Across the world all over, people have united to condemn violence in relationships. There have been numerous reports of people being injured or killed by violent partners, and as a result, no human being should be in an abusive marriage.
In Kenya, several cases of domestic abuse have been reported, and a number of celebrities have been victims of the vice.
WoK compiles a list of popular Kenyans who have had to walk away from abusive relationships.
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The veteran journalist is among Kenyan celebrities who have been victims of domestic violence and forced to walk away from their relationships to save their lives.
During an interview with True Love magazine, she revealed that her boyfriend beat her up the day before she made her debut on KTN. That day, she had scratch marks on her face. Thanks to makeup, she did a good job, despite the pain she had been through.
“I felt that if I didn’t go on with my plans, I would be letting the violence to win,” she was quoted by the publication as saying.
“I decided to move on for my baby and myself. At least I was financially stable when I walked out. Dependence is what traps many women in abusive relationships,” she added.
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Kenyan volleyball star, Janet Wanja is yet another famous Kenyan that has endured this heinous culture. In a past interview with The Nairobian, she revealed that for a long time, she found it hard to walk into a new relationship due to the domestic abuse she had been through in the past.
“There have been many rumours about my personal life and I have deliberately chosen to ignore them because I have suffered at the hands of a man I loved; a man who was my first love.
“I met him right after school. We dated for four years and he made me believe that I could not live without him. There are times I would put on my best outfit, but then wonder, ‘why should I get all dressed up like this?’ He was all I had,” Wanja disclosed.
She revealed that their relationship took its turn for the worst after her volleyball career took off. He became increasingly insecure as she became greater. Simple arguments turned into physical confrontations, which always ended with her bleeding. She often sought refuge at her parents’ place.
“There is a day I visited my brother Kim because we hadn’t seen each other for a while. When my boyfriend called me, I told him I was at Kim’s, but doubted the story and asked to talk to him. I gave him the phone and they talked.
“When I got home, he beat me from 7 pm till 3 am. Then he broke a glass on the floor, undressed me and dragged me on the shards. I will never forget that day. I prayed and told God that, ‘if you save me from this house and I still come back to this man, he may he kill me,’” she said.
To nurse her troubles, she found herself drinking to overcome the pain.
“I could drink myself silly in an attempt to forget and numb the pain. I got to a point where I became suicidal because of the beatings. I was the laughing stock in the estate. They saw the way he mistreated me. I just wanted to be alone and I was never happy. It was the lowest moment in my life,” she said.
The media personality is another victim of domestic abuse. She told Eve Woman magazine during an interview 4 years ago that her ex-husband was physically abusive, and even after she left, he still wanted to control her life.
“There are times my husband threatened my career. He would call my cell phone, the office, and the studio line while I was on air. I braved it all because I knew where I wanted to be,” Tina narrated.
She further revealed that this carried on until he managed to take their children.
“One day, my former husband came and took away my children. I used to cry every night and could not imagine the thought of being away from them.
“Nowadays, I talk to them every day and even visit them. It is not the same as living with them since I am not there to see them grow and for a mother, that is tough. I take comfort in the belief that God has a reason for everything,” she narrated.
The veteran Mother-In-Law actress popularly known by her stage name in the show, Charity, walked away from her marriage to Ugandan politician, Shem Bageine.
During an interview with Radio Jambo in February 2020, Wanjiru revealed that her relationship with Bageine was abusive, and on several instances, she sought help from the police for fear that he would harm her or their children.
“We had different personalities based on religion and ambitions, so we parted ways. When he went back to Uganda, he carried all my children (two girls and one boy) with him.
“I live alone like someone who was never blessed with children, yet he already had another wife and kids. They were taken away from me when the youngest was in Class Six, that’s almost 20 years ago,” Wanjiru recounted.
When the couple separated, Bageine took their children and Wanjiru didn’t fight it, noting that she did not want to interfere with their lives.
“I don’t know how they progress as they are close to their father. They are never bothered about returning to Kenya and I don’t like to interfere with their lives. They usually visit Nairobi for holidays and if they feel like they have missed their mother, they usually reach out via a phone call. Since they went away, all of them have seen me once. I pray for my children and I hope they are happy.
“I welcome them any time they want to come back. I didn’t have any problem with them because I love them. We don’t have a relationship, we only speak on the phone. I think they are afraid and their father still holds a lot of pain in him. But right now, I am aged and I am used to it,” she recalled.
Wanjiru claimed that Bageine was violent, and therefore, she feared what would happen to her if she stood up to him.
“We had issues in our matrimonial home. He wanted to dump me so that I become homeless so I sued him in court, we fought for more than 30 years and I won (in 2015). I don’t know why they delayed it for long. The lawyers charged me outrageously, I spent a lot. After winning the case, I was to be compensated, but they (husband’s lawyers) never replied and no one wants to talk about it.
“My husband had sold the house but the sale was cancelled. I was left alone without being divorced. As per the law, I am still married. I wanted to file for a divorce but I could not due to my love for my children. It was a violent marriage, I used to go to the police every day after being beaten up as talks of murder were rampant, even for those I knew,” Wanjiru recounted.
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s daughter Saumu Mbuvi is yet another victim of an abusive relationship.
During a past interview, Saumu revealed that her baby daddy Ben Gatu would oftentimes get physical.
Saumu got pregnant for Gatu at 21 years old and she said the relationship wasn’t rosy. She conceded to making rush decisions about the relationship despite being warned against it.
“We started as friends and dated for nine months and we broke up when I was heavily pregnant.
“He used to beat me and after sharing with pals I went to my dad and told him I couldn’t take it anymore,” Saumu revealed.
“I knew I did the right thing by walking away from domestic abuse,” she added.
She sought solace in food and years later she started the group ’21 days of change’ that helps with weight loss and all things nutrition.
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