Kenya Grandmoms Fight Back Against the Rapists- Literally!
The grandmoms of Kenya are not going to let the rapists dominate over them and therefore have resorted to martial art to fight the rapists off. These inspiring old aged women refuse to stand as a fragile victim and be dependent for their safety. Taking the matter into their own hands, they chose to learn the art of Kung-Fu.
The crouching grandmothers of Nairobi, Kenya have had enough with the torture of rapists and decided to act upon it by not be silenced against the misdeeds and instead straitening up and learning self-defense. These bunch of ladies is the live example of the famous saying, "It's never too late."
In Korogocho slums in Nairobi, the old women are a constant target for sexual victims by the young generation. These young boys are the section of the incompetent crowd who are wasting away under the influence of drugs and alcohol which makes them more dangerous at night. So instead of letting rape and hyper-masculinity run rampant in their neighborhood, these women are learning to fight back.
Organized by No Means No Worldwide, an international NGO, in collaboration with Ujamaa Africa, a local NGO, groups known as the Shosho Jikinge have been formed. There, the members learn how to identify potential attackers, use their voice, trick their way out of dangerous situations, and, of course, fight back. The women are learning a mixture of karate, kung-fu, and taekwondo from 29-year-old Sheila Kariuki.
According to a 2006 report on human rights, a girl or woman is raped every 30 minutes. Many young orphans are especially vulnerable because of a commonly held belief that sex with a virgin, in a typical rapist's mind, a young child, is a cure for AIDS. This disturbing, incorrect and dismal ideology train of thought also influences these men to target grandmothers, as they assume they aren’t as sexually active as middle-aged women.
The self-defense class consists of around 20 women, aged between 80 to 100 years old who meet once a week at the Streams of Hope and Peace charity training center. Kariuki spends the class demonstrating the vulnerable points on a male body, such as the collarbone, nose, and genitalia. The women are taught techniques such as yelling instead of screaming to maintain a sense of control and not worrying about how much force a blow to the rapist’s body has, but rather making sure they get a proper punch to the body.
Kariuki tells the women, “You do not need to hit hard to be accurate. Accuracy is the key to the technique. Remember, your goal is to force back the attackers and attract attention. Never try to compete with younger guys, because they will win.”
This training has been showing a tremendous result. One of the women studying the art, tells a story of how she’s been able to thwart off predators with her new skills. “He touched my neck, and then I boxed him, and another one and another one. They can’t touch me.” She firmly believes, every woman, if learned the art, can stand up to five boys each.
Let's give it up for the power and strength of these women. Through discipline and mutual female support, these grandmas are taking back their identity and right to live peacefully, one punch at a time and let's hope for many more women to join the cause for their benefit too.