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The wife who ‘had head shaved for refusing to dance’

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A Pakistani woman has publicly accused her husband of beating her and shaving her head for refusing to dance for him and his friends, in a case that has raised new concerns about women’s safety in the country.

Asma Aziz, from Lahore, made headlines when she published a shocking video on social media showing her shaven head and bruised face.

Her husband, Mian Faisal, and a servant are both in police custody. Mr Faisal has denied torture.

However, the case has prompted calls for more to be done to protect women from domestic violence.

In a tweet, Amnesty International said “systemic change” was necessary.

In her video posted on 26 March, an emotional Ms Aziz alleged that two days earlier she was tortured after refusing to dance in front of her husband’s friends who were at their house in Lahore’s upmarket Defence Housing Authority (DHA) district.

“He took my clothes off in front of his servants. The servants held me as he shaved my hair off and burned it. My clothes were bloody. I was bound by a pipe and hung from the fan. He threatened to hang me naked,” she said.

She said she went to the police to file a complaint but they procrastinated – the police deny the allegation, saying that immediately after Ms Aziz’s visit to the police station a team was dispatched to her residence but it was found locked and the DHA management prevented them from entering the premises.

Police acted only after the video came to the notice of Deputy Minister for Interior, Sheheryar Afridi, who ordered officers to register a complaint.

Mr Faisal and the servant, Rashid Ali, were

arrested the following day. A preliminary medical report found multiple bruises, swelling and redness on Ms Aziz’s arms, cheeks and around her left eye.

Ms Aziz’s lawyers later pleaded that the case be tried under the stricter anti-terrorism law instead of the usual criminal procedure.

In papers filed to the Lahore police on Wednesday, the lawyers argued that the case had caused “wider restlessness and anxiety in society”.

Mr Faisal told the police last week that his wife had started cutting her hair under the influence of drugs, and that he, having also taken drugs, only helped her finish the job.

The case caused a furore on social media, with many voicing their anger at domestic violence in Pakistan.

Pakistani actress and singer Sanam Saeed was among those who spoke out in defence of Ms Aziz.

Women’s rights in socially conservative Pakistan has been a contentious topic of debate for years.

The UN’s Gender Inequality Index in 2016 puts Pakistan 147th in a list of 188 countries based on its poor record on women’s health, education, political empowerment and economic status.

Violence against women and girls remains a serious issue. Activists say official statistics do not reveal the extent of the problem – many cases go unreported.

Women’s Day marches last month brought complaints from some conservative groups. Some of the protest organisers said they received death and rape threats on social media.

source:nation.co.ke

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Diaspora

Kenyan Cultural Ambassador Emmy Kosgei lands in Atlanta for Majuu 2019 Festival

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Social media was abuzz Thursday after word went out that Kenyan celebrated gospel artiste Emmy Kosgei had landed at Atlanta’s  Hartsfied Jackson International Airport for the Atlanta Majuu Cultural festival 2019.

The musician is expected to make several performances at the Cobb Civic Centre in Marietta, Georgia, where this year’s extravaganza will be held.

On arrival, she posted the following message on Instagram:

Yaaay #atlantamajuuculturalExpo 2019 #ATLANTA#GA see you this friday 26th thru sunday the 28th! Celebrating our heritage and diversity#bringingculturealive #fashion #food #music#cobbciviccentre

The event, which  is organised by the Kenyan American Community Church, has been billed as an exceptional expo featuring a myriad Kenyan-African inter-cultures, and will also be graced by Kenya’s ambassador to the United States, Robinson Njeru Githae, among other dignitaries.

It coincides with 20 years anniversary of the Church.

KACC has, through such events in the past, added to the cultural tapestry that shapes the American Society which is increasingly becoming multicultural.

This year’s fete, the biggest since inception, is expected to pull thousands of guests, including other musicians from around the US.

Emmy Kosgei-Madubuko is best known for her 2009 hit song, Taunet Nelel, among many others.

“We are so excited to have her with us,” said Timothy Ndegwa, the KACC administrative secretary and proprietor of Mykenyanlink, an online platform which seeks to connect Kenyan entrepreneurs around the world. “This will be a weekend to remember as we shall also be having Gospel music stars like Wamuyu and Naomi Karanja,” he added.

“KACC has been promoting and supporting other Kenya Diaspora communities in celebrating their cultural heritage with great pride and enthusiasm,” wrote the head of the Church, Rev Dr GG Gitahi, on the Festival’s website.

For the last twelve years, the church has, through various cultural events, with great passion nurtured and celebrated cultural diversity that is exhibited in the rich Kenya-African culture.

However, Majuu festival was launched in 2015.

 There will also be – among other activities – traditional dances, children and youth cultural fashion shows, booths and huts showcasing Kenyan diverse ethnic groups’ cultures and traditions.

A poster announcing the 2019 Atlanta Majuu Cultural Festival. FILE PHOTO

“The festival seeks to inform, educate, inspire and entertain those in attendance even as it mesmerizes those who will be experiencing the Kenyan African Culture for the first time,” said Dr Gitahi.”

The event runs through Sunday night after which some of those in attendance will go on a 7 day cruise which will take them to The Bahamas and back.

We have many visitors from Kenya and around the world, said Catherine Njogu one of the event coordinators.

Other events include; Running with the champions, and a golf tournament.

Here is part of the program:

Run With A Kenyan Champion
Venue: Barrett Summitt
Address: 1990 Vaughn Rd NW,
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Date: Saturday, April 27th, 2019
***Volunteers report at 5AM
***Runners report at 6AM
1K Starts at 7:00AM Promptly
5K Starts at 7:30AM Promptly

Golf Tournament
Venue: Creekside Golf & Country Club
Address: 591 Westchester Club Dr
Hiram, GA. 30141
Date: Saturday, April 27th, 2019
Time: 10:00AM-3:00PM

Atlanta Majuu
Venue: Cobb County Civic Center
Address: 548 South Marietta Pkwy SE,
Marietta, GA 30060
Date: Friday 26th, Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th

For a full schedule of this weekend’s events, check the church’s website.

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Africa

Mum of multiple quadruplets struggles to provide for 38 kids

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Mariam Nabatanzi gave birth to twins a year after she was married off at the age of 12. Five more sets of twins followed – along with four sets of triplets and five sets of quadruplets.

Three years ago, however, the 39-year-old Ugandan was abandoned by her husband, leaving her to support their surviving 38 children alone.It was just the latest setback in a life marred by tragedy for Nabatanzi, who lives with her children in four cramped houses made of cement blocks and topped with corrugated iron in a village surrounded by coffee fields 50 km (31 miles) north of Kampala.

After her first sets of twins were born, Nabatanzi went to a doctor who told her she had unusually large ovaries. He advised her that birth control like pills might cause health problems.So the children kept coming.Family sizes are at their largest in Africa.

In Uganda, the fertility rate averages out at 5.6 children per woman, one of the continent’s highest, and more than double the global average of 2.4 children, according to the World Bank.But even in Uganda, the size of Nabatanzi’s family makes her an extreme outlier.

Her last pregnancy, two and a half years ago, had complications. It was her sixth set of twins and one of them died in childbirth, her sixth child to die.Then her husband – often absent for long stretches – abandoned her. His name is now a family curse. Nabatanzi refers to him using an expletive.“I have grown up in tears, my man has passed me through a lot of suffering,” she said during an interview at her home, hands clasped as her eyes welled up.

“All my time has been spent looking after my children and working to earn some money.”Desperate for cash, Nabatanzi turns a hand to everything: hairdressing, event decorating, collecting and selling scrap metal, brewing local gin and selling herbal medicine.

The money is swallowed up by food, medical care, clothing and school fees.On a grimy wall in one room of her home hang proud portraits of some of her children graduating from school, gold tinsel around their necks

.“Mum is overwhelmed, the work is crushing her, we help where we can, like in cooking and washing, but she still carries the whole burden for the family. I feel for her,” said her eldest child Ivan Kibuka, 23, who had to drop out of secondary school when the money ran out.

TRAGIC STORY

Nabatanzi’s desire for a large family has its roots in tragedy.Three days after she was born, Nabatanzi’s mother abandoned the family: her father, the newborn girl and her five siblings. “She just left us,” said Nabatanzi sombrely, as some of her ragged children played on the dirt floor while others did chores.

After her father remarried, her stepmother poisoned the five older children with crushed glass mixed in their food.

They all died. Nabatanzi escaped because she was visiting a relative, she says. “I was seven years old then, too young to even understand what death actually meant. I was told by relatives what had happened,” she said.She grew up wanting to have six children to rebuild her shattered family.

Providing a home for 38 children is a constant challenge.

Twelve of the children sleep on metal bunk beds with thin mattresses in one small room with grime-caked walls. In the other rooms, lucky children pile onto shared mattresses while the others sleep on the dirt floor.Older children help look after the young ones and everyone helps with chores like cooking.

A single day can require 25 kilograms of maize flour, Nabatanzi says. Fish or meat are rare treats.A roster on a small wooden board nailed to a wall spells out washing or cooking duties.

“On Saturday we all work together,” it reads.Having endured such a hard childhood herself, Nabatanzi’s greatest wish now is for her children to be happy.“I started taking on adult responsibilities at an early stage,” she said. “I have not had joy, I think, since I was born.”

source:standard.co.ke

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Cyclone Kenneth to be felt in Nairobi, Coast spared

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Kenya’s capital Nairobi is one of the regions set to feel the impact of cyclone Kenneth, a devastating strong wind expected to sweep through parts of Tanzania and Mozambique from Thursday.A statement from Kenya Meteorological Department indicates that Nairobi alongside other counties will feel the impact though such will be in forms of rain-not strong winds.

“We may experience the effects of the cyclone in the form of enhanced rainfall over parts of Isiolo, Western Kenya, Samburu and including Nairobi. Stay with us for updates as the cyclone evolves,” statement reads

However, the weather forecast body has alleviated fears that the cyclone may hit the Kenyan Coast. It adds: “It is false that cyclone Kenneth will hit the Kenyan Coast. By the laws of physics, Cyclones cannot come this close to the equator. Landfall will be northern Mozambique as shown in the satellite image.”

Relief

The Meteorological Department said that the current rains will ease the biting drought in dry areas.It noted: “There is like hood of the heavy rainfall between 25th -30th April 2019 in parts of Isiolo, Samburu, Narok, Kajiado, Trans Nzoia and Nairobi counties which may cause flooding in some parts of the low –lying areas in these counties.

”Yesterday, Accuweather warned that the cyclone would sweep southern parts of Indian Ocean stretching from Tanzania all the way to Mozambique.

“Landfall of Kenneth could occur as early as midday Thursday near the border of Tanzania and Mozambique. If Kenneth tracks slower and has more time to strengthen, landfall may not occur until Thursday night,” read the Accuweather report.

The French national meteorological service, French Meteo, on Tuesday rated Cyclone Kenneth as a moderate tropical storm.The new cyclone is set to smack the Indian Ocean just over a month after Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe killing over 1,002, injuring 2,513 people and displacing several others.

source:standardmedia.co.ke

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