Tuesday, 14 May 2013


As a born, bred and legally accepted patriot of my country, I would like to exercise my right to opinion and expression when conveying this article on other citizens in reference to the much concluded march 4th 2013 elections that rocked our country into submission and brought great sadness to the losers and much glee to the winners.
The elections in itself, truth be told its own strengths and challenges from the preparations, process and delivery. What with voters being educated on the new systems of government and the roles they’ll play, their rights as citizens on how to vote, different organizations promoting peace to evade another PEV (post election violence) from happening, election clerks being trained on how to use the electronic voting machines and how to aid voters who were to face challenges, the IEBC posting and conveying the winning and losing results got from each county and constituencies of the votes cast and us; the citizens of this beautiful land Kenya, waiting with bated breath to hear the winners emerging from our respective counties in the seven day period post the elections.
From my observations before and after the elections, there emerged different categories of citizens classed by the impact, techniques and performance they made and took part in as viewed on media outlets and community. These are: 1) The loyalists, 2) The followers, 3) The reformers, 4) The egocentrics, and 5) The handlers.
The loyalists are those that stood and still stand firm with their support for a political figure or newbie in politics or other whether by being partisan, have similar ideologies and views, or tribe. They are not easily swayed by the masses into crossing over to the other side; true party patriots and believers. They tend to border the radical scale when faced with apparent opposition and consider those not with them to be saddo; don’t respect them and think their behavior or ideas to be ridiculous per se. They give full support and render their services willingly for the betterment of those they’re loyal to.
The followers are those that got/are influenced based on a particular person, group or belief. They don’t necessarily have to belong to any group or movement in order to render their support, but do so for their own advantage. These are the party hoppers; whether you’re a politician or a common mwananchi; the tribalists and dependants; be it a church denomination, elder or family head. Most of them don’t want/like asking too many questions that broach the subject of deeper thinking and trust of one’s person, group or belief. And if they’re tempted out of curiosity to ask these questions, they satisfy their minds with the grandiose response meted out by their superiors without further research whether the admired party, persona will act always consistently, tactfully and sensibly.
The reformers are the citizens that promoted/made change whether great or small to improve something in the law or society itself. They strive (d) hard to make a difference and create a much better Kenya, promoting peace, equality, human rights and harmony in the country. As they say, you can’t have peace without harmony and vice versa. Martha Karua for me is one true trailblazer. She’s always been and still is a true advocate for women. And she stood tall among all men to vie for the presidential candidature. To the artists and thespians that scored the counties in the fight to promote peace also proved their worth by educating the citizens on the dangers and consequences of instigating and perpetrating violence through songs and drama. They also promoted self-worth and individual change with the quote; If I cannot be an atom in the element of change, who’s going to hear me if I don’t speak.
The egocentrics were/are those that thought highly of themselves already celebrating on a win they weren’t even sure of; those that were dealt a blow by the votes cast because they thought only of themselves and their own wants without any consideration of their people; those that thought they’d gain something from the elections but got; as a business person, consumer or dependant. Those that can’t and won’t accept defeat, even with lack of evidence to support their case; those that relied/rely on elections/campaign seasons to earn a quick buck and at the end, have nothing to show for it; those that laughed at the opposition and are now crying over their folly ways, and lastly those that boasted and demeaned their neighbors and friends and are now hiding their faces or walking in the dark so they aren’t easily seen. There’s no shame in having your views and opinions about anything as long as it doesn’t hurt a thing or person’s credibility.
Finally, the handlers, I’ve got give it to these guys. They are the brains, helping hands, security team, supporters and directors behind the scenes, they worked/work day and night with only little respite to achieve their goal. Whether it was to write speeches, protect their assigned parties, keep their beliefs and influencing others to join, managing the day to day activities and stress levels that came/come with elections and their campaigns, and posting and distributing flyers and adverts to media houses and fellow citizens; remember how you went to sleep one day and wake up the next to be bombarded with them of different candidates vying for one seat or other, yep! That was them peoples doing it. Big-up to these guys for keeping the fire burning.
These views are not to be used to incite, instigate, perpetrate and promote violence, but to render my honest opinion. Read, understand, laugh and comment, better yet tell which category befits which set of people.

Article by
Caroline Mbinda
Group 2 Alumni

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Dedication to an Aunt, Grandma, Mentor and a Mother...

Life is too short,
It's not enough,
but we must understand,
That if we live it in love and faith,
a road will be made,
For the day we pass away,
We can take it,
and wait at the end, for those who once and always loved her.

She was well known as aunty, and to others as Nyanya (Grandma) and others just called her by her name. Rachel Kaloki, a woman of a kind, she always had something to say, jokes to crack and also lots of great advise to give.

I have to say, we are deeply saddened by her sudden death. Rachel Kaloki was a board member of the RCWG and also a great mentor at that. The girls at the camp loved her and we are grateful for the overwhelming support and messages of condolences we are getting.  It is not the best way to start the year, but we really celebrate a life well lived by Ms Rachel. We will Miss her, and her great enthusiasm more so, the energy and resilience she always had.

She showed love
She showed happiness
She showed laughter
She showed disappointment if you strayed
And did not hesitate to correct.

We will always remember you as the happy beautiful woman you were,
We will miss you
But now, we must let you rest calmly
As tears roll down our eyes
You will always be in our hearts and mind
So, Dear Ms Rachel, I must go, but we’ll never forget you’re one of a kind

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Plight of African Immigrants in the West – Immigrants Culture Shock

It all began when she answered to an internet announcement.
Lolita is from Nigeria and at only 26 years of age her testimony seems almost unbelievable. Her story perfectly illustrates some of the hardships thousands of African women go through. Prostitution has reduced her to a drug addict and an alcoholic with aids pulling her into the doomed path of the grim reaper.
Prostitution among African women is snowballing in Europe. Amely-James Bela, a business school graduate, has a long history of humanitarian and community work. She has been fighting to stop the traffic of women and children for prostitution. Her book La prostitution africaine en Occident sounds an alarm on this phenomenon. Afrik-news.com has also decided to follow her example by bringing this trend to light.
“If only I knew what was in store for me here, in this crazy place, this place that so many people admire, this place they all want to come to (…) a place where we, Africans, are considered as good for nothing, slaves who are made to eat human excrement and drink their urine. Some find it normal that sick people, perverts, rich people… use their money and influence to gravely abuse other humans.
They say that we are adults and therefore consenting, but this is not true because no one asked for my consent before throwing me into this hell hole. I was forced and threatened… and if we are adults, what about the kids who find themselves in this milieu? Those people pay a lot to abuse the youngest ones. Poor people do not pay such ludicrous amounts of money for such things, simply because all their money will still not be enough to buy these…
“I am not afraid anymore”
I am disgusted and no more afraid, and by the way, who cares? My days are numbered anyway. My aids is in its final stages. They have more respect for dogs than for us. I know that not all the girls go through what I have been through. But I know what goes on in this milieu and why the girls deny all those horrendous things so as not to fall victim to their anger. Their riches give them the right over our lives… If their drugs, their aids and alcohol had not brought me to my death bed, their filth and the filth of their dogs that I was made to swallow as well as their violence would have done it anyway.
I have prayed to God to forgive me and take me back. No human being can live with what I have in my head. I only have to close my eyes for a few seconds for all the horrors to come rushing back. Everyday and every night I go through the same torture. I need someone to help me end it all, I have no energy in me to even try it. My God! I want just a moment of silence to rest. I just want it over and done with and just go, go, go…
Recruited via the Internet
My troubles began in Lagos. I came across an internet announcement, which said that a businessman was looking for women who wanted to get married for his dating agency. There were photos and stories of happy and successful marriages. Apart from the internet announcement, I also answered to announcements posted in these magazines that we find everywhere now. It all went very fast. The man contacted me and we started communicating via the Internet. He promised me things that no woman would refuse. A dream. In a matter of three months, I had every single paper needed to leave for London. He also gave me the names of persons I had to meet and everything went well. I also had to go to Benin City (a city in Nigeria, ndlr) to collect a small parcel for him. I was a bit taken aback when I realized that the little parcel he was talking about were three young boys between the ages of eight and twelve. Their passports and visas were ready. Everything was ok. I went to see a guy called “wizard” for instructions.
Our trip took us through Ghana where someone provided us with Liberian passports with which we traveled to London. This was to help us obtain refugee status with ease. We left after spending three days in a shantytown in Accra where we were hidden to “avoid being spotted by jealous people who were not as lucky as us!” hmmm… The youngest boy was gripped by fear. He cried a lot, his whole body shook and could not utter a word. His only refuge were my arms and the only moment he left my arms was to allow me to go to the bathroom…
Defenseless children
At the airport, my fiancé and the person who was to collect the children were waiting. The separation was very painful. A lot of force was needed to tear the little boy from me. I never heard of those children again. I followed this man whom I knew nothing about apart from the fact that he called himself “Bryan”. We barely got to his house when the nightmare began. First of all, he wanted us to do it right away. But I told him that I needed some time as it is not too easy to open up to someone I did not know, just like that. But his violent grip made me give in immediately. My first hours on the English soil were marked with rape and violence on somebody’s living room floor. He took a rest, drank whiskey and came back to do those horrible and painful things that I didn’t even know existed, again and again. I thought I was going to die.
I was forced to do what he wanted, I knew only him and he had kept all my papers. After sexually abusing me, he asked me to watch films in which girls were having sex with animals. He said to study what the girls were doing because I was going to do the same soon. He said that my arrival had cost him a lot of money and I was going to have to pay him back. He also said that because he is a very nice man, he would find good business and film contracts and split the money between the two of us. He gave me a little something to give me courage, but not to worry because there was a lot of money to be made. Lots of money. That little something to give me courage was, in fact, drugs. This is how, three weeks after my arrival in England, I became a bestial porn star addicted to drugs and traveling through european capitals; Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and London, my residence.
Women and animals
Once or twice a week, I was sent to film sets or individual homes to tape these nasty pornographic videos. Sometimes the master and his dogs would join in. It gave me nausea. His wife would look on, amused, while mixing herself cocktails. I took drugs and drunk before doing those scenes, because without getting high on drugs, I just couldn’t do it. These animals in me, their slaver, their hairs, their bad breathe, the scratches from their claws, while obeying their masters who would order them to go slow or use violence with me under them… I cried, I screamed, I prayed for the good lord to take me away. What was I doing? My poor mother would die if she knew. To prevent her from asking too many questions, I sent her money along with carefully staged photographs Bryan and I made.
The worst moment came was when I was made to perform oral sex on these animals. Sex with the animals were unprotected and the man told me that I was not at risk since God had made sure that animals could not impregnate humans. For years I did only that. Litres of animal sperm in my stomach. My body is so filthy that not a single child could possibly be conceived in it. One day, to spice up the scenes, the producer’s wife went and fetched puppies to suck my breasts. It was very painful because they sucked violently as there was no milk. The professionals sell these films across the world while others watch them during parties.
My family lives well and I live with aids
I have to confess that I made a lot of money. I had a house built back home and my family lives well. I pay the school fees for the young ones and I am respected and adored. My family is very proud of me because they know nothing about what I do. Out of greed, I worked more to get more money, which also meant more drugs and alcohol. Sometimes Bryan rented me out to a friend of his in the south of France, because in summer, the arrival of a number of yachts and celebrities at the côte d’azur means a big market for prostitutes and drug dealers. There are all night long orgies and they pay a lot. It is a change from the usual work and brings in a lot of money.
I think that is where I was infected with aids… and because I did not have regular medical check ups the disease was discovered too late. I was abandoned on the beaches of Saint Tropez. Bryan disappeared and changed his address. A prostitute from Poland came to my aid but since she was not able to cater for my drug needs as well as all she was doing for me, she introduced me to an African girl who was also involved in the same line of work, who introduced me to an association that takes care of African women with aids…
My disease is in its terminal stage. I won’t live past thirty. My body is covered with leeches, I am a drug addict, anorexic, alcoholic… I still work as a prostitute, but I am careful not to put my clients, who know nothing about my situation, at risk. I do it to help me buy drugs and alcohol. I take those things to speed things up, you know, my death. The images torture me and it is like a poison killing me in small doses. It is the worst kind of death. I regret so much for coming to Europe. Back home, I would be healthy, married and by now a mother…”

Saturday, 5 January 2013


Before I came to Germany,I had the mentality that every one at home has about any 1st world country. Luckily for me, I am not just a young African woman but an empowered one for that matter thanks to the Resource Center for Women and Girls. However, I still held the mentality that life in Europe or outside Africa is a paradise. Before I came here, I attended a Mentoring and Development camp organized by the Resource Center, a camp with my sisters. I remember one of the sessions where everyone was asked what they would like to study and I rushed to say I wanted to study medicine because I thought that being in Germany everything would work out just fine on its own. I thought it was just by saying a word and everything was done. Being here for two months, I now know what it means to want to study in a foreign country as a foreigner. Things aren't as easy here as I had assumed. With the values I learned at the camp, I feel privileged because at the camp I learned many things that are keeping me going and making my world a bit easier. I pursue excellence in all I do, which means I have less problems with my employer, some things we were taught at the camp and I never really understood how they would assist us later in the future, I am now seeing their very great significance in the life I am currently leading. It is at the camp where I learned eating a healthy diet, importance of sports, table manners, and most of all I benefited when I went to apply for my visa. I wasn't so good in German but I walked upright with confidence like I knew I was the right woman for this chance. Of course I got a visa because I had this special opportunity that the other girls didn't have, which was attending the Resource Center camp. In Germany, it is a bit different. Gender discrimination isn't there, there are benefits in Europe that as a woman one is able to enjoy but despite that, there are also disadvantages which come with being a foreigner. If only people knew it needs sacrifice and putting up a fight to make it. I currently need 8000 euros to study but I cant say it is impossible, which brings me back to the camp again. We were taught to always have a plan A,B and if possible a plan C. It is a different world here, everything costs money, my parents are not here to rely on, there are this dubious men who are waiting for young African women to introduce them into prostitution or even drug trafficking. It is a struggle but it is all living with caution and if someone hasn't been lucky like me to attend a camp and get empowered and mentored as a young African woman, it can be a sea full of sadness and regrets.
This goes out to all young sisters coming here, and who want to come here, do not think its a paradise, or think that anything good comes your way without putting up hard work, determination and most of all, upholding your values.

Article by
Sylvia Nthoki 
Alumni of the Resource Center for Women and Girls in Germany.