The Standard Group
It began with that little girl, when she was brought to court in 2009. The issue was she was in need of care and protection. It was initially a straight forward case of neglect — Teresia Matheka, magistrate
Mary Waithera was born 25 years ago. And being the first born, her arrival was supposed to be met with celebration. She was supposed to bring joy to her parents.
A family is in a dilemma after their child was kicked out of school for having both male and female sex organs.
That is the roller coaster that Cecilia Wanjiru Ndung'u, a mother of two girls and a boy (who has undergone genetic testing and been found to be a girl), finds herself stuck on.
"Congratulations! It's a baby girl!" must have been the exclamation in the labour-ward when I was born 48 years ago. Evidently, all the women present must have determined my sex by looking at my reproductive organ which is female. I was my mother's second child and because the first born is a boy, the joy must have been immense. In my culture, the first children are named after their paternal grandparents. I imagine my father looking at me proudly and announcing: "We shall name her after my mother."
For the last 24 years, sociologist Jason Abukutse has worked in different parts of the country. But no experience had come close to preparing him for an encounter with Bili’s reality; a nine-year-old intersex in Nyahururu.
The Nation Media
Born Ruth Mwihaki 28 years ago in Kiambu County, Ryan Muiruri has had to fight off stigma, abuse and suicide to prove that he is indeed male.
When a couple finds out they' are expecting, they might make plans for either a boy or a girl. But for some parents, finding out the sex of their child isn't so simple.
Born a girl, grew up to be a boy. Now Sheila Makungu wants the government to change her documents to indicate that her sex is male.
Nominated Member of Parliament Isaac Mwaura has urged the registrar of persons to take immediate administrative action to recognise intersex people in the country.
The intersex community in Kenya has called on the government to take immediate administrative action to recognise them. Speaking during the launch of a nationwide awareness initiative in Nairobi on Sunday, the group’s chairperson James Karanja urged the National Assembly to enact or amend laws to facilitate their legal recognition.
More than 100 Kenyans with a rare gender disorder could benefit from a law that seeks to enable them to get special services, after Parliament took up the matter.
“I did not know what that was. All I remember seeing were two sexual organs that confused me because I had never seen anything like that. I took my child to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, where doctors did some tests and told me my child was a girl. They advised me to raise him as a boy for a year and after that I took him to hospital where they reconstructed his genitalia by cutting off his penis,” Njeri says.
Ryan Muiruri Wangui or Ruth Mwihaki Wangui has lived a tough life as an intersex person in Kenya - He was born and raised up as a girl but began breaking his voice and had more male features than female ones as puberty hit
“Where is Ruth?” The teller asked. “I am Ruth,” Ruth replied. He had made a visit to a bank to open an account after his friend sent him money from France and wanted to deposit it. The teller asked again: “Where is Ruth?” He responded; “I am the one.”
Kenya will for the first time celebrate the International Day for the intersex child next week. Gama Africa, an NGO, will lead a procession from Michuki’s park to Parliament buildings with the aim of raising awareness about the condition.
Thousands of Kenyans born with intersex conditions continue to suffer in silence, having to bear the burden if not being recognised socially or legally under Kenyan laws. Persons with the condition are mostly hidden and unaccounted for in the official census report.