Tuesday, 07 September 2021 12:32





Nairobi Deputy Governor Ann Kananu recently signed into law the Nairobi City County Public Nuisance Bill 2020 passed by the county assembly.

The raft of regulations has already taken effect.

Prostitution is not criminalized under national law, however, municipal by-laws prohibit it.

It therefore means should County askaris arrest someone for engaging in "prostitution", the offender will be arrested and charged in court and if found guilty, will be jailed for 6 months or fined Ksh 10000.

BY BHESP TEAM, 27TH JULY 2021 – (……. Below is an excerpt is taken from an interview with a sex worker who operates in an upmarket brothel in Nairobi. She tries to demystify some myths that are associated with sex work, not only in Kenya but almost everywhere globally……...)

I've been working in a Nairobi brothel for almost a year and a half now. In this time, I've learned a lot about sexuality, psychology, and relationships. My job is a mix of customer service and fantasy fulfillment, and I love it. It suits my needs and allows me financial stability I never had access to before. However, what I've noticed since starting this career is that there is a lot that the general public doesn't seem to get about sex work. Here are some of the biggest misconceptions.

Picture of Monica (not her real name) showing the eye injury while admitted at the Mama Lucy Hospital

JULY 13TH 2021. BY BHESP TEAM. 38-Year-Old-Monica (not her real name) started her day normally with hope that it would be a productive day having not received any money the previous day. And so it showed all the signs as one of her regular clients called to check on her availability.

Monica is sex worker based in Kayole in Nairobi. Depending on her clients’ preference, she either invites them to her single roomed house or goes to the clients preferred location which could be a lodging or in some rare cases the clients house.

Sunday 27th June 2021, a client named Nahashon Adeya calls Monica and asks for a convenient time to show up, they strike a deal and Samuel makes his way to Monica’s house.

On arrival, Nahashon makes a different demand and now wants to go out with Monica to a different location. Monica is now confused and refuses to comply with the surprise turn of event because she is also expecting other clients after finishing with Nahashon. He walks out disappointed and Monica thinks Nahashon is gone for the day and hopes the other clients she is expecting will not disappoint her.

Mercy Akinyi, a 27-year-old mother-of-three is a bartender in a Kondele bar on the outskirts of Kisumu town at the same time a sex worker. Her bartending job starts in the afternoon, leaving the whole morning to engage in her sex work. Most of her clients are those that she serves alcohol and seduce her during their drinking hours - she directs them to her one-bedroomed house a few meters from the bar to show up when she is not working.

On a good morning, she makes approximately Ksh 3,000 if she is lucky to get three clients before going to her regular job. Her salary at the bar is a paltry Ksh 10,000. She says she has been on this same routine since she was 16 years of age.

Thursday, 03 June 2021 07:50



BY BHESP TEAM – 2nd JUNE 2021…….

International Sex Workers' Day takes place annually on June 2nd. The day is celebratory, which remembers the discrimination of sex workers and their often exploitative living and working conditions. The starting point of the International Sex Workers’ Day as a memorial was June 2nd, 1975 in which more than 100 sex workers occupied the Church Saint-Nizier in Lyon in order to get attention to their situation.

 In many places in Africa, sex for money is readily available, cheap, risky, and often illegal. For many sex workers, work is often dangerous.

The Kenyan coastal strip is normally a beehive of tourism activities. Local and international holidaymakers find their way to Mombasa, Malindi plus other towns in the area that shores the Indian ocean, popular for sandy beaches. Bars and nightclubs line up here; many European and American tourists stroll through the coastal metropolis in regular times. Sex workers also earn their money here.

One of them is Hawa (name changed). Like many other young women, she has been working as a sex worker for several years. "If I don't engage in sex work, I will have no money to pay my bills, buy clothes and lead a good life," Hawa told BHESP.

BY BHESP TEAM. 21ST MAY 21, 2021

“I want to talk about female candidates who sat for the examinations while in hospitals either after giving birth or while expecting. As I celebrate you I also want to castigate our today parents in the most severe terms possible………”
These were the words of Professor George Magoha, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for education when he presented the results of the 2020 form four examinations results on May 10th, 2021.
The Professor’s comments diminished what was otherwise a positive statement acknowledging the right to education for all children. His words included a later comment implying that girls of his or earlier generation were “better behaved” due to better parenting that prevented teenage pregnancies, castigating pregnant girls as ‘moral failures’.
This perception is common in Kenya, often shared publicly not knowing that it contributes to shaming, stigmatization, and isolation of adolescent girls who have early pregnancies. Such an attitude undermines girls’ rights to education.

Saturday, March 27th, 2021 will forever remain a dark day for Marion Wamboi, a single mother of three and until then a proud homeowner of a three-bedroomed house in the Njiru area in the Kasarani area of Nairobi. She was left with nowhere to call home after bulldozers from Nairobi Metropolitan Services supervised by close to 200 uniformed police officers descended on the estate and within hours, the entire estate was nothing but debris.
Marion had in August of last year bought a piece of land in the area by depositing Ksh 500,000 to Njiru Neema Self Help group in which she and others were members, upon fulfilling other requirements that the Sacco had requested in order to purchase the property. She then went ahead and used close to KSh 1.5 Million to put up the structure before moving in with her children.


24TH APRIL 2021. Wherever the truth lies in the ARVs shortage situation in Kenya is something that still remains a mystery, but what everyone knows so far is that the essential commodity is yet to reach its intended recipients, people living with HIV.

Jennifer Gacheru is a clinical officer and the site in charge at Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support programme (BHESP) Roysambu clinic. She has approximately 500 active HIV patients that visit her facility to get life-saving drugs. BHESP as an organization has three different clinics in Nairobi catering for approximately 3,200 HIV positive patients most of whom are sex workers. The last few weeks have been agonizing for Jennifer and her team.

50-year-old Jane Wamboi is a single mother and has been employed as a bar hostess since she was eighteen. Jane’s work has seen her work in different bars and entertainment joints in Nairobi, rising to become a bar manager in her last place of work before she was laid off due to the closure of the facility as a result of a government directive to contain the spread of coronavirus. It is through this bar business that she has put her two sons aged 22 and 25 through school.

Prior to Covid, Jane was living in a two-bedroomed house but she has since moved to a single room, an involuntary move that has deprived her of the comfort and privacy that she once enjoyed. Her near-empty room is where she cooks using her kerosene stove and where she sleeps with her two grown boys. She explains that she has sold her TV set, music system, gas cooker, and most of her cutlery at a throw-away price in order to pay her rent and buy foodstuff. 

6th April 2021…Daisy Kwala is an adherence counselor with Bar Hostess and support Programme (BHESP). Her normal day in the office will see her attend to tens of sex workers some of whom are HIV positive and on ARVs. She says for the last few weeks, ARVs supply has been on a steady decline. “Though we have some stock left, we are worried that if the drugs are not released and distributed we are going to have a serious shortage in the coming days. The patients have had to do with reduced doses” said Ms. Kwala. “People living with HIV will not be able to keep their viral load suppressed and with unsuppressed viral loads, the rate of transmission will be very high, with many new HIV infections thus increase in HIV prevalence in the country” she added.

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Mirema Stone Groove

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