Slay Queens, Socialites And Sponsors: Sexual Violence in Kenyan Society

“Justice, Justice, Justice for Sharon Beryl Otieno and baby Sharon”.

Sharon Otieno’s mother Melida Auma declared raised hand whilst wearing a stoic expression in her final emotional sendoff for her daughter on the 20th of October at Magare village in Homa bay county. The constant drizzle throughout the funeral service reinforced the solemnity of the occasion. It was one month and two weeks since the kidnapping and brutal murder of the seven month pregnant Sharon Otieno, the hitherto unknown student from Rongo University.

The heinous murder shocked the country and the story hogged the headlines for weeks.  On the 4th of September the mutilated body of Sharon Otieno was discovered lying in the open next to a thicket on the fringes of Kodera Forest in Homa Bay. A farmer named Moses Ongili of Ogero village stumbled upon Sharon’s corpse while herding cattle and raised the alarm before filing a report at the Oyugis Police station.

Sugar Daddies to Sponsors: The Gentrification of Sleaze

A mate described the social media experience as akin to stopping by a busy bus terminus to soak in the energy. When the terminus is on your way home, you end up cultivating a few acquaintances with stories for days. The ones who are up to date with the latest domestic scandal and other crazy happenings while you were away. All they require is a little poke. Some people have a gift for nosing into other people’s business. They are persistent. They dig in, stake out and interrogate informers until they get some leads to work with. After that, they piece together recycled gossip peppered with a good dose of random deduction. The result is the plausible theory which makes for juicy gossip that can be peddled in exchange for attention. Some stories are so big, they do not need conduits. They find one busy minding one’s business and knock on your door, demanding to be heard. Even when ignored, they refuse to be moved. Hours later, sometimes even a day after, you step outside only to be accosted by the snooping acquaintance who just has to find someone to tell a story threatening to choke him up.