Great Collaboration in Spreading Awareness Against Human Trafficking in Kenya

Story by Julius Mwangi

Pictures by Bernard Muhia

Bernard Muhia of Kenya Blue Hearts Grassroots Initiative (KBHGI) poses with Sofia Rajab of  The Cradle outside Kenya National Theatre (KNT). The Cradle Children’s Foundation helped in sponsoring  the play.

On 24th March 2012 the play Blue Heart: Joy’s story was finally performed at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT) by the Kenya Blue Hearts Grassroots initiative (KBGHI). This success was achieved mainly as a collaborative efforts between The Cradle Children’s Foundation, (KBHGI), Consolation East Africa (CEA) and Koinonia Advisory Research and Development Service (KARDS) amongst various actors working to address the problem of human Trafficking in Kenya.

One of the many sad scenes: A man grabs Joy forcefully after purchasing her for sexual exploitation

Some scenes of  Blue Hearts: Joy’s Story had earlier been performed in many schools of Nairobi including Amani Precious Blood Primary School and Topmark High School in Riruta and Kawangware areas, Mutuini Educational Center, Braeburn High School and St Hanna High School and other institutions. The KBGHI is an ambitious artistic project that aims to spread awareness against human trafficking in Kenya and possibly East Africa.

School children reading some of the educational materials and posters about human trafficking.

The play was written by Luiz Nzomo a talented playwright. It mixes drama, songs, dances, drumbeats, story telling, moments of reflection and poetry.   The play is about a young orphan girl placed under the care of her aunt. The girl is bright and performs quite well in school. As days pass the aunt experiences fatigue of taking care of Joy… this fatigue is expressed in the form of lack of appreciation and aloofness to joy. The aunt expresses the fact that Joy needs to help her in her business. Joy accepts and mixes both school and helping her aunt to the detriment of her school performance. Joy’s problems do not end there she is later sold into slavery by her aunt and later she becomes a sex slave. Hence each new day to Joy, becomes a new  experience a fresh trauma. The Joy’s story continues where she gets HIV and becomes a drug addict sinking deeper into a sad and miserable life. The poems were made in such a way to take the audience through Joy’s internal struggle, unearthing the sad part of her emotions.

Students awaiting to enter the theatre

The audience is made to reflect on how many other innocent children are subjected to such horrible and miserable life. In order to help the audience out of a deep melancholy the dancers creatively make cheerful coordinated movements that are  creative, magnificent and lovely. The whole drama is a combination of intellect, art and genius.

Politician Brian Weke had also graced the show as part of the audience.

KBGHI will have another performance at KNT in November after the third Nairobi Counter Human Trafficking Symposium. They also intend to take this play in Mombasa and other areas in Kenya in their ambitious awareness campaign against human Trafficking.  Bringing the play to KNT, shows that collaboration amongst actors can help in spreading awareness far and wide. From the play we find that there are many needs that the victims of human trafficking require in order to be able to reintegrate well after their ordeal. Hence prevention is better than cure. On the other hand there is need to educate the masses on procedural law as far as human trafficking is concerned.

Part of the cast after the play A Blue Heart Joy’s Story. From Right, Viona Wamuyu Waweru the poet, Jecinta Wariara, Raphael Oduor, Evans Odongo, Saida and Benta Anyango.— at Kenya National Theatre.

Lastly, the problem of human trafficking remains enigmatic because of lack of quality data and documentation; organizations therefore would need to be very creative. These point was stressed by Sophia the Executive Director of The Cradle and Paul Kisolo the executive director of KARDS.

The show attracted a full house.

In the video below Rafiki Mwafrika have released a new song entitled “Hauwezi Kunitisha we Shetani!

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