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Marya Raburu returns to church months after losing child



Marya Prude, the wife of Willis Raburu on Sunday returned to church months after making remarks that she had ‘given up on God’. The fashion designer was previously known to be a staunch Christian and believer, but after suffering the loss of their unborn baby Adana, her faith wavered.

The heartbroken couple faced their pain in the harsh glare of the public and even took a break from their careers to get away.

“Today was my first time to attend church in a long time. Walked in and my eyes just welled up with tears, I missed being among brethren, praising and worshiping together. I had an amazing time,” she wrote.

Her church attendance comes days after she posted a heartwarming photo beaming and smiling. Fans and well-wishers were quick to notice that she appeared to be doing better.

“She is smiling again, ahsante Jehovah!” wrote Esther Kalekye.

“Beautiful, keep smiling,” wrote Sharon Sewerei.

“Keep smiling darling for the joy of the Lord is your strength,” wrote a user identified as Joy.

I don’t know God

During the couple’s darkest times, the Citizen TV presenter’s wife had emotionally taken to social media to express her devastation.

“Everyone is so quick to tell me about God… What they don’t know is that every way I knew Him was tested and He didn’t prove Himself. So as they say you should know God for yourself, I now can say, I don’t know Him. And I don’t think I want to know him coz He left me when I needed him the most,” wrote a hurt Marya.

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“I used to take some things for granted like walking with a bounce on your step and having a good day or a good night’s sleep, or having the ability to smile without feeling guilty.

“These are the pages of my life, I am a creative, so to heal, sometimes I have to write and I have to share because that’s just how I know how to deal with. If I don’t, then I close myself and I can sink into depression and angst can take over,” said Raburu in a series of Instagram posts.

Raburu and Marya tied the knot in 2017 in a lavish ceremony attended by their close family and friends after months of keeping their relationship under wraps.


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Stigmatised and disowned young mothers find solace



When Sharon Muhonja, 26 got into her first relationship at the age of 16, she thought it was going to be all roses and petals.

She thought she was in love, but the love story turned out to be a short story.

She then vowed to never fall in love again after breaking up with her first boyfriend.

She laughs when she recalls that vow because two years later, she was back at it. She met another man and started dating.

This time round, the plot thickened. A few chapters into the story and the least expected happened.

During the course of the relationship, Muhonja travelled to the Kenyan Coast for music festivals as she was quite active in music club.

When she came back, she and missed her periods for two months, she assumed that she had been affected by the change of climate change following her trip.

A few days later, she went for a date with her boyfriend. “Upon arriving at the hotel, I almost fainted. I couldn’t handle the aromas of different foods. They weren’t pleasant,” she narrates.

She felt nauseated by the smell of food, especially onions and it’s at that point that she diagnosed herself with malaria.

At the back of her mind, however, pregnancy was also a possibility. She shared her fears with her friend, who then cried with her before agreeing to save up for a pregnancy test kit.

They eventually bought the kit and planned to test the following Monday. As fear would have it, they postponed for four days.

Eventually, when Muhonja took the test, it turned positive. She informed her mother, who was surprisingly calm and collected when receiving the news.

She encouraged and assured her that everything would be fine. When she broke the news to her father, he was in disbelief at first.

“He kept hoping that it was a nightmare, but eventually he accepted and even gave me advice on the dos and don’ts of pregnancy,” she remembers.

Then the worst happened. When she informed her boyfriend about it, he said he wasn’t ready to be a father and suggested that she aborts.

“He suggested that I abort and when I refused, he hurled insults at me and my mother, saying I was to blame for the pregnancy.” He moved on.

Muhonja was born in Githurai and raised in Kawangware. Her father was a pastor and her mother a casual labourer.

Growing up, her mother always talked to her and her brother about relationships. She encouraged them to ask questions and even bring people they deemed worthy of dating home for “a cup of tea”.

Muhonja was also well-equipped on matters sex education by her peers, who had been trained as counsellors.

Besides, she was among the brightest students in her community and it was obvious she was destined for greatness.

Pregnancy at the age of 18 was thus least expected by those around her.

For Sharon Amondi, 24, she describes her journey to motherhood as originating from a “silly idea”.

In 2014 and at 19, she joined campus to study Actuarial Science. In January the same year, she met a colleague and their friendship blossomed into a relationship.

They both wanted their love to last, and last it did. “He was to travel abroad for studies and so we had a casual talk about having a baby so he could come back home to a family after completing his studies,” she recalls.

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While she wasn’t necessarily trying to execute that idea, she missed her periods along the way.

Like every other girl, she assumed that her periods were irregular. A few days later, she decided to visit a local hospital for a pregnancy test, which turned out positive.

When she broke the news to her partner, he surprisingly took it positively. “He even had a name for the child,” says Amondi.

Unlike Muhonja, Amondi hadn’t received much education about sex and reproductive health.

Growing up, she was never the type to get into trouble and, therefore, everyone assumed she had everything under control.

Even more surprising, no one noticed she was pregnant until seven and a half months later.

Her mother had been unwell and bedridden most of the time and Amondi took up the role of a caregiver from time to time.

Her father travelled most of the time as his job demanded so. Besides, her pregnancy mirrored her calm demeanour by lacking significant symptoms, hence making it difficult to detect.

According to a United Nations Population Fund report, about a quarter of women in Kenya give birth by the age of 18.

And by the age of 20, half of the population of women has given birth. The rates of teenage pregnancies are especially high at the age of 19, where 40 per cent are either pregnant or have given birth.

Early pregnancies pose several challenges not only to women but also to the development of a country.

For instance, young girls face the danger of dropping out of school once they get pregnant due to financial constraints.

Other times, stringent policies by both secondary schools and universities make it difficult for girls to continue with their education once they get pregnant.

Secondary schools, for instance, have had a culture of expelling pregnant girls while public universities deny students who deliver affordable accommodation within the institutions.

When such girls are rejected by schools, the society and sometimes family members, it’s easier to find themselves in abusive relationships.

Both Amondi and Muhonja had to deal with these realities when they delivered their babies, as they were both in their first year of campus.

“I had to leave my one-month-old baby with my parents in order to continue with my studies,” says Muhonja.

This was the most affordable option compared to renting a private hostel in campus and hiring a nanny to look after her baby while she attended classes.

She was determined to complete her studies regardless of the circumstances. Interestingly, she had been on sponsorship throughout her primary and secondary education as she was a bright student.

However, when she got pregnant, her sponsors withdrew support. Luckily, her parents continued to offer the support she needed.

As for Amondi, continuing with her studies meant making sacrifices. “I went back to school three weeks after delivery,” she says.

She didn’t have the luxury of taking a three months’ break to bond and take care of her little boy as most women do.

Life had to go on at a fast pace if she was to keep up with her classmates. As expected, motherhood at such a young age was going to take a toll on the two.

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Muhonja was hit hard by post-partum depression, and the naysayers couldn’t let her breathe.

Being a pastor’s daughter, the society judged her harshly. She notes that she became the laughing stock as everyone either talked in hushed tones behind her back or openly mocked her for giving birth at a young age.

At one point, she collapsed in class for pushing herself too hard. She was eager to prove to herself, her family and other women that it was possible to make it despite the circumstances.

She, therefore, took up extra singing jobs with bands in Eldoret to make money while juggling motherhood with classes.

Amondi also dealt with the same kind of stigma. “People had invented eight fathers for my child since they didn’t know him. It was hurtful to hear all the gossip and shaming especially from people I worshipped with at the church,” she recalls.

While parents and friends offered the much needed support to these two, there are certain things they had to deal with alone.

“Even though my partner was supportive, there are things he couldn’t understand like staying up at night or dealing with diaper rash,” confesses Amondi.

Sometimes her classmates would make fun of her for coming to class late, not understanding that she had to breastfeed or pass by the clinic.

Muhonja says as a young mother, she yearned to talk about her problems freely without feeling judged or misunderstood.

It is for this reason that she formed the Young Mothers Association in 2014 while still at Moi University.

The association provided a platform for young mothers to share their problems, and receive support from its partners. She started with 142 members, both mothers and non-mothers.

Moreen Nkatha, 28, was a beneficiary of the association during her time in Moi University.

Nkatha got pregnant at 22 while in her second year. She had a supportive partner and luckily, she was a beneficiary of Helb loan.

Supporting her child financially was therefore not a major concern. But she had other fears and unspoken concerns before joining the association.

For instance, she was raised by her grandparents, who had high hopes in her, especially after joining university.

Her mother had given birth to her at a very young age and that’s why she had to stay under the care of her grandparents.

Her father was an absentee, who openly declared his unpreparedness to be a dad. She had never met him.

When she delivered, she was afraid that history was repeating itself and her fate would be similar to her mother’s.

She wanted to talk about these fears with the right people. She also needed to be around people who understood the invisible challenges such as missing classes due to fatigue.

“During the earlier stages of the pregnancy, attending classes was tough because of morning sickness,” she narrates.

Therefore, the association offered an avenue to share these experiences.

Nkatha emphasises the need for young mothers to be around people travelling a similar journey as she learnt from experience.

Besides being a member of the association, she also formed strong friendship with another young mother and they rented a house together.

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It was like one big family and she was able to deal with the loneliness that was slowly creeping in given that she couldn’t afford to spend time with friends, as she was always rushing to check up on her baby after classes.

The association supplemented this newfound friendship in several others ways. As Muhonja explains, the association ensured young mothers’ emotional needs were met.

She would organise fun days for mothers to bond with their children. Other times she would invite partners and relevant bodies to give guidance to those dealing with post-partum depression.

The association is not just a support group but a platform for empowerment.

“We have merry-go rounds and a saving plan that enables young mothers to buy food and household items. We also offer loans to members, who are then able to start businesses and support themselves and their children.”

“Besides, we’ve been able to lobby for the rights of young mothers at the university, making it possible for them to access healthcare and accommodation,” says Muhonja.

The association also invites speakers to tackle issues such as abstinence, pregnancy and family planning.

The icing on the cake is members offering financial support to underprivileged mothers to cushion them from dropping out of school.

While Muhonja graduated and left the university, she created a culture of young mothers and women supporting each other instead of stigmatising those who deliver at a young age.

To date, she continues to help young and vulnerable mothers.

She admits that as a country and society, we’re still far away from achieving sustainable development for this population.

“It is still alarming that young mothers either end up in abusive relationships or raise their children alone,” she says.

At times she has to shelter those she helps in her house as they have nowhere to go.

She hopes that the government and relevant bodies will provide opportunities for young mothers to receive training in different areas so as to gain a source of income.

Further, she calls on the government to fund young mothers’ small businesses to prevent their children from going hungry.

Despite having come a long way, she admits that motherhood doesn’t get easier, but the challenges do change over time.

Today, the three young women are concerned about raising good children and doing the best they can to be good mothers.

Amondi, who currently works as an insurance officer, wants to give her son a better childhood and create a strong bond with him.

“For children to open up to adults about their struggles and dilemmas on dating, sex and other issues, we have to open up to them. They should know that we’re not perfect and that we made the same mistakes they might consider making,” she says.

Nkatha, who currently works as an assistant medical records officer, insists that conversations about sex education need to start as early as primary school.

“Besides, children need to trust adults around them if they’re to open up about the issues they’re facing. It all boils down to creating an environment that supports candid conversations,” she says.

By Ndation

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State extends ban on foreign flights – VIDEO



The government has extended the ban on international flights by 30 days as it intensifies the fight against spread of coronavirus.

An earlier two-week ban that came into effect on March 25, will expire on midnight Sunday.

“After serious consideration of the situation, the government has extended the ban [on international flights] for another 30 days with effect from tomorrow (Monday) April, 6 2020,” Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said on Sunday.

Mr Macharia said the ban, however, does not apply to those flights that are coming in to evacuate foreign nationals. It also exempts the cargo flights that are coming into the country to deliver goods.

The CS, however, said that the flights must not have passengers on board.

He urged those in the transport industry to adhere to the directives issued by the Ministry of Health, with regard to maintaining of hygiene standards in the sector.

“We have observed that the set directives are not being strictly followed, for example, most matatus are still overloading, hence not observing social distancing. They are also not observing standards of hygiene as per the set guidelines,” he said.

Mr Macharia said that from Monday, any matatu operator found not observing the set directives, will have their Sacco licences suspended and the vehicle bonded.

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“This directive applies to all public transport vehicles and the offenders will be charged in a court of law in line with the Public Health Act, for deliberately spreading the virus,” he said

He warned boda-boda riders, who continue to flout the directives that their motorcycles will be impounded.

The government has also suspended visits to prisons for another 30 days.

By Daily Nation

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It’s season to unveil your hidden talent, thanks to Covid- 19



The word-savvy have coined a title for it already: ‘Quarantine’s Got Talent’.

It is hidden talent season, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, that has

redefined heroism to mean being able to stay indoors.

Staying at home means everyone has a lot of time on their hands and that means talents that people had placed in the back burner for a while are now being exploited — and new ones are being explored.

Who would have imagined seeing Kieni MP Kanini Kega, often seen when there is a hot political matter, doing something as rustic as knitting? Photos of him knitting in his house have been doing the rounds on social media for the past couple of days.

He told the Sunday Nation that he had accepted a challenge from his children who had goaded him with: “Apart from playing politics, what else can you do?”

And so he decided to revisit the knitting skills he learnt as a Standard Eight boy at a primary school in Kieni. He also accepted a challenge to cook for the family.

“So, I had to cook. So far, I have cooked quite a lot: ugali and all,” said Mr Kega, the chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Trade and Industry.

And he has been enjoying every bit of it. “This is one of the best things. You know, politicians are the most disadvantaged people because they don’t interact so much with their families. This has given us ample time. We are interacting; we are learning a lot also from our kids,” he said.

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Speaking of kids, the face of Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja in a video he posted on March 28 told the story of a man having a moment of his life with his kin.

Using a rhyming poem, Mr Sakaja and his “ensemble” members — two young sons — delivered an important message on how to steer clear of the deadly coronavirus.

Mr Sakaja’s compatriot in the Senate, George Khaniri of Vihiga, has also been trending for showcasing his dancing skills.

A photo of former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo playing house barber has also been doing the rounds. Celebrity emcee Maurice “Mdomo Baggy” Ochieng has also posted a video playing with his three- year-old son.

“It can be stressful for parents used to tight schedules to have to stare at each other the whole day,” he posted on Facebook.

“One of the positive things you could do as a parent during this quarantine period is discover the talents of your children and nurture them. I spent time with my threeyear-old son. The guy has a left foot like no other,” he added.

In Mr Kega’s opinion, the Covid- 19 pandemic might be God-sent to remind humanity about the basics.

“I think God is telling us that we were running too fast,” he said. “God has told us that the world can stop.

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It is not about making money. It shouldn’t be about making money.

Because for us politicians, it is about seats and means — trying to make a cent here and there. But now we are being told: ‘Those things can stop; go back to family.’”

The cloth he was pictured knitting, he promised, will be complete by the end of this week.

“I will finish next week, and it will be a sweater. You know, I am the chair of the Trade and Industry Committee. We are promoting local industries,” he said, tongue-in-cheek.

Ordinary Kenyans are also reconnecting with their rarely-used abilities. Elizabeth Kavete has been staying home since March 26, given that her job is mostly about fieldwork, and she has used the free time to sharpen her video making skills.

Her producer told her she has impeccable acting skills and advised her to try a hand in the YouTube video business. Her first video was a simple tutorial on lighting a jiko.

“I had this idea in mind and been using any time I want to cook using a jiko,” she told the Sunday Nation.

With guidance from the producer, she went ahead to shoot the tutorial and uploaded it on her YouTube account, Kavete LizLizz.

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