81 year old Kenyan woman trains others in self-defence

Maria Salamanca, flickr
February 7, 2023

Beatrice Nyariara lives in Korogocho, one of Nairobi’s most dangerous slums, notorious for rapes and gang killings. It is an area with high unemployment, crime, poverty and domestic violence.  

Beatrice, aged 81, leads self-defence classes for the twenty members of the group Shosho Jikinge which is Swahili for“Grandmother protect yourself.”  They are learning to defend themselves from mugging and sexual assault.  

A founding member of the group, Beatrice was trained in martial arts and kick boxing some years ago; she then began training other members of the group in 2014. “We started this group in 2007 when we realised that elderly women had become easy targets of rape and abuse,” says Nyariara.

Another member of the group, Gladys Wanjiku, aged 80, explained that criminals take advantage of the fact many elderly women are widows living alone.  In an area rife with the sounds of women crying for help from domestic violence, it was hard for an elderly woman to be heard shouting when she was attacked, and the group decided they needed to alert neighbours in a way that would ensure a response.  

"Today, when the community hears ‘No! No! No! I don’t want anything to do with you’, they know it is an elderly woman being attacked and they come to our rescue,” said Wanjiku.

For the full story please go to: 'I punched him on his potatoes': Meet the grannies fighting back against GBV – Bhekisisa

See the video about Beatrice at:  Meet the Kickboxing Grandmothers of Korogocho (nationalgeographic.com)

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