Statement: Sexual Abuse & Nairobi’s Music Industry

I was angry and hurt about this for a long time… I am grateful for self-love and growth because I now prioritize my personal peace over everything. I am only here to share my truth because I understand how much I must. Simply to do my part of making sure I am not enabling my own rapist and feeding into this entire system of oppression because rape is the abuse of power. Over time I have realized that the justice I initially wanted was never guaranteed and even as I have tried to suppress this need I feel within myself to share this story, it keeps becoming apparent that I still must.

[Excerpt from a previous edit: “What I want after this, and however far it can get, is accountability and responsibility on the entire music industry’s part. I want people to stop giving my rapist his reputation and all positions of power/influence/networking that he has. I want all his enablers to take accountability for how their actions have harmed me and others and I want this society we live in to be better to its people. I want people to care about what is happening in the lives of those around them and I want to be free from silence and shame and isolation and guilt. I want to be myself again.”]

I don’t really care for accountability on his or his enablers’ part anymore. I realized that it is not necessary for me to be myself again or to achieve any kind of peace. That had to be personal work that I have done and continue to do every day. I do want people in Nairobi to start caring intentionally about what is happening in their own lives and those of others, actively participating in helping each other in your daily personal lives, especially when it gets lonely and difficult. Not by drinking, partying and taking drugs together but by healthy practices like cooking for each other, spending physical sober time with each other communicating and truly getting to know each other, sharing valuable caring time together… it’s real because it truly is hard out here and we undeniably need each other in real ways that prioritize long-term overall health. It doesn’t have to be as bleak as it seems sometimes but you have to face yourself in the mirror first. Stop lying to yourself and take responsibility over your actions. There is enough love in the universe for all of us, you too. We are the ones to create it so get to it.

Here I go…

I am here today to address sexual assault and a system of enablers in the music industry in Nairobi. I have gone through a lot to finally get to this point of telling my story. I am unable to keep things inside any longer, it has harmed my overall health and I have not received any justice for it anyway. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I have already lost so much; my self, my health, my career, my communities… I was placed in a position where I had to fight very hard to build myself back and to free myself of the confusing and deteriorating cycle I found myself in as a result of other people’s carelessness. I am still doing this self-work daily. I have found that silence is a jail and I cannot continue to sit in it especially when I understand that my silence also enables my rapist. I am here to tell my truth, I am not here for pity and sympathy so keep it right there where you are.

Before I begin, I want to say how proud of myself I am. I am so proud of you, Iche. And I love you and have your back, always.

On the night of 14th December, 2018. I was raped by J**z Od**go. I put his name in asterisks like that because I stand a risk of being sued for “defamation” by him just by telling my story. This is one of the reasons it has taken me this long to speak about this. Go into my story aware of how much the system and people have stood in the way of receiving any form of justice for this and most people in positions of influence and power have no desire to change what does not work for the people as long as they are receiving their coins. I am still very hurt and afraid as I write this but it must be done.

I was out with Wana Muthama, the person I was seeing at the time. We were on some kind of date, or at least I thought it was until she told me last minute she was pulling up with her people. I was alone and already in the taxi on the way to meet her. I consciously bring her up because I understand how her carelessness as the person I was out with on this night costed me. We met at Strictly Silk at 910 James Gichuru and shortly after moved to J’s. We were communicating through phone calls throughout the day and as I was on the way to meet her.

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It was a heavy night and I blacked out at some point. The last thing I remember before waking up to him rubbing my pussy, fully naked in my own bed, in a pool of blood with his disgusting body lying next to me, was being at J’s with her. I only woke up because I could feel someone touching me. It was afternoon, I was lying flat on my back with my legs parted quite wide and he was in his t-shirt and boxers. I was so startled when I woke up, I jumped off the bed and tried to hide my nakedness from him. I started crying and asked him wtf about the blood, he said he “didn’t mind it”. Told me “you def wanted it last night”. I was so shocked and startled, I didn’t know where to start thinking. I was asking myself so many questions like how was he inside my house and in my bed? The man had done his thing and proceeded to sleep in my bed for round 2 whenever he wanted. I don’t think he thought I would wake up.

May I bring to attention now the physical size difference between me and J**z. I am a tiny 5ft 40Kg person and he is huge and tall, is all I can say. I was shook that he ever thought any of what he was doing was okay. I almost went crazy upon realizing that he is probably a sexual predator and imagining what it was he did to my body while I was blacked out…

I put on clothes quickly, left him in my bed and went to my living room to try finding my phone to reach someone. I looked all over the house but couldn’t find my phone so I decided to go back to my room and ask him if he knew where it was. He said he didn’t and I went back to look again. I was panicking like mad and so confused. I decided to try looking for Wana on Facebook, IG, Twitter and Whatsapp on my laptop. I sent out a few messages to her and her sister and managed to send out a message to her on web.whatsapp (which I was wondering then how it got through since I didn’t have my phone but my 4G was on) though she didn’t respond. I was panicking and trying to reach someone quickly and then he called my name from the room, asking me what I was doing and that I should just relax and go back to the bed. I went back and was trying to make sense of things, he was talking so much and making it so hard for me to do anything saying that he was tired and wanted to sleep longer. I can’t tell you enough how distressed, shaking, crying, shocked I was. When he told me “You def wanted it last night”, I remember pausing and trying to remember how I “wanted it”. I couldn’t remember anything so I was asking myself how I could have wanted it. He continued to say things like “We’re cool right?” “Relax, just come lie down” and “You’ll come to the studio we’ll make more music”. I was panicking, it had been around an hour or more since I had woken up. No success yet in reaching anyone, he was fucking with my mind that I actually got into the bed and lied down with him trying to relax. I did that for a short while but I was feeling so terrible so I got back up to try reaching Wana again.

When I checked the messages I had sent on my laptop, I found a response from her sister somewhere (I’m quite certain it was Facebook though I can’t seem to find those messages now). She told me where Wana was and gave me her number to call but I didn’t have my phone and was really losing it so I went back to the room and asked him for his phone. After a lot of whining, he finally told me to look for his pants which had his phone so there I was looking for his phone and panicking while he was sleeping in my bed, huge blood stain where I was lying. It was a ridiculous scene and I was refusing to believe it. I looked for his pants for a while until he told me “Oh, they’re here on the side of the bed.” He had been sleeping on them. I took the phone and called Wana several times until she finally picked up. I told her something had happened with him and I needed to be with her asap. She told me where she was, told me to go there and when I asked how, she told me to ask him to take me… Let’s just say she didn’t care but I didn’t know what else to do so I went back into the room to start begging him to take me to her. He stalled for so long, I was losing my mind. Finally he got up, put on his clothes and we went down the stairs together into his car for him to drop me where she was. He was taking his sweet time this entire time and if I’m not wrong, he asked me again before I left, “We’re cool, right?”

May I mention now that my phone had been silent in J**z’s car this entire time (which was downstairs in my parking lot at the time, making sense now of how I could access web.whatsapp). I was crying when I got to where Wana was (which was another guy’s house but I wasn’t bothered to find out more because I was already going through so much, I just wanted her comfort, fake or not) but she was downplaying things so much and I was starting to feel guilty and blaming myself for everything. She told me what had happened the night before. She said that we had met J**z and his friends somewhere out, I don’t remember where. We had all gone back to my place in his car to continue the night (I’m not sure whose intention this was and how genuine it was). I had left my bag at the previous location which had my house keys so we all had to leave my place and go back to the previous location then come back to mine again. Somewhere along the way, we all parted ways/she ditched me and J**z took the responsibility of taking me back home. She didn’t care for me during that time and it fucked me up. For a long time, I pushed the memory of it away because I could not remember anything before waking up to him rubbing my pussy and I was guilting myself for the fact that I had blacked out.

I must mention now that I had never before interacted with J**z outside of a professional setting neither had we ever been friendly for him to assume such responsibility over me. I did not and still do not know him in any capacity beyond music business. I recorded demos for a short jazz EP with him and this small man whom he told me was his father playing the keys for me back in 2016. We had 2 meetings at the then MIS studio which was on Riverside Drive where I recorded the demos for 3 of my original jazz songs that I wanted to compile into the EP. After recording the demos, he went quiet on me and whenever I would question him about continuing the project, he would say that his father was sick or give me another excuse like that. He sat on this project for so long and refused to work on it. I was really mad about this so in 2017/8 I asked him to send the songs to me, which took him forever to. When he finally did via WeTransfer, I missed the link’s expiry date and he just didn’t send it again when I asked him to. I was too tired of that back and forth with him so I let it go. That was the last time we interacted besides seeing him at almost all the gigs I went to as the sound guy.

I would freak out and shrink, hide whenever I saw him out. I stopped going out altogether in 2019. Managed to “forget” about everything but this whole rape experience was subconsciously affecting me and my life and I hadn’t processed it. On 9th June, 2019. The night of Thrift Tie & Dye edition, I was dancing for Karun on stage so I had backstage access. We were backstage when I saw J**z (he provides sound and production services for so many major events all you people love to attend) and I started having a panic attack. I was with Vallerie Muthoni, Karun, Xenia Manasseh, can’t remember who else if there was anyone else. They asked me what was up because they had seen me react a certain way. I had already told Karun beforehand so I asked her to tell everyone for me. I had actually messaged her a few months before concerned cause I knew she worked with him. We had a conversation about it and that was that.

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Back to Thrift, I didn’t feel backed up or supported after they found out what happened, they all just looked shook. Everyone gave me their sorries and the story ended there. I didn’t want to talk about it either, I was there to have fun. After this, I went back to “forgetting” about the experience again.

On 25th June, 2019, Vallerie randomly sent me a voice note saying that she had been thinking about the whole thing and was feeling terrible about still working with J**z. She expressed how he had her music and she would like to make sure it was safe before doing anything.

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She asked me what she could do and I was so impressed that she was trying to do something about it, I sent a long voice note back telling her everything she could do. She had mentioned her wanting to talk to Muthoni DrummerQueen about it but wasn’t sure how open I was about everything. I told her to talk about it and use both my names and that I wasn’t ashamed. I also told her to tell J**z that she knows. She responded saying that she is non-confrontational so I should give her time. I felt so hurt and disrespected, triggered because I was being reminded about my rape for no apparent reason, I didn’t respond. This is when I realized that she was coming to me so I could validate her for continuing to work with my abuser. She had a studio session coming up with him at the time. I was wondering why she had to come to me about it in the first place if she already knew she wasn’t ready to do anything about it. It agitated me that someone would want me to validate them for their own guilt.

On 31st August, 2019. I tweeted “Your fave sound engineer is a rapist.” I had just gotten off a call with Karun. Let me mention now that both her and Vallerie started by saying they knew how triggering what they were about to tell me was but went ahead to say it anyway. With Karun. I even told her that I wasn’t in a place to receive sensitive information and she went ahead to ignore me and jump over my words to say it anyway. She told me how she had a trip coming up towards the end of 2019 that J**z is part of the team and her and Tasha (the lady organizing the trip) know about him and his ‘tendencies’ and want to kick him off the team though they don’t want to make a decision based off “rumours”. I was shocked. Not this again. She continued to ask me if I could talk to Tasha, just tell her about my experience so she could have a concrete story to make a decision off of… I told her that if they already knew about him, what more did they need to be convinced that he is a sexual predator and assaulter? She said I didn’t have to respond right away and insisted that I check Tasha’s IG out because “she’s so chill” and I “could really just talk to her”. I asked her why it was important to use my story and she said that her and Tasha wanted to make sure that she got off J**z with her music safe and nothing happening to her. So fuck me, right? LOL! She texted me shortly after we ended the phone call. I got mad and that’s when I tweeted about it.

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So here I am telling you all this. I cannot be afraid anymore, I have already lost so much. There are also other male producers and engineers sitting on 2 EPs worth of my music. It has been painful. My music career has struggled greatly throughout the years because of this male dominance, their exercise of power over women through abuse and their counterpart men and women enabling them. I didn’t feel entitled to receive any support from anyone even though I kept sharing the news and telling some people who knew him and I hoped something would happen. It has been even more painful to hear from multiple people that I am not his only victim.

I remember this one time I went out with my brother and his friends. We were at Blue Door and it was sometime in August 2019. At some point J**z walked in and we caught sight of each other. He was with a whole big group and a girl on his arm. I started having a panic attack and had to run to the bathroom. I got ahold of a friend on the phone and they helped me get the strength to go back out there and have fun. On going back out, I found that his group had gotten a table a bit further from ours so I couldn’t see him and he was easier to ignore for the rest of the night though all that was exceptionally exhausting.

May this reach whoever it needs to reach. I feel supported by seeing other women coming out about their stories.

So we get to the part where I began looking for justice. I now understand how this concept is a myth in the kind of capitalistic and patriarchal society we live in. To be an African woman without able financial funds in today’s world… I can only work towards personal freedom, inner peace and doing my part in contributing to the growth, evolution and development of the communities in which I am a part of and I am glad and grateful for this.

Around August-September 2019, I started seeing Jabari and they had come into my life as a friend wanting to be there for me. I was having a really hard time and didn’t have any emotional or physical support from anyone at this point. I was in complete isolation because of increasing trust issues and desperate for connection. I was severely depressed, having difficulties recording my intended EP and my song ‘So Tired’, quickly losing my place in the music industry, losing my communities and friends I thought I could embark on the journey of achieving my dreams with. I was living alone in the city, lonely and vulnerable and several people took advantage of this. When I told Jabari about my rape and everything that had happened afterwards, they seemed to be really empathetic, actually passionately angry about my whole situation. They were determined to help me seek justice. At this time I had not considered the possibility of me seeking or receiving any justice, Jabari woke up a fire in me that I am forever grateful for. They are smart, intellectual and a visionary, I will always be in awe of their fiery spirit and undeniably some of this rubbed onto me. So we began trying to do something about it. They suggested we draw up a plan and take all these people down, my rapist and all his enablers. I got onto the plan and also became determined to seek justice. Around this time, Jabari began distancing from me though they put me in contact with Kaz. We stopped talking shortly after this. I suspect some lying and manipulation on Jabari’s part which all became so heartbreaking to me. I was hurt that they started something with me then left me during a time I truly needed them. After a while, I decided to continue seeking for justice and not stop just because they had left. It is around this time that Jabari made it known to me that J**z produces Kaz’s entire podcast and event.

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At the same time, I was active on Twitter and seeking out help from Twitter activists. I hit up a few people including Mumbi K and Njeri Rasta Advocate who gave me the phone numbers of some lawyers. I tried to reach them though none of them ever came through. It was disappointing and not knowing where else to look, I stopped searching for a while.

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A few weeks later, Kaz got back to me with a contact for a lawyer I could talk to. I immediately called in and began talking to an Isabella from CREAW. I had another long phone conversation explaining everything that had happened to me and how I was seeking for some form of justice. I spoke to Kaz shortly after the phone conversation with Isabella and this is when she mentioned that she had used my “case study” for content in her TV segment with DWTV. I was shook… she mentioned it as a by the way and like it wasn’t a big deal because she didn’t use any names. I felt quite violated and the fact that she called my story and my experience a case study floored me. I wanted to ask her why she did it without any of my consent especially when she had a story of her own that she could use and especially when she seemed to prioritize consent when I asked for leads for the other stories she had heard about J**z. I was hurt and confused about people’s intentions.

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A few days later Isabella put me in contact with another lawyer called Sophie with whom I had more in-depth conversations. I went back and forth with Sophie about two times on the phone over the span of around 2 months about the kind of options I had going forward with my case. Our conversations, with all the lawyers I spoke to actually, mostly involved me reaching out to her with a new idea I had for how we could go about everything and her giving me all the reasons why it could not work out. The biggest reason was that I would be sued a huge amount for defamation, also that I would not stand a chance in court considering I had no proof of the rape and I had waited a long time to report it. I would message Sophie randomly on iMessage asking for advice, which I was also reminded she wasn’t receiving any pay for from CREAW though I’m grateful for the time she and all the lawyers gave me because it helped me realize a lot of things I needed to realize. The last time I spoke to Isabella was sometime in late November/early December when I was seriously considering going to the police to report the case and finally going public about this. I called her and asked if she could offer me an escort to the police like she had suggested one of the first times we spoke, that I was finally ready, and she basically told me that she couldn’t do it and it wouldn’t work out. Every conversation with every lawyer was heartbreaking and I began realizing and understanding how I wouldn’t receive any help from Isabella, Sophie, CREAW or any other organization that focuses on sexual abuse cases for that matter if there wasn’t a revenue in it for them. I was also told several times by either of them that there was no existing department to deal with the kind of situation I had and the kind of ideas I was coming up with to tackle my situation, which baffled me considering I was talking to an entire organization that deals particularly with sexual assault cases like mine and particularly that my case is not unique. After this, I stopped looking for help from organizations and lawyers and I stopped talking to people about it much too.

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I consciously bring up these women in the music industry because they have been complacent in their role in standing up for what is right. Inevitably, they have a social obligation/responsibility because of the kind of access and platforms they have. Playing this card of “I need to protect my music because it’s in his hands” is lazy and fearful to me. I remember telling Vallerie in the voice note to remember who the fuck she is and that she could work with anyone out there, J**z is not the only producer who would love to work with her. There are things we all need to face about ourselves, fearing what your truth shows you always* puts others at the receiving end of your insecurities and projections, which can play out more intensely and seriously than one can imagine. I believe strongly that all these women should have done more from the very first time they heard anything about J**z. The mere fact that most of them had already heard about J**z before I approached them with my own story tells me how a lot goes unspoken in the industry and how it is moments of chosen complacency like these that led me to being yet another victim of his. It confuses me the most that many of these women have gone through their own sexual assault experiences in the industry or outside of it. It hurt incredibly to not be supported by fellow women. If they wouldn’t support me, who would? Even more disappointing what people prioritize in the creative industry in Nairobi, climbing that social/economic ladder and it doesn’t matter who they step on or crush along the way as long as they get to the top. It’s unbelievably selfish, I never knew my fellow human beings could be this cruel.

How do I explain how words someone uses when speaking to you can show how they perceive you? I was particularly belittled by many because they saw me as somehow “weak” and treated me as such because I have gone through a traumatic experience and speak openly about it. How can I explain it is in the way that every time I spoke to them, they somehow brought up my experience like it was all that I had become. There is this thing that people do, looking at victims of sexual abuse like we have now become somehow incompetent and unable to live normally or do anything other than dwell on the abuse we have gone through. These are the projections I’m talking about, to me this shows how one has not dealt with their own trauma. I found myself acting a certain way around certain people too. It was weird, like I was forced into a role. I had to step back to be able to see that these were energies I was taking up and not my own.

I cut Karun, Vallerie and Xenia off sometime in September. I also must mention now how Karun & Vallerie’s phonecalls/voice notes are what triggered me into a deep depression at the time. I was not mentally ready to deal with the rape when they started reaching out to me with their guilt. This triggered 4 months of constant nightmares and day terrors consisting of J**z’s face, him lying in my bed, the huge blood stain I woke up in and frantic imaginations of what he did to my body while I was blacked out. I could not sleep well for those four months and lost a lot of energy and weight. Happy to say now that I have learnt how to manage the nightmares and terrors because I still get them. I cannot begin to write down all the ways this rape has impacted me. It was and continues to be immense.

Despite everything, I do not fault any of the women I mentioned for their actions. I still have mad love for all of you. I only wish to acknowledge the repercussions I faced as a result of your actions. It does not take away in any way any personal changes they may have made in working or interacting with J**z. I have heard that they are no longer working with him though I have not been in contact with any of them concerning this since so I have not heard it from their own words. They have also not reached out to me since the aforementioned interactions, neither have I seen any of them face to face. Oh I saw Xenia at Rema’s concert after her performance. I was in the middle of an anxiety attack with tears welling up in my eyes over suddenly becoming aware of all the people around me who were associated with my rapist. She said hi to me and gave me a look once she noticed my face cringing up and kept walking. I’m sure she didn’t know I was having an attack but I left immediately after and cried the entire way home. Didn’t even get to see Rema perform, which I was so upset about.

Women act like they have not gone through any trauma to mask how painful it is to deal with their own pain. Quote me.

It was all so disappointing. I had recently heard that another assaulter of mine in the art industry (E**c Gi**nga) had been secretly video-taping a 19yr old relative in her bedroom and she found the hidden cameras. I wept when I found out about it, it triggered me and I felt even more vulnerable and alone.

Women don’t know how to support each other because they have not dealt with their own trauma. Just like white people don’t know how to support black people because white people haven’t dealt with their trauma, but that’s chai for another day.

I want to bring this story up now… My experience recording ‘So Tired’ was also not easy. With most studios in Nairobi being male-owned and most producers and sound engineers being men, it is barely ever safe for women recording their music. Again, I was alone and didn’t know anyone who was going to be there but they were part of my producer’s collective (Benzonit) so I felt some level of trust. I was determined to record my song as I had gone through months of having no physical strength to get up and leave my house and had finally found a new studio that wasn’t somehow associated with J**z or his enablers that I could work in. I was excited and even had a boda accident on my way there. I should have taken it as a sign. I met with their group at Galleria and we walked to the private home studio in some posh estate right next to Galleria. There were 3 guys, 1 other girl and me. They had bought alcohol which I was wondering when they were intending to drink since no one had told me about there being a hangout and drinks but again, I was determined so I told myself I would do what I came to do and leave. They started drinking from the beginning of my session, offering me some alcohol too but I told them I couldn’t drink until after my singing. The session was extremely dragged because of this, with them taking extremely long breaks to discuss irrelevant topics. I had to keep politely nudging them to get back to the session. Towards the end of the recording, the owner of the space (OJ) kept saying things like “There’s a room upstairs if you want to take a nap”, “Are you feeling hot? You can go take a shower.” asking me if I wanted a massage. It was uncomfortable and especially after I finished recording majority of the song. I started drinking a bit to celebrate and that’s when it got scary. They were all way more drunk than I was. He started getting closer, grabbing his dick from the outside of his pants, asking me who I was texting and telling me to tell them I’m okay. They were trying to get me to spend the night. My intuition was going off telling me to get the fuck out of there so I quickly got a taxi and left. I was hoping and praying the taxi driver wasn’t also a creep. I didn’t finish recording my adlibs for the song and I had to live with it. I talked to Afamefuna (who was in the States at the time) on the phone the next day and told him what happened considering these were his people that he had put me in contact with. I told him I didn’t want to talk to them again, let alone work with them. I was debating whether I would let them mix the song and eventually I decided to let them do it because I didn’t know who else I could ask. The song went through more than 10 edits with Wamae mixing my vocals with back and forth notes from me via Afamefuna. I’m proud of that. They had to get it exactly to my liking and even though they didn’t get there, they did a great job of trying. After the mixing was done, I cut all contact with Wamae. At some point, Afamefuna sent me a long voice note telling me that I should put my feelings aside and continue to work with them because they are trying really hard to learn how to not objectify women and I should just give them another chance. I wish I could put it on here, I’m laughing in disbelief as I type this just thinking of the contents of that voice note.

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People in this industry have selfish intentions that hurt so many others along the way. No sense of genuinely wanting the best for another, everyone is trying to climb the ladder and they will throw each other under the bus too. People don’t care about each other out here and it’s mad to see. I was very angry because people’s selfish intentions hold other people back. To this, I also bring up the male producers in this city (Jinku and others) who have selfishly sat on the music I worked hard on since 2015 in the name of it not being “good enough” or “what they wanted”. Jinku has even used the time I had taken away from music for mental health purposes as an excuse for why he hasn’t come through. I actually really tried to be calm with him though I was so angry about how he had been sitting on me.

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There is some actual serious spiritual blockage shit in Nairobi and I have always felt it in the depths of my gut. I never wanted to believe that my peers, especially women, would not want the best for each other. And to anyone, producer/singer/instrumentalist, who is using any of my work in any way or monetizing it; performing any of my lyrics and melodies and/or earning any revenue through streaming platforms (even those cents) and performing my work, stop. I did not agree to that and I am not receiving any dues.

Right now, I am finally in a place where I can see a bright future for myself again. I was engulfed by fear for the whole of 2019 and that is why my babies ‘LIFE EXCERPT I’ and ‘So Tired’ mean so much to me. I managed to pull those short projects off while I was feeling like I was on the brink of actual physical death. It is a daily journey to heal from such trauma, especially when I lost my career and communities on top of my health. In that regard, I have moved out of the city and changed my phone number. Nimewaachia Nairobi yenu. I truly do not have to be a part of the industry in that city, Nairobi has never been and will never be the entire world to me.

It was crazy and heartbreaking for me to discover during the time I wanted to take legal action, that my experience is precisely not unique. That there are many men who do terrible things to others just because they know they can get away with it. That we are all forcefully subscribed to a system that exploits us and does not care for us, so that it is considered normal to harm your fellow human being and screw people over as long as you are climbing up the ladder of fame and material success… no one wants to stay at the “bottom”.

I do not know why such profound and hurtful things have happened in my life. Though I understand how there comes a time that a society needs someone brave to call its wretchedness out in hopes of there coming a revolution. I know there are many other victims of J**z out there, I encourage you all to share your stories too if you are safe enough to. I personally had to move out of the city and change my phone number to be able to do this. Please ensure your safety and support systems before deciding anything. Somehow I have found myself having to play this role of being the first multiple times in different areas of my life. I am glad to be able to do so if it means I can contribute to opening up a path we can all take. I am honestly shook by how immense this whole thing seems to me. It feels so huge and heavy in all my bones, I had to do this. Everything was telling me that this isn’t just a me problem. It’s everybody’s problem and I need to let them in on it, even it means I am at risk. What risk is there anyway? I am not as vulnerable as I was before and I can actually handle whatever comes my way. All those people were trying to keep me in this prison of silence and my God, I have finally broken free. Now my being can get back to its mission, this was blocking up my way. I truly lost a lot of myself during all of this, I miss her. We are working hard to bring her back. Loving patience and kindness, I remind myself.

Janice Iche’s latest single ‘So Tired’ released on 17th November, 2019. Available for streaming everywhere.

May no name come up claiming anything about supporting me through this, I denounce it. In the same breath, I take this opportunity to thank my aunt Esther and my mother, Harriet. Thank you for supporting me by loving me as I am now, helping me gain my physical and mental health and my self back and giving me the fiery strength to go through with this. You are both such strong amazing women and wow I am glad to be related to both of you. I love you.

May I get to witness and experience a society that does not rely on capitalism and the patriarchy and a new world of genuine love and community is born. Our future generations have a lot more work to do, may we do our best to make it easier for them today. It is crazy to see how people conform to a system that chews us up and spits us out once it has sucked us dry of all our energy and resources. You are a human being, honour your self. Let us work towards creating better environments for us to thrive in. That starts with self-love, true and complete honesty with your self about who you are. You can love the parts of you that even you do not like and I promise you, it’s nice.

As I conclude, I want to state that I am ready to handle whatever is to come after sharing this online. I will be completely unreachable except for through this email address [allwewantislove.ke@gmail.com]. For whoever wants to reach me for whatever possible or impossible reason, please reach me ONLY through this email address as I will be unresponsive anywhere else.

I am happy and proud to be able to tell my* story.

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‘Stop Enabling Abusers’ T-shirt & Tote Bag from Ché SHOP (IG: @che.shopke). Designed by Janice Iche.

Also sharing this recent cute selfie of me. I am finally feeling good within myself though I’ve got some form of infection so I’m on Augmentin. Otherwise I’m alive and very grateful for that.

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Thank you for reading.

Much love,

Janice

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