not mean big screens, fancy life and cars, but the little things one does to impact lives around them. We hardly recognize those type of women in our lives that ensure that every small detail is catered for,  that mama mboga on the street, that lady cobbler, that tailor, that writer, that nurse and doctor. This month as we celebrate  our women,  Our first highlight is to recognize our local women, the entrepreneurs and the women who have grown from pain to glory.

Our first highlight goes to Sheila Mwaniki, a woman who has fought life against all odds, she has survived through  thick and thin and has never at any point let her past define her success, she is now an African jeweler designer at TRM mall Thika Road, and a Lawyer…

Sheila is a christian woman who believes that God is the center of everything, she tells us that success is one step at a time, her life story moves masses as she reveals more about her.

Click on the link to know more about her journey.











whats up with your stereo(type)?

spacer.gifdearly beloved… we are gathered here today to pay our last respects to…

pause right there…hold on to that thought…for a bit, just enough for us to paint the picture

by definition, a stereotype is a thought that can be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things. These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality.

my name is not important. but you can call me James. i believe i am a wonderful human being and that my thought processes are the most sober in the globe. for instance…

i believe prostitution is a heinous act and anybody practicing it should be abused.i mean…i do it all the time. i always make sure i leave her my coins and a thorough beating.( pssssst…..this one time…i beat one up….i thought she died.)

me? oh there is nothing wrong with me! its up to me to teach those prostitutes that theirs is a filthy profession. and i will do so till i breath no more…

hello…my name is Joyce…i am deeply in love with my boyfriend. i have wanted to leave him for so long but i just love him too much. see good men are hard to find and i know he is good. i mean…he brings me flowers and buys me stuff and holds my hand and beats up anyone who tries to “hurt” me. sure he beats me up too, but for a valid reason. like this one time…i gave him a blue mug instead of his favorite yellow mug. or this other time i left the lights on and went to work till evening…life in town is hard you know…you have to save as much as you can. i think i deserved what came to me. and in any case, isn’t a relationship about perseverance? isn’t it for better or for worse too…like marriage? right?

hey you…my name is grey but you can call me G. and i am gods gift to all women. i mean…how can y’ll ladies not want a piece of this sugar? i have this friend though…lets call him jack. jack has a girl for a best friend and he expects me to believe that elephants can fly and they are not sleeping together?

how? that’s insane! leave me in a room with a girl in a room for five minutes and i will pimp her out homie!

hi…my name is Jack. my best friend is called Jane and NO…we do not sleep together…and NO I AM NOT GAY! its just that simple.

hello world…you can call me ‘D’. that’s short for Dee or Diva. (depending on how much we know each other). I am the prettiest little thing on earth and i believe i am Gods gift to men because i am beautiful and gorgeous and if you do not find me jaw dropping attractive then you have a serious problem that needs fast and efficient medical attention! You all should-be lining up to pay this beautiful work of art homage. i don’t cook, clean or do dishes. i am pretty. period! that should be enough.its more than you bargained for.

hello…my name is society.i have been in existence for…give or take…a few hundred years. i have been approving and disapproving women here and there for a very long time and i believe that i have the relevant experience that it takes to qualify or disqualify a woman. first and foremost… any woman who does not aspire for marriage is automatically an outcast and should be treated and handled as such and with extreme prejudice. its really not rocket science.

i also believe all men are the same and all women are to be protected. how would anyone in their right senses allude to the notion that a woman ( as fragile as she is) could do anything to hurt a man? only women can be raped. only men have the rigidity of thought to commit such a heinous act as rape. that said… all men are perpetrators and only women can be victims.Case closed!


Join us this Saturday 27th February at the creatives Garage off ngong road along Kirichwa road the first black gate on your left on the first  right hand turn opposite light girls academy  as we serve you with a cocktail of performances whilst wespacer demystify these and other stereotypes that hang dangerously so  over our heads….

the discussion starts at 2pm and ends at 6pm.


son of the soil…

it has been said by those that say and written by those that write that a true son of his mother land is one who identifies himself with the very soil from whence he sprung.

that a man tied to his roots is a man who will bleed for his roots. such is a man who stands for what he believes in and seldom waivers from his resolve.

we bring you Mr. Muthukia Wachira.


In his own right , he is a visual artist. with a mastery of its own he uses still images and video to express himself  and mirror what his artistic eyes see in society.

you will find him at events covering photography and video with such meticulous detail and bottomless passion and zeal.and when he is not behind the lens doing a photo or video shoot or portrait photographs you will definitely find him at Kenyatta University where he studies.

come and meet up with Mr. Wachira and the entire team at our focus based forums.