Kenya: Di men wey dey sleep with widows to 'cleanse' dem

Pamela never find peace...
Image example Pamela never find peace...

"You get HIV? Yesterday, you go see Susan - You use protection? She don get belle, wetin go happen to di baby (if she get HIV)?"

Dis na some of di questions wey Roseline Orwa, wey be women rights activist, dey ask di "cleansers" -dat na men wey dia job na to sleep with widow for Kenya and dey go pay dem money on top.

Dis na tradition wey dem dey practice for some villages for di country to cleanse and "purify" women wey dia husband die.

Di cleanser wey Ms Orwa dey follow talk no see anything wrong with im job.

Image example Di "cleansers" no get any problem with dia job.

Patrick tell BBC say: "Di women no want make we cleanse dem, but deep down, dem want am. Dis na rite wey dem must do, if not, life fit dey very difficult for dem.

E no dey easy to change di mindset of dis 'cleansers' wey dey receive $250 for dia job.

"You need to burn your clothes"

Ms Orwa do therapy sessions with "cleansers" and with di women wey don experience dis ritual.

One of di women wen join di meeting na Pamela wey from di Luo community inside south-west of Kenya and she don pass through dis practice.

Pamela talk say: "Elast three days.First we sleep for ground. You go need to comot all of your clothes and leave dem for di floor. Den you go sleep with di man on top bed. In di morning you go need to burn your clothes."

Image example Some women don get together to fight against di tradition.

She continue say: "Dey go cut all your hair comot and then you get to cook chicken and eat with dem. Finally you go need to clean di whole house. Den di children go fit return back."

Pamela dey join with other women wey don get di same experience to talk and get support.

For one of di meeting, one widow talk of her experience and complains about wetin pass through.

"E want make I drink alcohol. But I never drink alcohol before for my life, and I no go ever do am, so I tell am no."

"I never get peace"

After Pamela don pass through dis ritual, she begin sick. E no tey she find out say she get HIV - her "cleanser" no gree wear condom.

Di man self no gree go, e continue to stay with her and dey argue say e dey do am to look after her.

Image example Widows for some rural communities inside Kenya must to "cleanse demselves"

Pamela talk say: "After wetin happen, I never find peace. I no wish to be with any man."

"Di 'cleansers' dem no dey responsible - dey smoke, drink, some dey take hard drugs. Dem be people wey dey waste your time and dem only get interest for wetin your husband leave for you."

For 2015, di Kenyan government ban di practice, but di example of Pamela and others don prove say di tradition still dey happen for di country.

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