Still wondering if a few hours of IMpower training can change lives? Have a look at these stories of courage, resourcefulness and survival from our students – girls and boys!
Still wondering if a few hours of IMpower training can change lives? Have a look at these stories of courage, resourcefulness and survival from our students – girls and boys!
A fortnight ago, I was abducted by a gang of four boys who said they wanted me to cooperate and walk with them to a deserted structure down here in Korogocho. This they did with one of them holding a knife to my back amid curses and threats. I wasn’t sure whether they wanted to rape me or not, but all I knew was they meant harm.
I walked on for several yards and when the opportunity came, I elbowed the one holding the weapon hard on the chin and took –off yelling at the top of my voice. Luckily the corridors are too narrow for any two people to run side by side and with one of their own wounded between us; they had no chance of catching me. I ran to safety, thanks to self-defense”.
It was during the post-election Violence period and I was alone at home. My parents had fled from home in fear of being attacked by our enraged neighbors. A gang of rowdy youths came to our house looking for my father but he was nowhere to be found. After they had left, one of them, who apparently happened to be our next door neighbor came back and tried to drag me into his house.
His main intention was to rape me for he even tried to talk me into having sex with him but I declined. He tried by all means to push me into his house but failed. It was after this that a fight broke between us and using the eye-poke, followed by a hammer-fist to the head sent him to the ground. I ran to safety leaving him behind writhing in pain. I was safe then but wasn’t sure for how long, so like my parents I went into hiding.
Hey, my name is Mary Wangui (Mama Nyash), I’m 66 years of age I’ve been attending the Shosho’s class for the past one year, it has been of great help to me because now I’m able to defend myself without fear of what people might say.
One evening I was at my place with two of my grand children when I heard a commotion outside my compound. As soon as I opened the door my daughter in-law fell inside shouting for help saying he was going to kill her. I did not hesitate and pulled her inside as I was trying to question her about who it was. Just then somebody pushed me from behind – immediately as I felt that hand, I attacked and within seconds I had almost killed him. He was shouting and called out “mummy its me your son,” I was shocked and asked him why he was beating up his wife! I was sorry that I attacked my son , but on the other hand I am now confident because I know that I can defend myself and my family too.
My name is Acquirilyn I’m 58 years old, there was this one time when I was very sick and weak the only thing I could do was sleep. On this particular day I was asleep, I felt someone touch my breast. His hands were moving up and down. I forced my eyes to open and I saw this young man seated besides me, I could not talk, my heart was beating so fast and thought that I was going to die.
Then I remembered “stay calm and strategize, I knew that I did not have enough strength to fight this guy and I could not yell so I opened my mouth and said to him, “young man please help me with some water to drink and help me sit up, I’m so sick and no one comes to look after me I think you’re God-sent, please come here my angel,” the look on the guys face was that of pity he gave me water and then left immediately without hurting or taking anything from me
On the night of 6th September, 2008 our client was returning home from work at 10:00pm she was stopped by four men who attempted to rape her. She toiled to negotiate with them and they refused to listen to her, she identified the ring leader of the group and decided to fight for her life, her bottom line was “I’d rather die than be raped.” She hit the leader so hard on the groin and before the rest knew what was happening Anne ran away so fast, luckily a police van which was on patrol saved her. She later reported the matter to the police.
“Following the session, I now view life from a different perspective; AIDS is real and its out to kill; each one of us has just one life to live and once it’s gone, it’s gone. It has no rehearsal”
She came to our office looking old and beat although she is only 28 years old. Her husband is an alcoholic and a gambler; He comes home drunk almost every night and make a lot of noise waking up the children and the neighbors.
This night, as usual, he came home shouting and hurling insults. She went and opened the door for him but little did she know that her husband had bet on her after losing all the money, He walked in furious, and began punching her so hard that she passed out. When she regained consciousness she was naked, four of her husband’s friends were seated there laughing and making fun of her.
Her husband told them ‘’just as we had agreed. There you are that’s your price I owe you nothing.” The four men raped her repeatedly till morning and the worst thing is that she did not go to hospital neither did she speak to anyone due to her depression.
Two weeks after the incidence she saw an article in the Parents’ magazine about our work and decided to come to our office for help. After counseling she mastered the courage to leave the husband. Next, we referred her to Kenyatta National Hospital Patient Support Center for further treatment and counseling.
Her mother works as a barmaid in a local nightclub, so she is away every other night. She was doing fine until her mother befriended one of the male Neighbors, He would come over when the mother was around to chat and have lunch together.
Her mother told her that he was her new uncle and whatever he told or ask of her she should do it no questions asked. He started coming over when her mother was not around. One day he bought her red panties and told her to try them on see whether they fit. That’s when it all began. “Come here ‘’sweetie’’ you even look better than your mother.” The following morning when the girl tried to talk to her mother she was punished for being disrespectful.
Two days later the uncle was back this time round he raped her, it went on for some time until the TELL Campaign that’s when the girl heard about tell and tell until you get help. She came to us and told us everything, we went to the area chief and reported the matter. The mother and the uncle were arrested.
One day I was coming home from town, I boarded a matatu that had this crazy tout but I choose not to pay attention to him, he asked for our fares and everybody started paying, I gave a two hundred note and waited for my change, as I was about to alight I asked for my change but the guy said I didn’t give hundred shilling and demanded that I alight, I stood my ground and told him I’m not moving without my change, he grabbed in a way that I did not like. I said to him “would you kindly please stop grabbing me like a thief and give me my change,” he said in Kiswahili “Malaya shuka upesi,” which means “You prostitute can you alight,” he insulted me and I was really hurt and I couldn’t take this anymore, I shouted at the driver to stop the matatu (car), as soon as the matatu was stopped the tout grabbed me but I said enough was enough I poked his eyes and pushed him out of the matatu, he grabbed my foot as he fell and we fell together, while I was down there I used my axe kick and for a moment the other passenger thought that the tout was dead, he was so still I did not wait to see if he was ok, I asked the driver for my change which he gave me without questions and I left the scene a hero.
It was on a Saturday afternoon when me and my daughter went out for swimming because she wanted to, so I took her to a public place where one pays Ksh 50, my daughter was having fun when this boy started fondling her but, she shouted to tell me that “mum this boy is touching my butt,” my daughter is only 7 years old and this boy is like 15 years.
I grabbed the boy from the pool and took him to his parents and his parents forced him to come and apologize to my baby. I’m glad that I’ve been able to teach my daughter how to be assertive and to tell when somebody is touching you where you don’t like.
It happened in one of the villages called Ngomongo in Korogocho, where a man who has been married around three years decided to abuse his wife sexually. He used to tie her legs apart so that whenever he felt like abusing her sexually, he could just come in and do it.
All this took place during day because the husband used to work at night. He warned her not to make noise or say anything to the neighbors. The neighbors (women) decided to inquire on what was wrong with their friend.
When the husband left they immediately entered in the woman’s house and found her tied up. They got mad and decided to do something. The action was led by a woman who took Self-defense classes last year. They made sure that husband faced the charges and is now apprehended.
80 years Grandma was raped in the wee hours of Monday morning which she was attending her Shamba (farm) by a young youth aged 22 years. She was left there unconscious (fainted) and her life sipping away from her body.
But luckily some of our shosho’s (grandmother’s) who had done shosho’s class came to her rescue and reported the incident to us and we took her to Nairobi Women’s hospital then reported/filed the case in our nearby police post.
Its good to see that our Grandma’s (shosho’s) due to their class and the know-how that has been realized this incident was reported and very soon the assailant will be apprehended.
My name is Mary, I am 64 years of old, I have realized that young men nowadays don’t respect the elderly. I know this because one day I was in my garden which is isolated; I was tending to my crops with no worry. Little did I know that someone was watching me. Suddenly I heard something move in the bush and when I went to check what it was, a young man the same age as my grandson pounced on me. He ordered me to take off my panties, he told me he has been watching me and he thinks I can be very sweet. From the look of things I have gone back to being a virgin so he’s really going to enjoy. He told me even old cats do drink milk so he is going to fill me with his holy water.
I tried to stay clam because in our self defense classes with IWD we were taught to always stay calm because once you panic you are bound to make mistakes that could cost you your life. So I started talking to him making him promise that whatever we were about to do was going to be our little secret and that I also wanted to enjoy my self with a young man.
I led him under a tree where I told him we were going to be comfortable. I took my walking stick and followed him. When he turned around I went for his knee with all the strength in me. I was yelling like crazy and people from the neighboring gardens came to my aid. He was beaten so bad that when we got to the hospital he died six hours later.
A girl 13 years old living at Korogocho (Ngomongo village) was sexually abused for three months by a neighbor but she did not share it with her mother until she was pregnant. When mother inquired about the pregnancy she confessed that a neighbor had been defiling her, she was so devastated her mother didn’t know what to do. A woman friend told her about our work. She came to the office and we counselled the young girl who had suicidal thoughts.
After talking to the girl at length she requested we take her to an organization that deals with young girls who get pregnant. The organization is called Crisis Centre in Westlands, Kenya. The mother is very grateful to us and it’s her prayer that we widen our wings to other places.
Two months ago my friend and I had gone to a party. At first things looked fine but as time went on it started being boring and we decided to leave for a different joint. While on our way to the bus stop we were accosted by two guys.
They looked normal to us but we were in for a surprise. They asked us to accompany them to their place for the rest of the night but we asserted our position. They got rowdy -calling us prostitute and claiming we had to deliver the services since we had received money from them in exchange for sex. They manhandled us shouting at the top of their voices as vehicles sped-by. One male motorist even slowed-down and asked whether the guys needed any help with us. The guys said no -meaning they had no problem handling the situation.
It dawned on us that our situation was getting worse and we resolved to do what was right for us -fight. We struggled for a while and somehow both of us were free with the guys flawed. We took off as fast as we could to our safety. Thanks for the self defense classes. The grab releases and punches pro
This is a testimony narrated by one of the elderly women (Veronica 63 years of age) who has been attending our self defense classes. It was late in the evening as she was preparing supper that she heard a girl screaming from outside and became concerned about it. She got outside and to her surprise she found a young girl struggling with two men who were trying to force her into something that she didn’t want probably sex.
She took a stone and threw it at them but it landed on the roof of some one else’s house (a neighbor) who came outside complaining. She also saw the girl struggling herself and started screaming. One of the men ran towards Veronica’s house and she, being alert of the situation, managed to hit him hard, on the knee, using her cane. At the same time she began yelling which brought the attention of other neighbors who came out to help. Fortunately the man whose knee was dislocated was taken to the police station. The other man had already disappeared, but was later identified and taken to the police station.
I encountered this rogue man who will not let go of my hand. I had doubts about what I had learnt in the Self-Defense class and whether they really worked. So here God was presenting me with an opportunity to try the skills and find out for myself there effectiveness. I started by using the broken record when the man tried to lure me to go with him to his house.
He did not listen and I believe it due to the fact that I was not assertive enough and thus it only served to make him come even more strongly to me. I thought of another verbal skill since I did not want to venture into physical yet.
I then decide to make a scene and guess what, before I knew it the man was gone and I didn’t even see which way he went. Now I can tell the world an d mainly the women that the skills truly works you only need to be assertive.
Just show me the strongest of men and I’ll show you how to bring him down. I was going to my farm on Tuesday morning when a certain crazy man decided that he had landed a golden opportunity to cheap “meat”. He started following me the moment he noticed that I had turned around a corner away from the public eyes. My instincts told me immediately that he had bad intentions.
Upon that realization I became on guard and since I was now approaching my farm I thought he was going to use the opportunity to try and rape me there since I had nothing of value with me. When he inched closer I started calling names so that he would believe that I was not entirely alone.
I went to the extent of telling them to bring with them the machetes and hoes since there was an intruder who wanted to harm me. To my delight, the trick worked since the man turned away and fled as fast as his legs could carry him. My advice to the women and shoshos; do not ignore what you’re being taught by these “children”.
My name is Sylvana, I’m 68 years of age, self defense has been of great help to me because I’ve been able to defend myself from my own son who wanted to rape me. One day my son came home drunk and asked me for food, it was very late at about 10:00pm so I requested him to come back tomorrow during the day. I refused to open the door the following evening he came a bit earlier before we had slept, he told me that he’s not leaving and that I should start preparing bed because he’s sleeping with me tonight and I thought that I had him wrong and asked him again and he repeated the same and this time he said it in a
violent way and I said to myself that I have to strategize and think of what I’m going to do.
I asked him how can you do this to your mother, and he said that even old cats can drink milk and I was shocked, I looked at my son and pitied him because I knew what I was about to do to him. My self defense teacher said that you should always be aware of your surroundings, I knew my house well so I reached out in a corner and pulled out my hammer and straight went for his knees he screamed out so loudly that the neighbors asked what I was doing to him, to this day he respect me as a son should
I think it will be important to tell you that I was attacked together with one of my friends called Christine by thugs and thank God I managed to rescue her together with me.
They were two men and it happened that they wanted to snatch the properties that we were carrying and immediately they got hold of me then I was like ‘What tools – What target’ believe it, it worked since I used the power on my hips to turn around and then using my elbow I happened to hit him on the vulnerable upper part of his body, and while he was undergoing the pain I got hold of his head and hit it using my knee, and because my friend was still struggling to get off the attacker I managed to hit his ribs and I got hold of Christine’s hand leaving everything we had and ran away for our lives. I was so happy that I made it and I even shed tears for the courage that I had and the yell that drew people near.
I thank God for your teachings they encourage me each and everyday of my life knowing that I am worth defending, a woman of power, a woman of noble purpose just like you. Right now in my school people especially ladies are so much interested in knowing how to use the ‘tools and targets’ that they have, since they are always interested when they see me doing exercises everyday and when I get to tell them of how to defend themselves, some of them are victims of rape. I love you and you mean a lot to me. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING THERE FOR US.
After one of the classes in Njathaini Primary school, one of the boys was seen by the other boys trying to provoke a girl who had taken the Self-Defense class. He was telling the girl to try and use the techniques on her if she really believed tat she was tough.
The other boys ran to him and told him to stop what he was doing and be a gentleman. They reprimanded him for not adhering to what he was taught in the boys class. On realizing his mistake he apologized to the girl and walked away with his head down.
When I saw the bags I thought it was meant to teach the boys boxing and other Self-Defense techniques. Little did I know that girls can also kick the bags.
I was amazed by the way the IWD ladies hit the bags and it inspired me to emulate what they are doing. Now I know that truly my security is my responsibility. Before you came to our school, I had this nagging problem of a boy who wanted me to be his girlfriend. He kept on pestering me despite the fact that I had told him in so many instances that I did not want anything to do with him.
The more I resisted, the more he kept on trying. After I took the classes, things became different since I learnt different techniques and skills with which to bring to rest the terrible situation.
Three days after taking the class, the boy appeared and approached me just like he always do. this time he was in for a rude shock in that I made big scene and since there were so many people on the road he had no where to hide nor run. He begged me to stop embarrassing him but I kept on shouting until some women started to reprimand him.
To me that was just level one-using verbal skill and had he continued, I would have tried one of the physical techniques that I learnt and love most i.e. knee to the groin. Right now I’m so sure of myself and I believe that indeed my body is the temple of God, I own it and no one should play around with
The approach we give to the boy’s class is amazing and two teachers from different secondary schools have shared with me in confidence that they are going to use the approach to get to the boys and unravel some of the issues that they hold dear to their hearts.
Mr. Onjoro (Anointed Secondary School) and Mr. Anthony Apollo (Kenya Pam Secondary School) have stated their intention to learn the script we use in the boys class since they believe that it can help them in their work and the daily encounter with boys and young men in the community.
A lot of boys have shared with us the program is marvelous and that we should spread out to other parts of the country. We receive a lot of encouragement from the teachers, and students from the different schools that we have visited. They have always urged us to continue doing the good job.
The level of openness and sharing of information with our team members particularly after the classes is amazing and we have been able to unravel so many mysteries harbored by our clients. As a matter of fact if we were to give testimonies of our clients, this website will be full with nothing else but testimonials.
My name is Maryanne, I am 43 years of age what am about to tell you really hurts because it happened to my sister. She had a son whom she really loved to the point of letting him stay with her despite his age. Her husband died while this son was in high school. After he finished school he got a good job with a big company, he earned enough money to support himself but my sis didn’t want him to leave home so his money was for having fun with the ladies.
It got to a point where alcohol was not enough and he turned to hard drugs and watching very strange movies withnaked people. He started looking at his mother differently.
He decided to spike her tea with drugs. My sister started complaining that every bit of her body was hurting, itwent on for a few months and she didn’t know what was happening so we decided to take her to hospital. She was admitted and after a few tests the doctor came back with the result- she was two months pregnant and that’s when she realized that it was her son. She went into depression and was unable to overcome the pain and she died.
We never talked about it as a family and it was swept under the carpet. When I first attended the self defense class I cried all night because I realized that we did the wrong thing regarding my sister’s case. I went to the police and her son was arrested but they told me I didn’t have much of a case. Now I know that the class I took was not only for me, I can help my neighbors and friends.
A young boy aged 9 years old form a School known as Lucky Junior Academy was nearly abducted when he was
playing outside his home in Kariobangi South. A man who posed as a relative (uncle) approached him and tried to entice him with treats but his ploys were thwarted when the boy screamed, threw sand into his eyes and made a scene and the neighbors came out.
This was due to the Self Defense classes that he had received a few months ago.
The matter was then reported to the police statio
We were in Mombasa doing working for a couple of days and everyday we got disrespect from men! They were calling us all sorts of names. One day we had just done a class at Magongo and a guy decided to take a piece of our equipment. We tried taking to him politely but he was very arrogant – he even spat on us.
He turned around and started running away. Emily and I ran after him and noticed that no one was willing to come to our aid. People were just laughing.
We caught up with him and wrestled him to the ground. He stood up and tried to punch Emily but to his surprise he received a hammer fist blow and went tumbling to the ground.
I grabbed our equipment and we went away walking majestically. Those who were laughing were shocked. They didn’t believe women could fight