I will skip the introductions for later
Report of the Magnet Theatre outreach at the Nakuru G K Prisons
The group members meet at the Nakuru Players Theatre on Monday 26th February 2007 for the preparation of the outreach at the Nakuru G K Prisons. Several themes come up during the meeting this included: S T Is, H I V and AIDS, Drugs and Substance Abuse, and V C T. Since it was the first visit the group settled on V C T after consultation with one of the V C T counselor who is also a prisons officer at the Nakuru G K Prisons.
Theme: V.C .T. (voluntary counseling and testing)
- Who is supposed to go for V.C.T?
- What is V.C.T?
- What is the importance of V.C.T?
- Can an inmate access V.C.T. services?
After a long deliberation the members come up a story line on the theme, followed by casting of the skit. The skit hard four characters and a simple story line: Okinda who is an inmate and as served a jail term of three years is finally going home to meet his wife Mama Safi, Mama Safi is also waiting to meet her love who as been away for three years. But while Okinda was away Mama Safi hard a secret friend called Mamboyote. Okinda is about 27 years old, he also a hard working young man, he loves his wife, Okinda is not employed. Mama Safi is a house wife who sales vegetable at small kiosk near her place, she’s talkative and likes making friends she is 25 years old, Okinda and Mama Safi have two children who are all boys. Mamboyote is local businessman who owns a well stocked village shop, Maboyote is 30 years old. Since Okinda went to jail he as been helping his family by supplying them with food and any necessary support they needed.
The skit starts with a scene where Mamboyote is demanding payment from Mama Safi. Mama Safi who doesn’t have, promises to pay him when she as money or the husband returns from prison, Moboyote refuses and asks for a sexual favour instead, the facilitator freezes the skit, this is the first freeze point. The following questions come up as the discussion points; should she give in? If yes why and if no why? Are there any consequences if she gives in? How can we help her?
The next scene the Okinda comes in, he receives a warm welcome from his wife Mama Safi. Okinda who has missed his wife for the last three years wants sex but the wife refuses to give in, Okinda pushes her but the wife refuses, this makes the first freeze point the process facilitator comes in to lead the discussion. Should the wife give in or not? If yes why and if no why?
On 27th February the group left for the Nakuru G K Prisons at 8:30 we reached at the prison at 9:30. The group met the welfare team who took us around the prison and introduced us to his seniors at the prisons, before leading us to grounds where inmates already had settled .We were introduced to the inmates who were very enthusiastic to see us. Odu the lead facilitator started by introducing the team members and the theme of the day to 520inmates(male) and 105 (female).The session was followed by a participatory and involving ice breaking session. Then there was an official introduction of the skit and the cast to the inmates.
During the introduction the inmates were given a chance to rename the characters in the skit. They came up with the following names. Mama Safi was renamed tuktuk while Mamboyote was renamed Mwewe and Okinda was renamed Kipengele during the male inmates session. During the females session the characters were renamed as follows; Mamasafi was renamed Matata while Perpetual was renamed Kanini and Okinda was renamed Makokha. After the introduction of the characters the process facilitator led a small discussion on the theme before the start of the skit.
The skit started and rolled up to the first freeze point which triggered a heated discussion with some inmates joining in the skit and giving their own solutions to the problem paused by the skit. Some like Jacinta (female inmate) suggested that tuktuk and kipengele should use a condom while some suggested that they should go for a V.C.T. test before the reunion .Some said that they go on and have sex since they are married and Makhoha was away for three years. This suggestion was objected by majority of the inmates who suggested that since Makhoha was in prison he might have had anal sex while tuktuk might have engaged in sexual activity with Mwewe. One of the inmates by the name Kamaliza (male inmate) agreed to come forward and offer some advice to the couple who had a dilemma and suggested that they first visit a V.C.T. centre for help before engaging in any form of sexual activity. This suggestion was approved by almost all the inmates who seemed to have some information on V.C.T. but needed much more education about V.C.T. During the end of the session the process facilitator asked if there were people who would want to be tested and almost every inmate lifted their hand.
Another issue that came up during the outreach is the issue of anal sex. Some inmates argued that one can’t get infected with an STI through anal sex. This issue brought a heated argument but the matter was solved by inmates themselves. Some said that provided there is exchange of body fluids and friction during anal sexual intercourse. Some suggested that anus is not meant for sexual intercourse so friction could cause tear of the anus lining hence increasing the chances of infection.
- It was the group’s first theatre outreach in prison and working under tight security.
- The other challenge was controlling and entertaining the inmates the lack of a public address system leading to inaudibility of some of the inmates who were contributing to the sessions.
- We also lacked IEC materials to enhance the sessions.
- Prison is quite a distance from the town centre there is need to look for means of transport to the prison.
- The inmates suggested that we be making frequent visits. This suggestion was made by two inmates by the name Njoroge and “PROF.” Bomachake.
- We also promised them that the next time we go we shall provide them with IEC materials.
- We also agreed with the Welfare team from the prison that we shall be visiting the prison twice a month.
- There was also another suggestion that the outreach Programme be extended to the officers at the prison.
- The welfare department and the group members came up with a plan of organizing a mobile V.C.T. service to the inmates and the prison officers and their families.