Meet the Kenyan Activist- Njeri wa Migwi-Mwangi
The United States has Tamika Danielle Mallory, who has been the proponent for gun control, feminism, and the Black Lives Matter Movement. In our backyard, Kenya, we have Njeri wa Migwi-Mwangi– a feminist, femicide activist, and a voice for empowerment of the oppressed.
When activism is mentioned, people reflect on the angry and revolutionary act, and when feminism is mentioned, the world expects an angry, bitter, and frustrated woman. Initially, I would have argued against such perceptions, but why would a revolution be calm and peaceful, yet solutions are only executed when people are angry and bitter. The Kenyan activist, Njeri wa Migwi-Mwangi has been on the forefront fighting against post-election violence, femicide, gender-based violence, police brutality, and oppression of the vulnerable communities.
Njeri was raised by a single father who instigated her feminism. As she talks about her father, you can detect a tinge of pride about the man who raised her without discrimination of her gender. She was raised understanding equality and equity among boys and girls because her father never made that distinction. During the interview, she accentuated that her father was the basis of her feminism since that was the first feminist she ever looked up to. Besides being an activist, Njeri identifies as a mother, wife to one man, daughter, interior designer, and passionate about life.
On 29th December 2019, the activist Njeri and her activist affiliate Stella Kachina Busolo founded the Usikimye Organization based on their diverse passion for securing a haven for gender-abused individuals. Njeri describes her associate as someone who complements her empathy side since Stella is logical and rational; thus, she is always behind the scene checking the logistics of the activities executed by the organization.
During the ongoing police brutality in the USA, activist Njeri, activist Stella, and allies have been on the forefront participating in silent protest against the killing of young black men. They have protested against the brutal killing of the young men in Kenya following the COVID-19 lockdown that has amplified the police violence and irrationality in Kenya.
Usikimye is a non-profit organization that has campaigned against domestic violence and sexual abuse of genders. During an interview, Njeri affirmed that the rates of domestic violence have accelerated during the COVID-19 period to the extent of receiving at least five calls per night from different abused individuals. A self-funded organization has worked towards providing abused individuals with a second chance in surviving the world.
Through the goodwill of allies, Usikimye has managed to collaborate with Tunawiri towards providing people with psychological assistance where they gain counseling through certified therapists. Usikimye has collaborated with other organizations in the field to protest against the inequalities and oppression happening in Kenya. Njeri and Stella have participated in protests in both Nairobi and Kakamega against the rampant femicides happening in Kenya.
In a confab, Njeri emphasized on the importance of men being part of the conversation. Most people assume that Usikimye centers on women only, but men have alienated themselves from being part of the change in society. Men being part of the conversation guarantees that they hold their fellow perpetrators accountable for their actions and demand for a sane world that respects women as human beings.
In Kenya, Activist Njeri wa Migwi and Stella Khachina have been among the driving force of emphasizing on “Say their names” initiative after the rampant femicides and police brutality.
Usikimye has made tremendous impacts on sexual and gender abuse victims. The impacts entail empowering them by establishing businesses for them and offering them counseling services without a fee. Usikimye has been operating through well-wishers and self-funding of both Njeri and Stella. In May 2020, the organization managed to establish a shelter that acts as a safe house for abused victims. The safe house is a transitional space for the individuals before they are approved as safe and ready to start life.
Njeri’s desire and driving force entail a world where there is zero violence because every human is respected regardless of race, sexuality, religion, social status, and political affiliation. Respect creates understanding where individuals honor the difference in opinions. Therefore, a world driven with respect would result in zero violence since people hate what they do not understand, and it triggers them.
Njeri has managed to fight for the oppressed without discrimination. To most people, she has been an embodiment of safe-space and a voice for the marginalized. Each waking day, she battles with providing a safe space for abused victims and ascertains their safety. Each day, women and men blame her for trying to break their union regardless of the people contacting her first. Each moment, she has to remind herself why she started the organization and her goals towards empowering women and ascertaining their safety. As she reminisces, the journey has been challenging without external funds or human-power, but she keeps pushing because it is her passion.
As we go on about life, two humans are pushing Kenya to become a safe space for women and men alike. Each day, they get calls about rape, molestation, violence, murder, and hunger; they have to ascertain that each call is attended to. They are not funded externally, but they invest their sweat, blood, and tears towards a safe space in Kenya. They have jobs, families, and duties that demand their presence, but they have to strike a balance between their passion and priority. These women are Njeri wa Migwi-Mwangi and Stella Khachina Busolo- founder and co-founder of Usikimye Organization.
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